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BT announces price hikes — What can consumers do?

BT announces price hikes — What can consumers do?

BT will increase prices for new and re-contracting customers by an additional 3.9% each year, as revealed in the latest update of its terms and conditions. This 3.9% will be on top of the annual increase in line with inflation that was introduced earlier this year.

Which BT customers will be affected by the price increase?

The BT price increase will affect new BT customers as well as those re-contracting, so existing customers who are still within their initial contract should not be affected yet.

The new BT price increase has been written into their T&Cs, so new customers and existing customers signing new contacts will need to read through the details carefully in order to see what they're agreeing to.

How much is the BT price increase?

BT, like many broadband providers, shifted away from arbitrary annual price increase in favour of aligning their price hikes with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rate of inflation each year. This meant that customers would have have agreed to allow their prices to be increased in-line with the CPI figure which is announced at the start of the year.

As of September 2020, BT introduced an additional price increase of 3.9% on top of this which customers can expect to pay out each year. These are the details that were posted on the BT help website:

Each year we will adjust the amount customers pay per month for their plans according to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rate of inflation plus an additional 3.9%.

The CPI rate is announced in January each year and we will adjust a customer's bill by this amount plus an additional 3.9% from 31 March of the same year. For example, if the CPI rate announced in January 2021 is 2%, then their monthly plan prices from 31 March 2021 will increase by 5.9%.

This reflects the increase in the costs to run and invest in the network and service that we provide.

This will impact the following services:

  • Landline
  • Broadband
  • TV
  • Sport
  • Mobile
  • Extra charges, like out out-of-allowance calling rates and your optional add-ons.

Have a look at the Terms and Conditions for each of your services for the full list of charges.

BT price increase makes customers pay for network improvements

The message from BT is that the price increase is necessary in order to invest in the BT network and improve the service it can bring to its customers.

A BT Spokesperson told ISPreview.co.uk:

“While we recognise that no one likes to see their prices go up, with the major growth in data usage seen recently, both at home and on the move, we want to continue to invest heavily in our networks, products and services, simplify our packages and policies, and offer greater support and flexibility to those who need it the most.

That’s why we’re making some changes to our contract terms, and better reflect the Fairness commitments laid out by Ofcom last year, by bringing all our products and brands in line with a single annual increase, of a known and predictable amount. This is far clearer for our customers and moves away from the unpredictable changes that customers can face today across the industry.”

What can BT customers do?

The BT price increase will only affect customers who sign a new contract with BT. This could be those joining BT for the first time or those signing up for another fixed-term contract. It's worth noting that BT contracts are typically 24 months long, meaning that you will be affected by at least one price increase.

If you are out of contract, it would be a good idea to compare broadband deals to find out what else is available from other providers before committing to a two-year contract with BT.

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.
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