Outrage as millions of BT broadband customers’ bills increase today – ‘not fair’

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BT will increase prices for millions of customers starting from today. And if you’re still within the minimum term of your contract, there’s nothing you can do. From this morning, monthly bills charged to customers’ banks will be 9.3 percent higher than last month. Yes, really.

BT has already contacted all customers who will be impacted by the rising costs, with BT Broadband, landline, BT Mobile, BT Sport and BT TV bills set to rise. If you haven’t received an email or a letter from the telecom firm …you’re one of the lucky ones and won’t be included in the latest round of price hikes.

BT is far from the only company to increase prices for customers, with TalkTalk and Sky set to follow in the coming days and Virgin Media already increasing costs by an average of £4.70 a month (that’s £56.40 extra each year) for its broadband and telly subscribers.

BT increases the cost for its customers each year – this is outlined in the small print of the contract when you sign-up for a deal – with monthly bills always rising by a set formula tied to inflation. BT relies on the Consumer Price Index, or CPI, to measure inflation in the UK. The Office of National Statistics publishes the CPI rate each month, which is based on household spending. BT always adds 3.9 percent to the CPI rate published by the Government body in January – and that’s it.

Last year, this calculation resulted in a price rise of 4.5 percent for all BT customers.

Spiralling inflation (CPI was measured at 5.4 percent by the Office of National Statistics earlier this year) has led to a much loftier increase for all BT customers. At 9.3 percent, broadband and television customers will see double the price hike imposed on their monthly bills this time last year.

As you might expect, the record-breaking price hike hasn’t gone over too well with BT customers. Flocking to social media, a number BT customers have voiced discontent with the spiralling costs for their landline calls, home broadband, TV and more.

“Over 10% price rise is not fair or justified. You are thinking only about shareholders. You could take a different tack. I am now looking to leave BT and you can sell the debt to a debt collection agency. I am in debt management so another debt won’t matter,” one commentator on Twitter shared.

Another added: “@bt_uk 10% annual price increase….WOW!I hope your staff receive a 10% pay rise”

Speaking about the price rise after the announcement, BT Managing Director of Consumer Customer Services Nick Lane said: “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.”

“These changes won’t be for all our customers, however. For our financially vulnerable customers on BT Home Essentials, BT Home Phone Saver and BT Basic, we will be leaving their prices as they are,” Lane added “We’ll soon start writing to our customers, letting them know clearly what this year’s changes will mean for them. We’ll also be explaining why this year’s increase is necessary, allowing us to continue to offer our customers the best and most reliable connection on our networks, with the latest technologies and brilliant UK based service – and all in the most sustainable way.”

What can you do about the price rise? If you’re still within the minimum term of your broadband contract …nothing much, to be honest.

BT, as well as some of the biggest broadband suppliers in the UK, includes the annual increase in the small-print when you sign up for a contract so, while the price hike coming later today is large compared to previous years, there’s nothing to do but watch the direct debit take a bigger chunk of your monthly wages.

Fortunately, not everyone will be hopeless to just stomach the record-breaking price rise coming from BT. That’s because new research published by telecoms regulator Ofcom has revealed that as much as 40 percent of all broadband customers are currently out-of-contract, which means the minimum contract term of their initial deal has now expired.

These customers are free to leave BT without any penalties. It also leaves them free to negotiate a new deal with the same broadband provider – since the company will be keen to sign them up to a new minimum contract term.

If you haven’t switched broadband deals or providers for a while, there’s never been a better time to check the latest broadband offers. For the same monthly cost, it might be possible to secure faster speeds or a free gift. Or, if you’re happy with your current download speeds, it might be possible to reduce your monthly bills.

If you fall into this category, Express.co.uk has created an in-depth guide for all of the best broadband deals in the UK.

Published at Thu, 31 Mar 2022 08:09:00 +0000

Outrage as millions of BT broadband customers’ bills increase today – ‘not fair’