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BT Retail Hikes the Price of UK Phone and Broadband Prices Again

Friday, September 27th, 2013 (6:29 pm) - Score 2,946

Just like clockwork BT Retail has announced that millions of customers across the United Kingdom will see their broadband prices rise by up to 6.5% (though BT’s current offers will not be impacted) and Line Rental jump from £15.45 a month to £15.99 (3.5%) from 4th January 2014. The cost of calls will also rise by around 6%.

The move follows a similar increase in phone line rental from £14.60 to £15.45 per month that occurred on 5th January 2013 (here), while the cost of their annual pre-paid Line Rental Saver solution recently jumped from £129 to £141 (up 9%) in June 2013 (here).

A BT Spokeswoman said (Belfast Telegraph):

BT will be updating some of its prices from January 2014, following a summer in which we slashed the price of our entry level broadband for new customers by up to 12%.

We are writing to our customers to let them know about these changes and to make it clear how they can save money via various deals. These price changes are not linked to the launch of BT Sport. We revise our prices every year in what is an intensely competitive market and whilst some go up, others come down.

Our customers have seen their calls bills fall by 14% on average in the last five years as a result of us slashing the price of inclusive calls plans. We want customers to move on to those plans as they can save money. Hopefully these changes will encourage that.”

Naturally BT also has to be mindful of its shareholders and dividend payments, which will come as no comfort to all those who increasingly feel as if the only reason to have a fixed line telephone service is to keep their broadband service alive.

Speaking of which, only 29.8% of respondents to a recent ISPreview.co.uk survey said that they still used a fixed line for most of their voice calls and 64.3% said they’d disconnect the service if it wasn’t needed for broadband (here). A nice dose of competition from the latest 4G and future 5G based mobile broadband solutions might be a good thing.

Apparently BT will also be increasing the “termination fees” on customers that want to exit mid-contract by up to 30%.

Leave a Comment
27 Responses
  1. Avatar Tim Nice But Dim says:

    I don’t see anything unreasonable with these limited price increases. As BT quite rightly points out, consumers are spending less and less on their bills as a result of the many generous unlimited call plans available to them now. I’m sure the media will blow it all out of proportion again though and make out BT are ripping off the country.

    1. Avatar timeless says:

      that being said, you have to ask why ppl arent spending as much now.. and where the blame lays.. bill increases dont help at all with the reason ppl arent spending because everything is going up.

    2. Avatar Kits says:

      Not always the best I used to pay for the free evening and weekend call plan, since moving my phone to a place where calls are charged no plans I am actually saving money seems we didn’t use the land line as much anymore. Last month my calls came to less than £5.

    3. Avatar EXCREMENT says:

      BT have to be one of the most conceited and untrustworthy communications companies in existence. The consumer helpline is appalling. BT do nothing but raise prices at the drop of a hat and nobody can stop them. When muy current contract ends, so will any further dealings with BT.They are money grabbing and greedy. Their monopoly has to be broken as they are not honest in dealing with customers. A fault on the line report is responded to by “You need an engineer to call which will cost you £129.00. Nice work if you can get. Their equipment is faulty, but you have to pay for it. All this so someone can sit at home and watch a football match for 99 million pounds. No thanks, cannott wait till my BT contract runs out.

  2. Avatar DTMark says:

    People still use landlines to make and receive calls?

    Well, no. Not so much, anyway. So the solution is to push up the line rental charges and try to get everyone to buy “inclusive” plans.

    As ever competition is key. Real competition; we haven’t used our landline in six years as it can’t provide broadband and we don’t need a landline as we have mobiles, so BT have no products or services of interest to offer thanks to trying to flog the GPO’s long-dead horse for so many years without any investment. We have choice of two providers for broadband here – Three and EE – and this is rural.

    Just as well it’s going to be in receipt of 1bn of our money to prop it up and stifle that competition for a few more years.

    Now, how much did BT Sport cost to launch again…?

    1. “Just as well it’s going to be in receipt of 1bn of our money to prop it up and stifle that competition for a few more years.

      Now, how much did BT Sport cost to launch again…?”

      Yes, that thought had crossed my mind as well!

      It is such a, erm…, coincidence that BT having trousered ish a billion pounds of Government money to do what it would have done in a few years anyway then spends north of 700 million on BT Sport which it then offers FREE to its own retail broadband customers.

      I dare say our wonderful friends at Ofcom view this as a good example of competition at work!!

    2. Avatar FibreFred says:

      I wonder how sky’s broadband venture was financed ,via its tv product line maybe? If this is what BT are doing its only the same as sky in reverse

    3. Not if it is being financed on the back of a billion pounds or so of Government handout.

    4. Avatar FibreFred says:

      So areas that were part funded by BDUK should always be exempt from price changes?

    5. Avatar GNewton says:

      @FibreFred: With all due respect, your constantly defending BT here, or the public BDUK scheme handing out so much money to a single company which has no need for it, will come accross as trolling to at least some posters here. wirelesspacman and DTMark have presented some valid points here.

    6. Avatar FibreFred says:

      Again, not defending, a serious question. I’m trying to draw out what wirelesspacman is getting it when it comes to partially funded areas.

      Its not trolling, I know what trolling is I see others on here peddling it every day.

    7. Avatar Roberto says:

      You see trolling daily because 99.9% of it is yours.

  3. Avatar alan says:

    Good job I moved my land line today (sat) to another provider.
    I dont want to subsidise BT Sport etc.
    Like a lot of others I would ditch the land line if it wasnt for the ADSL

  4. Avatar Phil says:

    I had enough with BT greed with profits with line rental cost going up again and line rental saver uip from £129 to to £141 is pretty selfish by BT. I am thinking of joining sky line rental saver (under £120) but not sure if Sky will allow line rental only? They might force u to have something to add on with sky tv or broadband with the phone line.

    I am fed up now with BT. I think the government should FREEZE line rental during contract agreement. Not in the half way.

  5. Avatar bloke says:

    Well for those who don’t want to be extorted, a quick search turned up this:

    I previously had no problem using a Primus landline with BE ADSL product, there may be an element of compatibility risk though.

  6. Avatar dragoneast says:

    It’s what competition is for. But many (most?) people are worried about the “compatibility” of third-party providers even though (apart from fully unbundled Sky and TT lines) it’s just paying a third party for the same BT equipment (WLR) and of course about BT’s repair obligations if you have to report a problem with your line through a third party – which can affect your broadband availability too. This ignorance and these concerns should be addressed by Ofcom, who are supposed to regulate the competitive market. But they think that regulation is the same as looking after the providers interest, and forget about informing or even less looking after the consumer, which responsibility they’ve abdicated to the providers. The only help you get on how to distinguish voice and broadband issues and deal with them is through forums and BT benefits from the resultant inertia – that’s the fault of the entire market and the way it’s regulated by Ofcom which never considers things from the consumer point of view, as far as I can see. The Ofcom monkeys (don’t hear, don’t see, don’t speak) never condescend to justify themselves or respond to criticism, either. Not from Joe Public who pays their wages, anyway. It’s the way with academics and consultants, noses in the air and hands in the till.

    1. Avatar DTMark says:

      Normally the way it works is that if a company does not invest and as a result does not have products or services that people want to buy, it goes out of business.

      Raising prices to compensate for falling revenues in an area is the proverbial nail in the coffin for such a business.

      Unless it’s a monopoly. BT is banking on, for instance, not losing customers to Virgin (not that they have ever been competitive for voice) and customers not scrapping their landlines altogether (they don’t have broadband, but do have a mobile, so that old landline is looking expensive now and all it does is attract junk calls).

      And, for customers who do want broadband, not losing them to Virgin (hence Virgin’s current ad which says “no need for a phone line” – the timing is probably not a coincidence) or 3G/4G as in the example at our house meaning there’s no need to rent a phone line at all. Had we never gone down that route, I’d never have found out just how much faster 3G was/is than ADSL.

    2. Avatar JNeuhoff says:

      DTMark: BT doesn’t work like a business. It is more like a monopoloy company pretending to be a poor charity. If it wasn’t for the various copper broadband services, they’d hardly have any customers left these days.

  7. Avatar Kyle says:

    Seems BT are well aware that consumers realise that BT Sport is the real reason for the increases and are merely passing the hikes as a regular thing. If £700mio hadn’t been squandered on mere rights, would we now be seeing price decreases?

    BT terminology in releases needs to be changed from ‘updating’ and ‘reviewing’ to INCREASING. I have no intention of using BT Sport but now I find myself paying for it, albeit indirectly, and quite frankly, enough is enough. Why on earth do BT assume an annual price rise is acceptable? As for the talk of price decreases, maybe they should start with the products most of us use? No, of course not.

    These call packages they are touting as money saving are no better… after moving from FTTC back to ADSL2+, they still helped themselves to only giving free weekend calls and clawing back the evening calls.

    Just about had enough with their ubiquitous and arrogant attitude. Needless to say, all BT customers are now eligible to leave a contract without financial penalty. Finding an advisor who knows about the law is another matter completely…

    1. Avatar FibreFred says:

      They’d have put up their prices regardless, don’t they ever year?

    2. Avatar netguy says:

      > Why on earth do BT assume an annual price rise is acceptable?

      Because they can? Because they are in a competitive market, where people can choose to use others?

      Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying it is desirable, and in some ways, I feel most sorry for someone elderly who is not online and aware of so much competition. See my other post – 5.99 for line rental and no ‘free’ calls is what I pay.

  8. Avatar GNewton says:

    @FibreFred: It amazes me how your always defend your beloved BT. Are you a BT shareholder? Do you use a landline voice telephony? Or do you use either a VDSL or fibre broadband through a landline?

    1. Avatar FibreFred says:

      How is my comment defending BT. I’m asking a simple question, would they have raised their prices anyway, don’t they raise them every year?

    2. Avatar Roberto says:

      They actually raised them twice in 2012 and 2011 i think you will find. Once being the line rental and the second time being calls.

      Broadband at no stage what i can remember has had a 6.5% rise. So thats obviously to pay for BT Sport as everyone except the stupid realise.

  9. Avatar dragoneast says:

    Everyone has a brain to work out how to get the best out of the services on offer for them. If they don’t or won’t it’s nobody else’s fault. If they haven’t got the time then they have to make the time. It’s not difficult. And it’s a darned sight easier than trying to run (or even trying to ruin) BT’s business for them from your armchair. Oh, and one size doesn’t fit all. I don’t criticise BT; I just don’t pay BT Retail as my supplier. The only difficult bit is making sensible use of what I’ve got.

  10. Avatar JockM says:

    It can’t be down to the launch of BT Sport – because it says so in the press release! Are you all stupid? You lot are too cynical. When was the last time that BT or any of the large ISP’s told us something inaccurate?

  11. Avatar John says:

    Makes no difference who is right or wrong. If they put the prices up there naught anyone can do about it. No good moaning about it. I`m on Option 3 with BT Broadband and at the end of each year I`ve agreed nice new terms with them. My monthly payments can not get any lower or they`d be sending me money :-).
    I`m happy with BT and have been for a long, long, long time. What I pay BT is cheaper than I what I can get off SKY or any of the other ISP`s with the deal I have. So I`m very content.

    P.S. The bundle also includes the telephone which I forgot to add and BT Sports on SKY TV – yes I have SKY TV.

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