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UK ISP PlusNet Unveil Fresh Broadband and Phone Price Hikes for 2016

Monday, June 27th, 2016 (6:39 pm) - Score 1,489

Budget Internet provider PlusNet has today followed BT’s earlier April 2016 announcement (here) by unveiling their own round of annual price hikes to broadband and phone services, which will hit from 1st September 2016. But it’s not all bad news.

As usual the headline changes involve the standard monthly line rental charge, which will rise from £16.99 to £17.99 per month. Similarly many of PlusNet’s calling plan add-ons will cost an extra 50p per month on top of the existing price.

Another big change is that existing customers on the ISP’s ‘up to’ 38Mbps “Unlimited Fibre” (FTTC) broadband package (this is the old option with 19Mbps uploads instead of the now downgraded 2Mbps that new subscribers receive) will be moved to a new ‘up to’ 52Mbps (9.4Mbps) profile (i.e. copying parent BT’s earlier move).

PlusNet Statement

Over the past year we’ve been working really hard to make improvements to our products and services that will make your experience as a Plusnet customer better than ever.

We’ve invested in our network to make it even more reliable, we’ve re-written and re-vamped all of our Help & Support content so it’s even easier for you to find answers to your questions, and we’ve launched a new and improved Community site where you can talk to other Plusnet users and get tips and advice.

Most importantly of all, we’ve been investing in staff to make sure we’re always available to answer your calls or chats at our UK call centres.

All this investment means that from time to time we have to make price increases so that we’re able to continue providing you with an award-winning service.

It’s worth pointing out that the underlying wholesale cost of line rental remains fairly flat, sitting as it does at around £10 per month. Similarly the rate of inflation (RPI) continues to struggle to deliver much above 1% and thus isn’t to blame.

However ISPs also have other costs to consider, not least the impact of new Government rules and an “unlimited” usage centric customer base with constantly rising data demands. All of that extra data costs a lot of money and ISPs have to balance the books somewhere.

On the other hand there is one important bit of good news, which is that PlusNet has frozen the cost of their annual pre-paid Line Rental Saver discount. The related service remains at £185.88 in advance for 12 months line rental, which works out at the equivalent of £15.49 a month.

Price and product changes – 1st September 2016
The following pricing and product changes will apply from 1st September 2016 as set out below:-

  • Line rental will increase from £16.99 per month to £17.99 per month.
  • For existing customers:-
    • the Evening and Weekends call plans will increase from £3.00 per month to £3.50 per month.
    • the Anytime call plans will increase from £6.00 per month to £6.50 per month.
  • We will introduce two new call plans for new and existing customers:-
    • Evening & Weekend UK & Mobile Calls at £4.00 per month.
    • Unlimited UK & Mobile Calls at £8.00 per month.

    For new Plusnet phone customers, the Evening and Weekends and Anytime call plans will no longer be available. Existing Plusnet phone customers can sign-up to the new call plans from 1st September. For more details on the new call plans, please see our FAQ.

  • For Plusnet Unlimited broadband only customers, Unlimited broadband only customers and Value broadband only customers:-
    • Plusnet Unlimited broadband will increase for existing customers from £12.49 per month to £13.49 per month for customers in low cost areas (otherwise from £19.49 per month to £20.49 per month).
    • Unlimited broadband will increase for new and existing customers from £12.49 per month to £13.49 per month for customers in low cost areas (otherwise from £19.99 per month to £20.99 per month).
    • Value broadband (no longer available to new customers) will increase from £7.99 per month to £8.99 per month for customers in low cost areas (otherwise from £14.49 per month to £15.49 per month).
  • For Essentials broadband and phone customers and Value broadband and phone customers:-
    • Essentials broadband will increase from £5.99 per month to £6.99 per month for customers in low cost areas (otherwise from £12.99 per month to £13.99 per month).
    • Value broadband will increase from £6.49 per month to £7.49 per month for customers in low cost areas (otherwise from £12.99 per month to £13.99 per month).
  • Our call set up fee will increase from 16p to 19p.
  • Geographic call charges to 01, 02 and 03 will increase from 10p per minute to 12.54p per minute, and mobile call charges will decrease from 13p per minute to 12.54p per minute.
  • Our engineer charge will increase from £50 to £65.
  • Our early termination charges will change. How much depends on your package.

As usual Ofcom’s rule means that consumers who face mid-contract price hikes like this have the option of being able to exit their contract penalty free, but remember that the other big ISPs tend to follow suit.

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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 Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
Leave a Comment
8 Responses
  1. Gareth says:

    I’m surprised nobody’s been on yet to blame this on #Brexit LOL

    1. sentup.custard says:

      “Bloody Romanians coming over here and using our phones, pushing the price up for the rest of us!” 😉

    2. sentup.custard says:

      OK, OK – I’m told that some people in France have been kicking a bit of leather around to our detriment and I need to amend that…
      “Bloody Icelandics coming over here and using our phones…” 😉

    3. Captain Cretin says:

      Bloddy BT, comming over here and pratending to be Yorkshiemen…..

      BTW, a friend was aghast to discover his “cheap” fibre and free phonecalls package was actually costing him more per month than my “Premium” ISP package with NO free calls.

  2. RobertRM says:

    Sneaky buggers, they just did a new deal with me starting in July and now they are going to put it up in September, time to say no and look around!

  3. Evan Crissall says:

    Ouch! Plusnet not really a budget brand any more.

    The truth laid bare — BT’s real purpose in acquiring Plusnet. To obtain a low-end provider, without damaging its existing operations in the lucrative high- and mid-end of the broadband market.

    Now it’s slyly nudging up Plusnet prices to really gouge the grunts. Exploiting customer ignorance and inertia. Same old same old from BT Group.

    That new “call setup fee” of 19p (plus VAT?) is particularly eye-watering.

    Plusnet — one to avoid.

    1. cvb says:

      Blimey – have you only just realised the standard business tactic of having various outlet channels from your product – all priced differently to attract different sections of the population.

      For other examples: Kingfisher Group own both B&Q (high priced diy) and Screwfix (trade).
      Travis Perkins operate as a builder merchants under their own name and also own Wickes and Toolstation.

      Then there are the pro ebay sellers who sell both in person at trade counters, oneline via their own website and via also via an ebay shop – and the prices for the same part in each of the 3 outlet channels are all different.

      Encouraging customers to buy your product with offers and then nudging up the prices while downgrading the offer knowing that most will not leave/go elsewhere is also almost universal business practice – I do it myself!

  4. Vaughan Shayler says:

    Apparently OFCOM have told PlusNet that they can’t sell the Line Rental Saver with the Unlimited UK & Mobile Calls plan because its anti-competitive.

    That’s what I’ve just been told. So its either the Line Rental Saver and stay on my legacy plan that doesn’t include calls to mobiles, or pay monthly line rental and get the new call plan.


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