BT has announced price rises affecting BT mobile, broadband and TV customers in the UK.
The rises, which are largely above the rate of inflation, include an additional charge of 1p per minute on both mobile and landline calls; £2 per month on basic broadband; and £2.50 per month on BT Infinity fibre.
Line rental is frozen at £18.99 per month, but call setup-fees have gone by 2p to 21p per call. Anytime call plans will go up by 49p to £8.99 per month, with evening and weekend call plans are up by 30p to £3.80 per month. Call features such as call minder go up by 25p, though there is no change to BT Privacy and caller display.
BT TV will no longer be free for basic subscribers, and will now cost £3.50 per month, though mid- and top-level BT TV packages are unaffected. BT Sport goes up £1.50 per month, and non-BT broadband customers who watch BT Sport on their Sky box will see a rise of £1 per month.
BT’s announcement said ‘Like our major rivals, we’re due to make some price changes, most of which will come into force on April 2. But, unlike our major rivals, we’re telling the media about them directly and offering some advice on how customers can still get the best value.'
'Our approach is to offer customers more for their money again this year and to keep up the momentum on service improvements by promising that we’ll proactively give customers compensation if we fail to live up to our service targets. We’ve also introduced a free defence against nuisance calls and promise to answer 90 per cent of our customers’ calls in the UK and Ireland, rather than abroad.'
BT Consumer chief executive John Petter (pictured) said: ‘Customers will get a better package and improved service from us this year in exchange for paying a little more. Millions will have the chance to upgrade to faster broadband and almost a million will be able to upgrade to enjoy unlimited usage for no extra cost. As usual, we've taken care of low income customers by freezing the price of BT Basic and capping call costs. We've also frozen line rental, which will particularly help customers who only take a traditional phone service from us.’
But Dan Howdle, consumer telecoms expert at Cable.co.uk, said ‘This affects every one of BT's customers to a lesser or greater extent and is in my opinion completely unjustified. These price hikes are absurd in contrast to current rates of inflation and, quite rightly, I would expect BT customers to be fuming.’
'Customers should remember that under current rules, in the event of a price hike, they have the right to switch out of their contract free of charge. As a BT customer you do get a vote in this – but it's a vote with your feet.'