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BT Confirm UK Phone and Broadband Price Rise for September 2018 UPDATE

Monday, June 25th, 2018 (1:21 pm) - Score 4,339
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Customers of BT’s broadband ISP and phone services may be displeased to learn that the cost of line rental, calling, internet and certain pay TV add-ons will be hit by yet another price increase from 16th September 2018. For example, standard phone line rental will go from £18.99 to £19.99 (+5.27%).

The last major price rise announcement occurred in November 2017 (here), with the resulting impact hitting in January 2018, although that one mostly focused upon their broadband packages, as well as certain call charges, and left line rental largely unscathed (hardly surprising as it followed so soon after Ofcom’s agreement to cut the price by -£7 per month for BT’s landline-only customers – here).

Fast forward several months and BT now appears to be unveiling another raft of price increases, which broadly seem to impact the bits that were left off their January 2018 increase and some broadband plans. A message on the operator’s website simply states as follows.

Find out about our 16 September 2018 Price Changes

We’re changing some of our landline, broadband, TV and Sport prices on 16 September 2018. We’ll be writing to you between June and August to let you know about the price changes, with a clear breakdown of how each of your products will be affected.

We’ll send you either a letter or an email. If you get an email it will be from bt.athome@ecomms.bt.com

If you only take landline services from us and already have our Line Only Discount, this will not change. Check out Reduced rental for landline only customers for more information.

We know that no-one likes price changes, but this allows us to upgrade our services and give you more. Every customer will see improvements to their products and services alongside these changes.

The website notice then continues on the highlight the following increases, but these are NOT the only changes.

BT’s Price Increases for September 2018

Call set up fee is rising to 23p

Weekday calls are rising to 15p/min

International calls will increase from 50p to 55p for countries in Band A, 80p to 85p for Band B and 140p to 145p for Band C

Unlimited Anytime calls to mobiles from your landline are going up from 8.5p to 9p a minute

Calls to mobiles from your landline are going up from 17p to 18p a minute

Calls to 0870 and 0845 numbers from your landline are going up from 13p to 15p a minute

Timeline per use is going up from 45p to 50p

Reminder Call per use is going up from 60p to 65p

Call Return per use going up from 30p to 35p

Ring-Back per use is going up from 60p to 65p

BT Answer 1571 is going to up from £3 to £3.50 per month

Friends & Family International is going up from £1.65 to £2

International Freedom is going up from £7.80 to £8.50

A quick look through BT’s Residential Tariff document confirms that Standard Line Rental and Line Rental Plus will both also be increasing by +£1 extra per month. The operator’s Early Termination Charges (ETC) for various phone and broadband packages will also be increasing (only applicable to those who cancel before their contract is up), while those who like ‘Paper Bills’ will now have to pay £3 extra instead of £2.50.

On top of that the cost of adding Sky Cinema to your BT Pay TV service will go from £13.50 to a whopping £16 in September, while adding Sky Sports will increase from £27.50 to £30 for non-HD channels and from £33.50 to £36 for HD channels. There are other changes but the above ones reflect their core increases.

BT claims that they are doing this in order to further improve their services, such as by launching new solutions like BT Plus (bringing fibre broadband and 4G together), BT Call Protect and bringing customer support back to the UK. Consumers are also gobbling ever more data but that’s of greater relevance to broadband, which isn’t such a factor today. Suffice to say that service improvements cost money and ultimately the customer will always end up paying.

Providers are also under pressure to adopt all sorts of new rules and regulations, such as the system for sending millions of warning emails (“subscriber alerts“) for Internet copyright infringement (here), as well as adding more premium TV / sport content and not to mention the new Internet snooping measures (here) or forthcoming automatic compensation system (here).

Rising inflation is also another factor, although many of today’s rises go above the current level of inflation and that might actually be a blessing in disguise. Ofcom’s rule against mid-contract price hikes means that some customers should be able to exit their contract penalty free (you need to do this within 30 days of the notification), but remember that other major ISPs will also be increasing their prices in the same way.

Alternatively customers of BT could try calling the operator on 0800 085 7346 to try and haggle for a lower price (Retentions – Tips for Cutting Your Broadband Bill Without Switching ISP).

UPDATE 26th June 2018

By the looks of it BT has been a bit sneaky and some of their broadband packages will also be increasing, even though this wasn’t mentioned in their Tariff Guide.

bt_broadband_price_changes

The fact that this is essentially two price increases within 12 months is not something that will go unnoticed by their subscribers.

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he is also the founder of ISPreview since 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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31 Responses
  1. Skyrocket

    ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. BLOODY GREEDY BT

  2. Captain.Cretin

    Still working to a 9 month year I see; same as the last few “years”.

    Perhaps they should re-adjust their contracts to allow for the same – ie a 2 year contract is actually 18 months.

  3. Meadmodj

    Automatic price rises annoy customers. I can only assume BT needs to generate revenue to fund the PSTN replacement but I think it is a short sighted unless they purposely want PSTN demand to decline. I am currently trialling a box that allows me to make and receive calls via my mobile from my corded landline telephone. These are are not very common in the UK but they will be if BT keeps misreading the market like they are.

    • GNewton

      I am quite surprised to see that there are still so many customers using BT’s PSTN services.

    • Meadmodj

      Historic and that currently most broadband services have to include the copper line rental. So the call packages are an incremental cost. As the market has become used to mobile with free minutes, texts and data allowance then people don’t need to worry so much who they are calling. In contrast BT’s land line call packages come with a sting. For instance you might get free 1471 but if you select ring back you will be charged the full rate even if the number would normally be included in your package. In addition ringing mobile numbers costs more. So more and more people are moving to mobile and leaving their BT (and VM) phone line idol or incoming only. Hence why for my wife’s part time work I am using the box so she simply connects the phone to her mobile and uses her unlimited mobile minutes. But don’t give up on the land line just yet as its the only resilient service in an emergency.

    • Ian

      BT is now the ONLY major landline provider to NOT offer inclusive calls to mobile numbers on at least their Unlimited Anytime (or equivalent) call packages. This cannot persist for much longer.

      The termination rate for calls to UK mobile numbers is now 0.49p (£0.0049) per minute. This is lower than the termination rate for calls to 03 numbers, which is currently 0.56p (£0.0056) per minute.

  4. arf

    Wasn’t that long ago phone line rental was £10/mth.

    Guess I’ll be leaving my contract and bouncing to another provider for cashback.

  5. mb

    A price rise means a penalty-free early exit, quite possibly to another BT subsidiary.

    I got 230 quid cashback last time I switched to BT, looks like I’ll be leaving after 5 months, so that works out at 4 quid a month for VDSL+line rental…

  6. John

    “We know that no-one likes price changes”
    Don’t put them up then!

    “but this allows us to upgrade our services and give you more.”
    I don’t want “more” I want the same service and price I signed up to. The only thing I’m unhappy about is your prices going up mid contract for no reason.

    “Every customer will see improvements to their products and services alongside these changes.”
    I very much doubt that.

    By all means create new features and products, don’t use me to develop and implement them though. If when they launch and I want them I’ll pay for them. OK?

    So annoyed.

  7. Optimist

    I predict that many of those who don’t have broadband but do have mobile phones will discontinue their landlines as a result.

  8. georgie

    It costs me 3p per minute to make a call on my mobile (3), with no “setup” charge. Come on BT you are blatantly ripping off people who use a landline, how OFCOM allow this I will never know. But then the dinosaur did eventually become extinct. Do I mean BT or OFCOM, well you decide.

    • StevenNT

      I’ve seen the same, I’ve not yet got a confirmation email but wondering if this is enough information to switch ISP penalty free? I’m looking to move ISP anyway and wondering if this is my golden opportunity to move.

  9. Ian

    Call set-up fees are a rip-off – pure profiteering. There is no per-call element in the respective termination charges for calls to landline or mobile numbers. Ofcom has banned call set-up fees on calls to 084, 087, 09 and 118 numbers. We await an equivalent ban on such charges for calls to 01, 02, 03 and 07 numbers.

    It’s worth noting that BT remains the ONLY major landline provider to NOT offer inclusive calls to mobile numbers in at least their Anytime Unlimited, or equivalent, call plans. This is despite the termination rate for calls to mobile numbers now being lower than the termination rate for calls to 03 numbers – which are always inc!uded in allowances. Indeed, many of the minor landline providers now offer inclusive calls to mobile numbers. BT is now years behind.

    Outside of inclusive allowances, there is no reason for calls to mobile numbers to cost any more than calls to geographic numbers starting 01 and 02 and non-geographic numbers starting 03. BT charging extra for calls to mobile numbers is yet more profiteering.

    The part about 0845 and 0870 numbers in the announcement is incorrect. It should say “The Access Charge for calling 084, 087, 09 and 118 numbers is …”. BT has made the same error in every announcement since July 2015. Whoever wrote the press release is obviously unfamiliar with the “Access Charge plus Service Charge” system that was introduced on 1 July 2015.

    All of the price changes are way above current inflation rates and way beyond reasonable.

  10. Paul

    Yes!!! Only signed up in January because of the 130 prepaid card and the 70 cash back I’m gone, I don’t know why bt give out 18 month contracts they always increasing there prices, will move and when that new isp raises there prices will move again these price rises do help some people

  11. James

    Quick question – does this mean that you can leave BT mid contract without charges as they have increased the price?

    • StevenNT

      Yes as far as I know as long as they have informed you, which I’m yet to receive from BT myself via letter or email. What I’m wondering is now it’s on the website at http://www.bt.com/myprices is that enough to move. Does anyone know?

    • Mark

      @StevenNT

      You can’t do anything until they tell you. I just did an online chat & their advisers don’t even know of the price increases yet by the looks of it. I had to inform him!

      I wondering who to switch to.

    • StevenNT

      @Mark

      Oh right, I’ll hold fire until I get an email about it (hopefully very soon) and then pounce when it arrives.

      I’ve already decided who I’m going to and got a call back pre-arranged tomorrow for a provisional order date, hopefully BT will have “announced” it by then.

    • Mark

      @StevenNT

      Out of interest, who you planning on going with?

    • StevenNT

      @Mark

      Virgin Media via a friends referal scheme

    • Yogesh Kotecha

      YES, Keep an eye out for the email and letter. You got 30 days from when they send it.

  12. Robert Scriven

    I dont mind price rises if i get a better service, ie faster speeds, i will be stuck on 19mb forever, nearly a mile from the green cab and no gfast pods on poles here.

    Same old same old, those close to cabs get faster and faster, and those slighlty out of the way are left behind. Maybe 50 houses on our road, all in the same boat.

    • Jerry

      Only slightly? It gets worse for people who are not close to a cabinet. Prices increase yet get promised of better services etc.. I’ll believe it when I see it.

      Stuck on 2Mbps here. The excitement ensues.

  13. Zack

    wow thats a great news for me. I got a new 18 month contract from bt in feb 18, received my quidco of £80 and a gift card around £125. Was forced to leave my house last month by the rogue landlord and the moving charges were £150 for new place….. I can early exit without any penalties now. LOL

    • Aleksandra

      Can you write to me how to break such a contract? I have an identical 18 month contract. My landlord stopped the agreement. When do you have to do it? Can I already? Do I have to write or just call or chat ?

  14. Aleksandra

    Can you write to me how to break such a contract? I have an identical 18 month contract. My landlord stopped the agreement. When do you have to do it? Can I already? Do I have to write or just call or chat ?

    • Yogesh Kotecha

      When you get the email/letter you can call them up and tell them you are cancelling. But it must be done within 30 days.

  15. Ian

    I got the letter today my infinity 1 is going up £2.50 a month from September. Confirmed I can leave penalty free and already had and spent my £130 reward card and £95 cashback. Only been with them a few months, left Plusnet after a few months after having cashback off them and only went with them cos bt put their prices up. Because of these prices rises I’m sure I’m in credit with my broadband by quite a bit! It’s crazy

    • StevenNT

      I called up despite not having an email or letter but must be due to arrive very soon, but they let me cancel penalty free as I said it’s on bt.com/myprices also it took ages to get though so must have lots of calls about this topic.

  16. LalD

    Coincidently, I am having an argument with BT right now about their totally unreliable fibre right now! I called them yesterday to tell them I was going to cancel my contract first chance I got (which is March next year), but with this 30 day notice email about to come out, I can get out a lot earlier. Sometimes bad news, can be good!

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