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UPD BT Hike the Price of Standard UK Phone Line Rental and Calls in 2013

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012 (3:02 pm) - Score 2,240

Consumers are being forewarned to brace themselves for yet more price hikes after BT confirmed that its standard UK phone line rental and call charges would increase next year, once its current price freeze ends. The move is also likely to trigger another round of hikes from rival broadband ISPs.

BT originally announced last August 2011 that its prices would be frozen until 2013 (here). Since then most of the largest ISPs and phone providers have increased their line rental and call charges to closely mirror BT’s. For example, TalkTalk’s standard Line Rental recently increased to £14.50 per month, Sky Broadband’s is about to go up to £14.50 (from £12.25) and Virgin Media currently sits at £13.90 a month.

BT Standard Line Rental
Current: £14.60 a month
New Price: £15.45 a month

BT Daytime UK Call Rates
Current: 7.95p a minute
New Price: 8.41p a minute

BT Evening UK Call Rates
Current: 1.05p a minute
New Price: 1.11p a minute

BT Call Connection Fee
Current: 13.1p per call
New Price: 13.87p per call

Most of the changes represent an increase of around 6% and as usual can often be avoided by taking one of the operators broadband and phone bundles. Most ISPs also offer reduced Line Rental for around £10 per month, albeit only when you pay 12 months in advance. Overall prices are going to increase but BT and other ISPs will inevitably use this as a means to encourage more bundling by offering lower prices when several services are taken together.

However ISPs are likely to face criticism for raising their prices, especially at a time when the wider economy is continuing to flounder. Similarly many consumers often only use their phone line for broadband and will thus increasingly question the value of paying line rental for a largely unused calls service (mobile phones and VoIP have become increasingly dominant), especially given the huge fees that can be levied for fixing faults.

At the same time some of BT’s harshest critics might well ponder whether or not Ofcom’s recent effort to force the operators wholesale broadband prices down has had some impact on the latest changes (example). Critics often suggest that when Ofcom forces price down in one area, BT simply raises them elsewhere.

The new prices are due to take effect from 5th of January 2013. Credits to Recombu.com for spotting BT’s latest rise.

UPDATE 29th August 2012

Sorry we forgot to include the link to BT’s Price Changes Page with all the updated details.

Leave a Comment
32 Responses
  1. Avatar Sheffield Owl says:

    No doubt trying to claw by FTTC costs……

    1. Avatar Sheffield Owl says:


  2. Avatar Kyle says:

    These charges are absolutely disgusting and bear no resemblance to what the service costs to run (having been paid for many times over through the years).

    30p or so may make it easier to swallow but 85p a month extra is beyond a joke. Think of all the OAPs that rely on their home phones. Their pensions are tight enough as it is.

    As for this call connection fee; this is as pathetic as the hike in WLR. There is no work involved in performing this. Well, no more than having a computer do it instead.

    I would imagine that for many, as for myself, that this is one step too far. All that is needed is a good offering of LTE from the mobile networks and the landline will be dead. No doubt about it.

    1. Avatar DTMark says:

      OAPs need not rely on having a physical landline.

      Google “Big Button Mobile Phone”

    2. Avatar FibreFred says:

      I have no idea how much it costs to run the service but I have to ask , how do you know how much it costs I assume you are some bt manager in this area ?

  3. Avatar DTMark says:

    Ah, but OFCOM presides over our competitive market. So if you don’t want a BT line, you can always go to another company and get a different line. Oh, wait, hang on, that’s not true, is it. Unless you can get cable. More market failure.

    There has to be a “Laffer curve” type effect with line rental. Given that a mobile broadband dongle thing can produce acceptable results for people who just want a bit of net access and email and the performance isn’t radically different to ADSL (about 2Meg vs about 5Meg average), and most people have mobiles anyway which while once expensive are starting to look like very good value by comparison, and don’t rely on some anachronistic handset tied to a physical bit of wire, you wonder at what point people give up having landlines altogether.

    1. Avatar Kie7077 says:

      Actually that’s not strictly true, I’m paying £8 a month line rental to Primus (new call telecom) and get free evening and weekend calls and very reasonably priced mobile calls. The line is installed and maintained by BT but I don’t pay them or their extortionate line rental. And I can still use BE for internet.

  4. Avatar Deduction says:

    Typical BT…. about to suffer due to this…

    So claw the cash back via the consumer, something really needs to be done about their scummy antics.

  5. Avatar Sheffield Owl says:

    How can you justify nearly 14p just to connect a call…???

  6. Avatar Phil says:

    So, from 2013, the line rental will cost us £185.40 a year for keeping our ADSL/ADSL2+/LLU and FTTC broadband! That’s disgraceful and disgusting by BT. I think we all better off with Virgin Media Cable broadband standalone and use our mobile phone with (Unlimited packages) and quit the household line rental once for all.

    1. Avatar Sheffield Owl says:

      Well I for one would if Virgin Cable was available,its not and never likely to be so shall continue to be held to ransom by these phone companies.I use my mobile 99% of the time due to hearing difficulties but still have to get ripped off by BT

  7. Avatar No Rest says:

    I really don’t use my landline at all now. I use my mobile which offers much better value for money. BT are probably worried that fewer people use their landlines for phone calls as its all a bit archaic in the modern world. So they have to get their money some way or other.

    I wouldn’t even have a landline if weren’t for the broadband. Still with 4G LTE on its way this September. BT should worry about the future of their broadband bushiness. More and more people are using their mobiles to access the internet.

    1. Avatar Phil says:

      Very true 4G will be the one to watch! More peoples will use mobile wireless more and more and what can BT do ? Nothing !

    2. Avatar DTMark says:

      We’ve used HSPA for our broadband for years – the landline circuit sits unused for the 6th year now. Get the dongle positioning just right (or the roof antenna which someone’s coming to adjust on Friday) and 11.5Meg down 2.5Meg up is possible. Even when it’s performing abysmally, it’s still over 6Meg down 1.5Meg up.

      Contrast that with the recently upgraded ADSL2+ offering over the phone line (from ADSLMax) which could only manage the realms of 2Meg down 1Meg up and that we aren’t heavy users/don’t use P2P and the choice is clear. Doesn’t matter what kit you put in the exchange when you have 3600m of the GPO’s finest bellwire delivering the narrowband.

      And that’s what it all comes down to – choice. We have one. If everyone had one, line rental would be a lot cheaper.

  8. Avatar Phil says:

    Sheffield Owl, I agree with u. I am deafness too. The line rental is pointless to me. What the point ? cos i won’t hear the phone. I only use mobile SMS unlimited 100% most of the times!

    1. Avatar Sheffield Owl says:

      Well I’m not totally deaf but do find it easier to hear via a mobile rather than a landline(even a dect cordless phone isn’t that good for me).I paid my last yearly BT line rental upfront(£120),but thats £120 going on top of your broadband charges.

  9. Avatar Anon says:


  10. Avatar Darren says:

    So if you pay line rental yearly and use your mobile for calls, you’ll be paying the same after the price rise as you are now.

    For the price of the rental though they should include some free calls with it per month, £10/month is bad enough but £15.45/month is getting a bit silly.

    I wouldn’t mind these high rental cahrges if they were more willing to fix faults that you know are slowing your internet down. As it stands unless your Ali line disintegrates into dust it won’t get replaced with copper. Or if you lose a chunk of speed and get interleved to death because of increased errors it’s tough tity.

    Lower the charges, or be more willing to fix faults or offer the option of broadband without phone.

  11. Avatar Curious says:

    Yet BT Retail still have 6,365,000 broadband customers, and I bet over 75% of those have their phone line with them. Their prices keep rising, but so does their customer base.

  12. Avatar Sheffield Owl says:

    I paid a year upfront line rental in January(£120,or a tenner a month),which includes free evening and weekend calls.
    It has since gone up to £129 or £10.75 a month.

    If you don’t any calls via your landline Primus have stand alone line rental for £7.99 a month on a 12 month contract

  13. Avatar RD says:

    This is why i laugh at political leaders who give everyones money away to people like BT who simply use this money or should i say (your tax money) to make themselves more money from you!

    BT get a big goverment grant or the UK puts up its own money to help get fibre coverage everywhere. 550m which eventually that goes to BT and helps them lay fibre.In ireland maybe 70m total has gone to them to put fibre everywhere.

    But what do they do with the network once they get fibre everywhere? They increase prices over and over even though we helped them out they still rob you blind for line rental etc.

    Infact the hardest hit will be the poorest who cant afford to pay the 12 months up front and use BT basic which is actually the most expensive way to make calls with BT.And you cannot get BT infinity on BT basic for low income’s either so pensioners etc have to pay full line rental of £15-£16 for fibre? Its a joke and BT should not get anymore taxpayer money until they agree to 4-5 year price freezes.They already make millions annually, perhaps its billions BT are after now they know the goverment is thier cash cow.

    1. Avatar DTMark says:

      It’s the UK’s path to fascism. Profits are privatised, losses/costs are socialised. It’s the result of amateur government of the type we’ve always had in the UK and tends to happen in democracies in the end.

      Within a few years, the roads will all be privatised too with the same failed model as BT and the trains (no infrastructual competition). Just a personal prediction..

    2. Avatar Deduction says:

      quote”Within a few years, the roads will all be privatised too with the same failed model as BT and the trains (no infrastructual competition). Just a personal prediction..”

      And ironically the government will still want us to pay them road tax

  14. Avatar zemadeiran says:

    BT are well and truly stuffed.

    I have seen the 4G light and it is GOOOOOODDDDDDD….

    1. Avatar Somerset says:

      As are VM?

    2. Avatar zemadeiran says:

      No, because Branson likes balloons….

  15. Avatar Alan says:

    Well, they have just lost another 2 customers. Myself and daughter will be moving to Plusnet which is also our ADSL provider.
    Its ridiculous that we have to pay BT line rental just to keep our ADSL line – come on OFCOM get a grip

    1. Avatar FibreFred says:

      How do you mean ? If you didn’t rent a line how would you get adsl ?

  16. Avatar RD says:

    She means that if like myself she only wanted a cheap fibre package and wanted to instead use her 3G or 4G mobile phone for outgoing or incoming calls instead of a landline phone which while never being used requires £15 per month just to send the infinity VDSL signal.Infact considering how infinity is routed to cabinets which is only about 500m of actual copper line how come line rental without making ANY calls is still £15 + £25 for ininfity? Thats £40 for a basic 40mb infinity product.

    Rip off britain and ofcom twiddle thier thumbs.Line rental should be for phone users not ADSL/infinity users.

    1. Avatar FibreFred says:

      Such pearls of wisdom!

      So ADSL/Infinity can be supplied and maintained at zero cost? But voice has a cost attached to it?

      Care to explain that one further?

    2. Avatar zemadeiran says:

      Fuck the copper!

  17. Avatar Martyn says:

    Line rental is expensive however, do you really think 4g will be cheaper? You’ll need a sack of batteries to keep going and you’ll probably have a silly data cap. Can the mobile networks cope with all the traffic if loads of people went wireless only? Virgin charge an extra £10 for broadband if you don’t take the phone line.
    People say, the landline doesn’t ring, I say, did you give the number out? also, for under £5 on BT, I can call 0845/0870 for 60 minutes free, whereas my mobile charges me 35p a minute. When BT’s smarttalk app is released, you’ll be able to make calls over 3g or wifi using your landline call plan and up to 5 people per one account.

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