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Parents, does your phone bill have the X Factor?

30th November 2010 Print

With X Factor and Strictly Come Dancing in full swing, Post Office HomePhone is encouraging parents to watch out for children making secret costly calls in a bid to keep their favourite contestants in the competitions.

Research by Post Office HomePhone found that a third of parents (31 per cent) suspect that their children use the landline in secret. Calls to X Factor numbers can cost up to 40p from a landline which can quickly add up when casting multiple votes.

Unique call data from Post Office Homephone reveals that 27 per cent of X Factor votes are cast within the first five minutes of lines opening and 28 per cent are made on Sunday between 8pm and lines closing. So although we all enjoy voting for our favourites, these are the times when parents should be most watchful.

Across the country, one in ten households (eight per cent) argues about phone bills and the Post Office is keen to curb this trend by encouraging parents to explain the costs to their children. Calls from mobiles can be more expensive so it’s important that children are made aware of this.

Hugh Stacey, Head of Post Office HomePhone said: "Although we all get excited about shows like the X Factor and want to see our favourite make it to the finals, it’s important to let our children know that the cost of some calls can add up. It can help to sit them down and show them an itemised bill so that they know that all calls are traced.

"Explain to them how much each vote costs and consider setting a limit on how many votes they can cast. Parents can also consider Premium Rate call barring Call Barring services, to control what types of calls can be made. With Post Office Homephone these features are free but other providers may charge.

For more information on Post Office HomePhone, visit