BT is set to increase its phone and broadband prices by as much as 6.5 per cent this December in a move that will be met with criticism from many of its long-standing customers and other groups.
The British telecoms giant made the announcement earlier today that includes an increase in line rental for direct debit customers by 6.25 per cent to £16.99 and the rate for calling UK landlines will rise by 6.44 per cent.
Broadband prices, meanwhile, will rise by up to 6.49 per cent though the company did add that its “high profile” broadband offers advertised in the press and on television are staying at the same price.
The price rises also include the set-up fee for landline calls, residential calls, speaking clock calls and call return charges increasing for some or all BT customers. BT did add that most of its customers wouldn’t be affected by set-up fee or pence-per-minute increases due to the nature of inclusive call packages that many are on.
BT’s decision apparently won’t hit the poorest hardest with BT Basic staying at the same £5.10 a month with inclusive call allowances, and John Petter, chief executive of BT Consumer confirmed that low income households wont be targeted by the price hikes.
"We have taken care to make sure that low-income customers avoid price increases,” he told the BBC. "We have added extra money-saving options for low-income customers and for customers who only want a phone line for calls.”
Petter did add that the company’s overall bills have fallen by some 14 per cent over the last five years and it follows a similar move by its competitor Sky to increase a handful of tariffs next month.
This hasn’t stopped the critics rounding on BT with Gillian Guy from Citizens Advice telling the Perth Gazette “even a small increase in phone and broadband bills could have a big impact on family finances.”