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BT price increase 2023 — what can customers do?

Find out what you can do if you're affected by BT's 2023 broadband price increase.
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BT is expected to increase its monthly prices by nearly 15% on 31st March 2023. This is the largest the UK has seen for broadband in decades, after combining the latest CPI inflation rate of 10.5% with BT's built-in price increase of 3.9%.

However, if you’re a BT customer, you may have agreed to an annual price rise when you signed up, as it's often part of BT's terms and conditions. This means it's unlikely you’ll be able to cancel your contract without having to pay an expensive exit fee.

Customers of BT’s other broadband brands, Plusnet and EE Broadband, are subject to the same annual price increase percentage on the 31st March. Read more about the Plusnet and EE price increase below.

In this guide, we’ll talk you through these price increases, why they’re happening and what you can do about them.

Which BT customers are affected?

The annual BT price increase affects the majority of its residential broadband customers, as the policy is now part of its T&Cs. All new BT customers who signed up or re-contracted with BT after September 2020 would have been subject to an annual price increase in line with inflation plus an additional 3.9%.

This means that you won’t be able to end your contract early without paying an early termination fee. However, you might find that if you're approaching the end of your contract, you could save money overall by paying a few months' worth of early exit fees and moving onto a cheaper broadband deal.

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In 2022, BT Sport prices increased by £1 per month, but price increases aren't built into its terms and conditions so there might be no price rise for it this year.

Which BT customers are exempt from the price rise?

Customers who BT has classed as vulnerable will not experience this price increase. This includes people using the following broadband and phone services:

  • BT Home Essentials

  • BT Home Phone Saver

  • BT Basic

Plusnet and EE price increase

Since Plusnet and EE are both part of BT Group, customers of these providers will see a price increase at the same level as BT’s.

Plusnet’s price increases for 2022 have provisionally been set based on the latest CPI rate, with a 14.4% hike in bills for mid-contract customers using its services too.

How much is the BT price increase?

BT’s terms and conditions state that its prices will increase annually at the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rate of inflation, plus 3.9%.

Since the current CPI rate is a staggering 10.5%, the total increase amounts to 9.3%. The extra amount you have to pay will depend on how much you currently spend on your BT services:

Current monthly costIncrease amount (10.5% + 3.9%)Annual extra cost
£10£1.44£17.28
£20£2.88£34.56
£35£5.04£60.48
£50£7.20£86.40
£75£10.80£129.60

BT will likely soon start to contact customers individually to tell them the exact prices they’ll be charged. So be sure to look out for an email or letter from BT soon that’ll detail your own price increase.

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What can BT customers do?

If BT’s annual price rise affects you, you likely won’t be able to cancel your contract or switch without paying an early termination fee. The annual price hike is detailed in its terms and conditions, which means you would have agreed to it when you signed up.

However, if you’ve been on your current BT contract for around two years or more, you might be able to switch or re-contract for free if your initial contract period has run out. If this has happened, you already would have had your bill increased significantly, because BT adds a further price rise once you fall out of contract.

If you think you’re out of contract with BT, you can compare broadband deals from other providers to see if you’d benefit from a cheaper, faster broadband connection.

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BT annual price increases support network and service improvements

The message from BT is that the price increase is necessary in order to stave off rising operational costs, as well as to invest in the BT network and improve the service it can bring to its customers.

Nick Lane, managing director of consumer customer services at BT, said in 2022:

“Price rises are never popular, but are sometimes a necessary part of business, if we’re to keep up with the rising costs we face and ensure we can continue to deliver a brilliant network experience as customers’ usage of data grows month on month.

We’ve thought long and hard about how we make sure that any pricing changes are predictable, clear, and not unfairly focussed on our existing customers, but reflected in our new prices too.

BT end of contract price increases

BT’s annual price increase isn’t the only hike you should expect while you’re using its services. As we mentioned above, BT will significantly increase your prices — much higher than its annual rate — once you fall out of contract with them.

The good news is that once your contract with BT ends, you are free to re-contract onto a new deal or switch your service to a provider that offers a better deal for you.

As your contract comes to an end, you should receive a notification from your provider beforehand telling you that your fixed-term is ending. This is your opportunity to avoid an even larger bill increase as you move onto out of contract prices.

So whether your end date is approaching, or your fixed-term has already ended, you need to decide whether you want to start a new package or switch to another provider.

Once you receive your notification, you should compare broadband deals to see if you could be getting a broadband service that’s better suited (and better priced) for you.

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Search on Uswitch to find the right broadband package for you.

How much is the end of contract price increase?

According to our own research in December 2022, monthly prices for BT deals could increase by a further 15-20% once you fall out of contract, depending on the package you use and the time you bought it.

To give you an idea of how much that is, if you pay about £29.99 per month for your service, that’s a difference of almost £7 per month.

This is why it’s so important to know when your contract is ending and to look for a new deal when that date starts to approach. It will help you avoid another huge jump in your monthly outgoings, and you could benefit from finding an even better service than what you currently pay for.

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Contacting BT

If you still have concerns about additional charges or anything to do with your BT contract, then you can get in touch with them directly for clarification. At the very least you’ll be able to find out when your BT contract ends and what early termination charges you’d be liable to pay, should you wish to switch to a new provider.

Customers can contact BT in several ways:

  • Phone: BT’s customer care line can be reached at 0800 800 150. It’s open Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm, or weekends from 9am to 6pm.

  • Email: You can fill out BT’s contact form and submit your complaint. BT aims to respond to emails within 24 hours.

  • Live chat: BT support assistants are available via live chat from 7am to 11pm every day.

  • Twitter: The @BTCare Twitter account is very responsive to public complaints on social media.

Read more...

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