Huge price hike for BT phone and broadband customers
The telecoms giant is increasing prices by up to 9.3%, piling on the pressure for struggling households.
BT increases its broadband prices on 31 March each year using a formula of inflation as measured by the Consumer Prices Index, plus 3.9%.
With inflation currently at 5.4%, the highest level in nearly 30 years, BT’s price hikes come in at 9.3%. This will add up to £42 a year (£3.40 a month) to the typical average broadband bill, putting further pressure on household budgets at a time when people are dealing with surging energy costs.
The BT Group includes EE and Plusnet, so customers of these brands will see the same price hike.
How much you bill will go up by depends on when you signed your contract. If you signed up to a BT or EE package on or after 1 September 2020 or will be out of contract before 31 March 2022, you are likely to face a hike of 9.3% from 31 March 2022.
If you signed up to your current deal with BT between 11 January 2019 and 31 August 2020, you’ll probably face a 5.4% rise from 31 March 2022. That’s because these terms and conditions only allow for an annual increase pegged to the previous December’s CPI as announced in January.
Nick Lane, managing director for consumer customer services at BT, said in a blog post that price rises were “never popular” but were sometimes “a necessary part of business”.
Lane said BT had “thought long and hard” about how to make sure that any pricing changes were “predictable, clear, and not unfairly focussed on our existing customers, but reflected in our new prices too”.
Lane said one of the reasons for putting up prices was that data use had increased dramatically.
He said: “We’ve seen a 90% increase on broadband since 2018 and 79% increase on mobile since 2019 as customers rely on our connectivity more than ever for things like working from home, education online and the growth in TV streaming. Unlike most things we buy, like food, electricity or fuel, you don’t pay more for using more as our data plans are unlimited, but we need to keep investing in our networks so they can handle this huge increase in demand.”
BT changed the way it implemented price changes two year ago. Instead of random price changes throughout the year, it introduced a single contracted price rise, that would happen annually from 31 March. It said this rise would reflect the rising costs to the business, and inflation.
BT is leaving prices for its financially vulnerable customers on BT Home Essentials, BT Home Phone Saver and BT Basic as they are.
The company said it would be writing to customers, letting them know what this year’s price changes will mean for them.