BT Confirm UK Line Rental and Phone Call Price Rise for September


Customers of BT’s broadband ISP and phone services may be displeased to learn that the cost of line rental, calling 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, 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). 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. 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, as well as adding more premium TV / sport content and not to mention the new Internet snooping measures or forthcoming automatic compensation system. 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 


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