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BT Kicks Off New Round of Annual UK Phone and Broadband Price Hikes

Friday, July 24th, 2015 (4:30 pm) - Score 4,026

Just like clockwork BT has announced a raft of new inflation busting price hikes of around +6-7% (overall) that will hit millions of their phone and broadband customers across the United Kingdom from 20th September 2015, but the rest of the ISP industry is certain to follow.

Admittedly most operators do have to factor the increases in annual inflation into their price adjustments, although more often than not the rises manage to go well above that. But this year CPI Inflation has been virtually flat, sitting as it does at around 0% since January 2015; there was a brief blip of -0.1% in April, then another of +0.1% blip in May, but it was back at 0% for June.

Similarly the underlying wholesale cost of copper line rental has tended to hold fairly steady at around £10 +vat per month and it’s been that way for a long time. As such you’d think that BT wouldn’t strictly need to increase their Phone Line Rental prices this year, but as usual where big commercial businesses are concerned.. you’d be wrong.

John Petter, CEO of BT Consumer, said:

BT is investing more than ever to bring our customers the best deals across bundles of line, broadband and TV. We have spent billions rolling out superfast fibre broadband to more than 75 per cent of the UK.

We’ve also introduced great value BT Mobile offers, which offer the UK’s best value 4G tariffs for BT broadband customers. We realise that customers never welcome price rises, but we have ensured that low-income customers avoid price rises. And we continue to highlight money-saving options for all customers, including those who just want a great value package of a line and calls, such as Home Phone Saver 2018.

We have also introduced a double data offer for broadband customers who sign another contract and free calls to BT Mobiles included in calls packages. Unlike Sky, we still offer a discounted line rental option in Line Rental Saver, and still include 0845 and 0870 calls in our inclusive packages unlike TalkTalk.”

BT typically sets the benchmark for annual line rental and call increases, with all of the other major ISPs tending to following suit at a later date. Unsurprisingly this year is no different and as such the operator’s standard Phone Line Rental charge will rise from £16.99 per month to £17.99.

History of BT Phone Line Rental Rises
2011 = £13.90
2012 = £14.60
2013 = £15.45
2014 = £15.99
2015 (Dec 2014) = £16.99
2016 (September 2015) = £17.99

Phone and Internet providers often use line rental increases as part of a strategy for shifting higher broadband delivery costs (most of us are using more data than before) on to the less well promoted line rental side and this year appears to be no exception. Of course line rental isn’t the only increase and broadband prices will also increase by 6.94%, although the usual special offers may mask some of this.

Customers may also like to note that the Pence Per Minute (PPM) price for calls to UK landlines and 0870 numbers is also increasing from 9.58p to 10.24p and land-line call set-up charges are jumping from 15.97p to 17.07p. In addition, customers with an Unlimited Anytime UK Calls plan will now pay £7.95 instead of £7.45.

Similarly BT said that their annual Line Rental Saver discount will still offer a 10% reduction for customers who pay for a year upfront, which now represents a saving of just £20.40 a year against standard line rental (i.e. equivalent to £16.29 per month vs £15.29 today).

On top of that BT’s Line Rental Plus, which is a premium option that offers priority fault repair and the option to pay by cash or cheque, will be increasing to £19.99, although BT no longer charges £2 extra after scrapping the payment processing fee. Customers on this option benefit from the claim that BT will “attempt” to fix the phone line the next working day.

In addition, BT informs ISPreview.co.uk that they will also be introducing some new products to help customers save money, while retaining some prices in other areas:

Other BT Price Notes and New Discounts

* Free calls to BT Mobile from landlines included in your inclusive calls.
* A ‘double your data’ offer for broadband customers who sign another contract. For example, a broadband customer on a 10Gb allowance would upgrade to a 20Gb allowance for free.
* The AMC channel free for all BT TV customers as it launches in the UK exclusively for BT customers.
* At just £5 a month, BT Broadband customers receive a discount of 50% on their 4G mobile deals.

Home Phone Saver 2018:

Customers who just want a traditional phone service can save £10.30 a month on this £20.99 a month package. It offers line rental, Anytime calls to UK landlines, free Caller Display, free Anonymous Call Reject and the ability to pay by cash or cheque. The price is also fixed until 2018. A similar package from Sky would cost £8.41 a month more and TalkTalk would charge an extra £5.47 a month.

BT Basic + Broadband:

The cost of BT Basic (our phone service for low-income customers) is not changing and remains at £5.10 a month with a call allowance. We also offer these customers the opportunity to add broadband and take advantage of the UK’s cheapest line and broadband bundle at £9.95 a month.

BT notes that the majority of their customers are on inclusive call packages and so don’t pay the set-up fee or ppm charges outlined above on many of their calls (i.e. 80% of all call minutes are now free within inclusive packages).

The operator also claims that their customers’ calls bills have decreased 14% in the last five years, as they’ve moved on to inclusive calls packages, but equally they might simply be making more use of mobile. In any case there are bound to be a fair few unhappy subscribers around.

UPDATE 28th July 2015

We note that some price increases were absent from the news above (overlooked), although we’ve summarised them below. Customers should also remember that price hikes like the ones above give you the right to cancel your contract penalty free.

* Calls to Mobiles from a BT Landlines to increase from 12.77ppm to 13.65ppm.
* Paper Bills will increase from £1.59 to £1.70.

Leave a Comment
33 Responses
  1. Ignition says:

    The huge amount they’re spending on sports rights has to be recouped somehow.

  2. Balb0wa says:

    No such thing as free sports is there, seems people who don’t want it are paying for it now.

    Its getting a bit silly 7-8% increase is not on.

  3. cyclope says:

    BT sports a sure fire loss leader then there’s their broadband offers , But why should those customers who have neither their poxy filtered to death excuse of a bb service or and its loss leading TV services Be hammered so BT can subsidise for those services that they don’t have or even want? How TF is that fair to loyal line rental customers ?
    I for one will be seeking a cheaper line rental provider and i urge everyone else to do the same as profits are the only thing BT consumer give a toss about clearly

  4. adslmax Real says:

    Disgraceful as it time to called the government to banned line rental increase!

  5. mrpops2ko says:

    I wonder if it is possible to get out of the contract if they are increasing the price mid contract then?

    I rang them up recently and had quite a go at them about the change of BT sports app from being free to being £5 a month or free as part of BT TV (we dont have BT TV). I argued that it was the sole reason for me choosing BT but the representative was having none of it (and wouldn’t let me leave my contract).

    I’ve noticed a great deal lock in from SSE at £12.50 a month line rental and £12.50 a month for broadband, locked in for 2 years. Which is something I would certainly jump at.

    1. DanielM says:

      i got the sse deal and it’s awesome 🙂 you can also get a free static IP (which i use).

    2. DanielM says:

      i also got £120 cashback from topcashback!

    3. Bob2002 says:

      @DanielM

      Tell me more about your experience with SSE? Or even better start a thread in the forum. 🙂

      My questions include –

      – Aren’t you worried about their traffic management?

      – What’s customer service like?

      – The minimum contract is actually 18 months, while the price fix is for two years – correct?

      – I was told twice in online chat by SSE customer service that they don’t provide static IPs, how did you get yours?

    4. DanielM says:

      @Bob2002

      1. What traffic management? i have not come across any restrictions yet.
      2. Very good once you get speaking to the right people, but they are UK based which helps.
      3. Yes.
      4. those on online chat are merely sales not very technical, you simply ask for it via technical support.

    5. Bob2002 says:

      @DanielM

      This traffic management –

      Product and Charges Information – SSE Superfast and SSE Ultrafast Fibre Broadband

      “Traffic types are identified in real-time based on a combination of port, source IP address and DPI signature detection. This allows our network operator at any given time to manage the network capacity and prioritise time sensitive traffic by reducing the throughput of the other less time sensitive protocols.”

      I had traffic management a long time ago on Plusnet and although you can mitigate it with encryption it can be a pain.

    6. DanielM says:

      i have not come across it. (but i know the wording exists in KFI)

    7. mrpops2ko says:

      Further to this I called them up. Due to the price hike, you are free to leave BT if you are under contract (tbh it just makes smart sense to play the field and move to another provider for free, because you’ll be eligible for another round of free vouchers / cash / whatever stackable deals you can find).

      You have 30 days to leave BT before the price hike.

      Here is the snippet from the BT email I got, which states you can leave for free no charges. http://i.imgur.com/yUKP41E.png

      The guy on the phone was great, the call took like 2-3 mins in total and I was done.

      Like someone mentioned, SSE (£12 line rental per month guaranteed for 2 years) and £12.50 for 80/20 (again 2 years price lock in). On top of that you can get the topcashback offer of £126. Great offer all round.

  6. cyclope says:

    A 2yr min term and fully llu no thank’s to both of them,i can get line rental with caller id for £14 per month no contract tie in’s

  7. finaldest says:

    BT got everyone by the short and curls. No wonder they don’t want to invest in next gen services as they can sweat every last cent out of the copper network and keep the cash rolling in.

    Most of us need broadband but can only get it via Openreach network unless there is access to an altnet. VM and the smaller isp’s tend to follow suit also. This is what happens with a monopoly.

    Guess we all have to just suck it up or go offline.

  8. Kits says:

    I only pay £13 a month for line rental not changed since I moved to them, also monthly contract for phone line.

    1. adslmax Real says:

      tell me more please

  9. Matthew says:

    Then BT wonder why more people are using their mobiles thesedays.

    Probably because you can get cheaper calls via the mobile networks and if you happen to be one of those people who has to have the latest you probably have a contract with more inclusive calls than most people know what to do with.

  10. Matthew says:

    Opps it that should read you happen to be one of those people who has to have the latest “Insert shiny expensive device here” but It seems the forum removed it thinking it was code

  11. Bob2002 says:

    .

  12. Bob2002 says:

    @DanielM

    This traffic management –

    Product and Charges Information – SSE Superfast and SSE Ultrafast Fibre Broadband

    “Traffic types are identified in real-time based on a combination of port, source IP address and DPI signature detection.This allows our network operator at any given time to manage the network capacity and prioritise time sensitive traffic byreducing the throughput of the other less time sensitive protocols.”

    https://www.sse.co.uk/help/phone-and-broadband/regulations-broadband#item1

    I had traffic management a long time ago on Plusnet and although you can mitigate it with encryption it can be a pain.

    1. Bob2002 says:

      No need to display this comment, I already replied to DanielM …

      Mark, your comment submission system refused to display this post, and others, when I submitted it. As far as I can work out it’s because of the URL, when that was removed the comment was displayed. You need to improve the comment submission process.

    2. Mark Jackson says:

      Hi Bob. It’s the CMS’s system, sometimes triggers on URLs due to anti-spam detection, much like email filtering does. Sadly it’s out of my scope to “fix” and works 99% of the time; the rest we can usually manually approve, as with the one above.

      Sometimes we also have to switch the system into a restrictive mode in order to filter out the usual abusive troll / TOR postings and excess spam, at which point some posts will require manual approval before appearing.

  13. Darren Reid says:

    When you are a monopoly you will charge whatever price you can get away with. This has nothing to do with BT sport. Even if they dropped BT sport, they would maintain current line rental charges and increases would continue. Line rental increases should be capped with inflation. No need to separate openreach and BT retail, far easier just to cap line rental.

  14. FibreFred says:

    Openreach line rental hadn’t increased had it ? Broadband is available from other ISP’s

  15. Kits says:

    Openreach prices haven’t risen just the large companies that offer free, cheaper than cost or gift vouches to entice customers in.

    Remember if you take a cheaper offer like those some poor person perhaps worse off than you is helping to pay your bill. Plus don’t complain when your line rental keeps going up as that is how BT recoup the losses.

    Line rental monthly contract £13 a month compared with BT’s £17.99 long contract who is really mad here BT because they know they have you trapped or you for signing up.

  16. sarah forsyth says:

    I wish they would offer the option of buying the line outright.

    I wouldn’t mind running the risk of having to pay the cost of an engineer’s visit against the certainty of(£17.99 x 12) £215.88 bill.

    I think a reasonable price for buying the line would be £600.

    1. FibreFred says:

      How would you maintain it all the way back to the exchange and pay for the power?

    2. sarah forsyth says:

      In the same way that other utilities offer insurance products for repairing leaking pipes etc… I imagine a similar sort of cover could be organised for phone lines.

      I understand that the electricity supplied to power the phoneline is quite small, if providers wanted to make up the wattage charges they could probably have a wattage fee running alongside whatever tariff people buy for those who had bought their lines.

    3. FibreFred says:

      Leaking pipes in your home sure… but what about issues at the pole, the cabinet, back to the exchange.

      It’s not feasible.

  17. Kits says:

    @ ADSLMax I moved my phone from BT when the contract was up almost 2 years ago found I was over paying them by paying for the free evening and weekend calls since paying for calls now it is very rear it hits the £4 mark. Line rental was £13 when I moved it is still a BT line I just go via the smaller company one that charges the correct rates. When BT raise their charges mine have stayed the same the only time I expect it to rise is if Openreach increase the charges which they haven’t.

    To be fair you should expect tricks like this after all they are using incentives to get customers tied to long contracts which do have to be paid for via some other way. Their easiest way is by the phone line charges and call charges, with BT you all get charged a connection fee I don’t.

  18. PhilB says:

    Each year the user is being overcharged to subsidise BT sports as it keeps trying to outbid Sky.Nothing more than pirates.

  19. Paul Johnson says:

    I dont want bloody sport or tv channel, just prices going down for a change.why does the customer have no rights, our family has been with bt for over 40years now, I think we must have paid for the copper wire coming into the house by now , superfast broadband? Sorry seems the same to me, there quicker at putting up prices

  20. Roger Rowley says:

    Why charge so much for the line rental + with virgin using fibre optic cables isn’t it about time b t had the same thing right into the house ? Instead of using the users as cash cows 24/7

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