Just six months after increasing their prices, BT has announced it’s doing it again, with the cost of broadband and calls rising from 2 April 2017.
The announcement signifies BT’s third major price hike in just over 18 months, with broadband and landline call costs last increased in July 2016.
BT’s consumer chief executive, John Petter, said: “Customers will get a better package and improved service from us this year in exchange for paying a little more.
“Millions will have the chance to upgrade to faster broadband and almost a million will be able to upgrade to enjoy unlimited usage for no extra cost.”
He said prices for low-income customers, who use the BT Basic service, would be frozen and calls costs capped.
Mr Petter also pointed out the company had also frozen line rental, which, he said, “would particularly help customers who only take a traditional phone service from BT”.
How prices are changing
Existing BT customers with broadband and line rental will soon only see a single charge for both services on their bill.
- Anytime calls up by 49p to £8.99 a month
- Standard broadband up by £2 a month
- Super-fast Infinity (fibre) broadband up by £2.50 a month
- Landline customers to see phone plans increase
- Calls cost to rise by 1p a minute
The rises are more than triple the current 1.6 percent rate of consumer inflation.
How to avoid the BT price increases
Those affected can leave their BT contract penalty-free.
Under rules from regulator Ofcom, those who took out a line rental, broadband or mobile contract since 23 January 2014 can cancel their contract penalty-free if a provider ups its monthly prices mid-term without warning about this at the point of signing.
This is providing customers let BT know within 30 days of receiving official notification of the price rises.
BT has also promised to compensate customers should it fail to deliver on the service it promises.
Providers across the board have been hiking prices
BT isn’t the only telecoms firm that’s been putting prices up.
- TalkTalk: 3 million customers saw increases to broadband, line rental and TV packages last November and December.
- Virgin Media: home phone, broadband and TV customers saw prices rise by an average of 5.4% in February and 5.1% in November last year.
- Plusnet: increased its home phone and broadband prices for a second consecutive year in 2016, with some customers paying up to £30/year more since 1 September.
- Sky: Sky TV customers were hit by a price hike in June, with the cost for some going up by up to £72/year.
In addition to broadband and call costs, BT TV customers will have to pay £3.50 a month for BT Sport (as of next season).
The company has been battling with Sky over the rights to sporting events. The broadcasters spent more than £5bn between them to acquire the rights to Premier League matches. BT has also paid a reported £80m to show the 2017-18 Ashes cricket series.
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