Leading UK telecommunications provider BT is planning to raise prices for its home phone and broadband customers, with prices rising by up to 6.5%. The price increases are set to come into effect later this year, and will affect many of the company's 7.3 million customers.
The cost of a BT landline, which is required for customers taking its broadband service, will increase by £1 to £16.99 per month. This means that customers will now be paying £203.88 a year simply for the facility of having a home phone line, on top of any applicable call charges, or increases fees for other services, such as broadband internet.
In fact, the company is also increasing its broadband charges by as much as 6.49% which, as The Guardian notes, is almost four times the current rate of inflation. BT chief executive John Petter nonetheless insisted that his company is "sensitive to the tough economic times".
There will be some opportunities to save, however. Customers paying for a full year of landline service in advance will be charged £170, saving over £30 a year, and BT has also launched a new 'Home Phone Saver' tariff for £19.99 a month. The new plan, intended for the 2.6 million customers who only use a landline with no other BT services, includes the monthly home phone charge, along with free calls to other landlines.
BT Basic, the company's affordable plan for low-income customers, will not be affected by the price increases, and will remain at £5.10 per month.
The new pricing structure will come into effect on December 1st. BT advises that if you are unhappy with the price rises, "you may cancel your services without penalty", as long as "you contact us within 30 calendar days of receiving your personal notification" of the changes.