Asda takes on BT with 20 percent off national calls

Now the supermarkets are ganging up on BT's prices. BT says bring 'em on...

Not content with battling other supermarket giants, Asda, now owned by U.S. retail behemoth WalMart, is set to go head to head with British Telecom by offering cut-price telephone calls.

The service, currently on trial in seven Asda stores in the South-East, is called Call Time. Under the scheme customers can purchase coupons at Asda check-outs. The vouchers give users a PIN code which is dialled as a prefix on fixed line calls.

Asda promises users 20 percent discount on national calls.

According to an Asda spokeswoman the service is going particularly well in the High Wycombe branch where take-up is "encouraging". The spokeswoman says it is too early to say if a national service will be implemented.

There are no current plans to implement an Internet dial-up service.

The Asda spokeswoman laid down a challenge to BT. She said: "Asda is all about bringing down the cost of services and if we did offer this service nationwide it would be Britain's best value."

BT welcomed the competition, saying it offered competitive prices.