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Punters are being warned to do their research before signing up to telcos that claim to offer cheaper phone calls.

Independent IT outfit Jupiter Information Technology, claims that its research found that calls to one discount telco were actually more expensive than BT.

Analysing 199 calls made via the company during January, Jupiter IT found that had it signed up to VarTec Telecom Europe Ltd, then its bill for the month would have been £7.63 more than had it been billed directly via BT.

"It is becoming commonplace to receive promotional mail exhorting a householder to use a Telecoms supplier for their phone calls instead of BT," said Jupiter IT.

"There is a great temptation to take these promises at face value, since often comparisons are printed on the promotional material, which seem to bear out the claims made," it said.

On the finding of its own research Jupiter IT is advising punters to do their homework before signing up to a new telco.

No one at VarTec was available for comment at the time of writing. ®

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