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

Friday, Jul 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.

By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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