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Will BT price increase prompt many customers to leave?

BT is jacking up its prices for phone and broadband services come the autumn, but the good news is that customers can escape from their contract to another service provider without being penalised, as long as they act quickly enough.

As you may be aware if you're a BT customer who has been contacted about this, the price increases are substantial, with broadband set to get 7 per cent more expensive, and with phone line rental and call plans also set to increase at a similar level, as well as the cost of calls to landlines and mobiles.

All this happens come September 20, but as Which observes, thanks to new Ofcom rules, if prices rise you can leave your contract without being penalised – the caveat being that you must do so within 30 days of receiving notification of the increase.

There should, in theory, be no problem in shaking off your contract, although Which does note that if you were told a price hike was coming when you signed up, it could be trickier to switch service providers penalty-free.

BT defended itself and pointed out how much it has been spending, while acknowledging that price rises are never welcome.

John Petter, who heads up BT Consumer, told the Guardian: “BT is investing more than ever to bring our customers the best deals across bundles of line, broadband and TV.

"We have spent billions rolling out superfast fibre broadband to more than 75 per cent of the UK. We realise that customers never welcome price rises, but we have ensured that low-income customers avoid price rises.”

He also noted BT's competitive pricing in certain areas against rivals, such as including 0845 and 0870 calls in inclusive packages, unlike TalkTalk.

Will the price increases lead to a mass departure of customers? There have certainly been some unhappy rumblings on Twitter.

‏@ashley7robinson, to pick out one example, complained: “I can't wait to leave @BTCare @BT Yet another price increase email, first sport now line rental! For a service that is shocking!”

Darren Allan

Darran has over 25 years of experience in digital and magazine publishing as a writer and editor. He's also an author, having co-written a novel published by Little, Brown (Hachette UK). He currently writes news, features and buying guides for TechRadar, and occasionally other Future websites such as T3 or Creative Bloq and he's a copy editor for TechRadar Pro. Darrran has written for a large number of tech and gaming websites/magazines in the past, including Web User and ComputerActive. He has also worked at IDG Media, having been the Editor of PC Games Solutions and the Deputy Editor of PC Home.