back to article BT price rises go down well

BT is raising the cost of monthly line rental from £11.50 to £12.50 and increasing daytime call charges. If you don't have a bundled call package then per minute charges go up to 4.5p from 1 April. The company won praise here earlier this month for cutting costs of 0870 and 0845 numbers. James Parker, broadband manager at …


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  1. D@v3
    Thumb Down

    what next

    First Phorm, now this, are BT activly trying to put themselves out of business??

  2. Joe K



    Anyone know of a way i can use Sky Broadband, without having to pay BT a penny?

  3. Paul

    Prices definitely going up

    I thought that last time the prices went up they were going to be offset against paper-free billing. I even went paper free myself to offset them.

    And as for switching to a calls package to avoid paying the call charge increases, I tried to sign up for the 12-month contract thing nearly a year ago and they still haven't got it right. Every time I email their customer services I get a reply from someone who clearly can't read English and can nearly cope with reading off a script. And it always starts "Hello I am Jim and I am sorry to hear you are having problems with why cant you b*st*rds just connect me up to the package that I signed for" and then veers off at an incomprehensible tangent.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ofcon asleep at the wheel yet again

    BT make a massive loss at BT Global Services, so the poor folks who are stuck with BT as line rental provider (which is lots of us, especially when you rule out TalkTalk) get ripped off to pay for the losses at Global Services. etc looks more attractive by the minute.

    As for the £5/bill fiddle for not paying by direct debit - someone should challenge this in the courts, under the Unfair Terms legislation. I don't mind paying 50p for a paper bill but £5 is just daft.

  5. dervheid

    Sky Broadband, without having to pay BT a penny?

    Eh, take your phone to sky too!!

  6. Andy ORourke

    They are a business.......

    Not a charity, you really think BT give a flying fuck about the few hundred people who might activley seek an unbundled ISP?

    They are puting up prices to raise money to bring more fibre to the home / street in large parts of the country (either that or to increase dividends to shareholdres, pay out management bonuses and pay rises, You decide!)

  7. Andy Livingstone

    B(loody) T(wats)

    If there was real competition in this country these people might stop milking their users.

  8. James Le Cuirot

    @Joe K

    Not 100% sure but you can probably do your line rental through someone else like OneTel and it'll still work. I avoid them by using cable and VoIP. I have a Virgin phone line too but only because it's cheaper than broadband on its own for some bizarre reason. Free weekend calls through Virgin, cheap weekday calls through VoIP, and all through the same phone. I'm a happy bunny. (-:

  9. Dave Bell

    BT have a monopoly on expensive phone lines.

    For many parts of the country they are a monopoly supplier of physical connections.

    The figures are distorted by counting lines: competitors based on cable tech only cover the densely-populated parts of of the country and as they switch from the BT lines, the BT costs per line will be increased. Not all the cost of running a line comes from its physical length, but they can't deliver the high speeds they advertise.

  10. Jim
    Thumb Down


    When will this monopoly end? The Direct debit has already been challenged and the Lady lost in court. BT + BBC Tax fee are my two biggest gripes in life. Its a shame Virgin don't roll out more fibre as I would move in a flash.

    3G is looking more of an attractive option everyday.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Same old, same old.

    They did the same sort of screw you job with their last "wonderful" deal which was a blatant rip off and when the person at BT phoned me to find out why I was leaving, when I actually managed to understand what he was saying because even if he did have a script to read from he couldn't actually read it, I told him and it was hilarious hearing him trying to defend the huge increases in prices that I was able to show him that I'd suffer from.

    BT? Bunch of Twats, the lot of them.

  12. Neil

    @ Andy ORourke

    Business suggests they are competing in a level market, BT are closer to a monopoly, with the vast majority of UK homes having no other option. I only use my landline for t'internet (with Be) and am unsure why I should subsidise this bloated, unwieldy monolith.

  13. Ash

    Love it

    Stop venting spleen and rip their equipment out of your homes.

    Get VoIP, cable, 3G, whatever, but don't expect it to be any different once BT are down the pan. It'll just be the next guy on the pecking order who gets to screw you.

  14. Jared Hunt

    Get some bloody perspective

    It's a pound extra per month ladies and gents. That's £12 per year. Nobody likes price hikes but It's hardly going to bankrupt anyone.

    Gas and 'leccy has been going up a shit load more than that in recent months.

    And you can bet your arse this has nothing to do with Global services losses - how fast to you think the wheels turn at big utility firms?

    New year, new prices. Same old story.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    RE: Sigh

    "Its a shame Virgin don't roll out more fibre as I would move in a flash."

    Virgin connect people with co-axial cable NOT FIBRE. Sure, the street cabinets connect back to wherever over fibre probably but the Virgin Media "fibre optic broadband" adverts are MISLEADING.

    Its similar a pair of copper wires connect you back to the exchange and then its fibre. Why don't BT advertise it as fibre optic broadband too?

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    My mum recently rang up Sky (not in an LLU area) to cancel the service as she wanted to save a few pounds and go with Talktalk (she only uses email/web).

    They offered to move her line to Sky and give her free line rental for 12 months and also discount the broadband by £3. So she's paying £12 a month for 8mb broadband and phone line rental.

    Not bad.

  17. Florence

    @Joe K

    Sky have been offfering calls for a while but now you can get line rental from them too. If you have Sky Broadband you definitely want to move at least your calls (basic call package is free) to Sky, else it'll cost you an extra fiver a month for broadband soon or from now on.

  18. Anonymous Coward

    @ Joe K

    You can get your WLR (wholesale Line Rental) with Sky and have nothing more to do with BT. Except of course when you have your calls route over WSC (Whole Sale Calls) but you dont need to worry about that.

    Depends if the BT Wholesale price of line rental goes up. Remember BT has a lot of equipment to maintain, whereas Sky, Talk Talk et al dont have nearly as much.

  19. Cris Page

    Another rip off

    Nice to see BTs buddies at OFCOM are happy to grant them another above inflation increase on the back of the 24% rip off rise in IPStream bandwidth charges impose recently. Can there be any doubt now that - as a regulator - OFCOM has no interest in the interests of the consumer and should be broken up?

    There can be no technical reason for us not to be able to take a broadband only line, and as OFCOM lack the will to regulate and control the greed of this company that has a monopoly in so many areas, then they should act to free us of the need to take full telephony facilities if we only want a broadband access line

    Id happily drop any call access and only use my mobile for calls.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Why would anyone pay 4.5p a min? There are numerous numbers that allow you to call within the UK (and to France, Germany, Spain and a number of other European countries) for 0.5p a min.

  21. N

    Bastards - prices should go down

    Whilst they employ a lot of good people, I would not shed a tear if they rolled

    I use First Telecom and dont receive any BT bills, wonderful!

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I dont understand how it can be a monopoly, you can pay your line rental to any one of over a dozen companies now, including talk talk, sky, post office, etc etc. Dont like BT? dont pay them. They have to wholesale the line out at a price currently fixed by ofcom and its up the the 3rd party CP to charge you what the hell they like. And these line will still work on ADSL through wholesale. So please stop with the monopoly crap on all BT related posts, is getting tired.

  23. Neil Daniels

    Re: Re: Sigh

    Coax is a damn sight faster than phone cable. Unless I'm mistaken (and I very well may be - anyone in the know care to correct me/concur?) about it carrying ~200 channels at 2-15 Mbps per channel, plus my internet traffic. The fibre backbone is probably orders of magnitude faster, but that makes sense as by that point you have everyone's internet traffic to contend with.

  24. Christopher Woods

    Shop around...

    I have my line rental with the Post Office - their HomePhone package is still £10.95 a month, they removed the £1pcm DD discount when they changed their tariffs in August last year.

    However, this was a good thing - at the same time, they introduced inclusive weekend calls to Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Canary Islands, Cyprus, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and US landline and mobiles. (In the daytime and evenings calls are 5ppm).

    And yes, I did have the letter on my desk to copy off :P

    The most interesting thing they did was also introduce free weekend calls to UK mobile numbers - so as well as the free evenings and weekends to UK 01/02/03 numbers, you can call mobiles for owt now too :) As a consequence though they did up their connection charge to 6p per call from 3p per call, and you have to pay something like £1.75 per month for Caller ID.

    The thing is, we only use our landline for the odd call - it's primarily there for the Be* ADSL2+ connection. Overall, we make a big saving over paying our line rental to BT Retail (and being tied into at least a 12 month contract too).

    Oh, and even better - the Post Office's contract period is 15 days, so if they do massively hike their prices, we aren't tied into the remainder of a contract for months and months.

    This is the way all telephony companies should operate imo! I will definitely be sticking with the PO for my line rental for the foreseeable future (or until either good FTTH is rolled out in the UK or hell opens its first ice rink, whichever comes first ;)

    Sorry if I sound like an evangelist, but if you're after a bargain going with a third party company for your line rental (which usually provided over Openreach copper anyway, like ours is) then shopping around and generally having a bit of nouse pays off!

    Mine's the one with cheaper bills in the inside pocket

  25. Anonymous Coward

    "If you don't have a bundled call package"

    You can't get an unbundled phone package from BT, I've tried!

  26. Giles Jones Gold badge

    Roll on may

    My 12 month contract with BT (new line install) will be up then and I can then consider using a phone provider that actually charges based on service provided.

    I never call anyone on my BT line, it is only connected for ADSL.

    UK comms would be a better place without BT. We'd probably have fibre everywhere.

  27. The Fuzzy Wotnot
    Thumb Up

    Sky phone

    I moved my phone to Sky with my broadband, they offer some really cheap deals on your phone, speak to their sales mob.

  28. Turbojerry

    In a deflationary environment

    only abusive monopolies can raise prices, these require corrupt officials and government to look the other way, and I'm more convinced than ever we need a cleansing in this country to cut out the rot that is at its heart.

  29. AJ

    @ Cris Page

    I totally agree, BT should be forced by the regulators to connect a line (which doesnt send/receive calls for BROADBAND only at a minimal charge of a few quid...

    ... Its not fair you have to pay for a BT line just to get ADSL broadband when a lot of people dont use a telephone line from BT for anything other than broadband - thing is people moan like hell but do sod all about it, we in this country just like getting screwed over by big firms!

  30. hey_may

    @Christopher Woods

    "I have my line rental with the Post Office"

    Oh the irony!

  31. WarrenG

    So you think that's bad...

    Try line rental in Ireland, its 25 euros per month! In today's money thats about eh....3 pounds?

  32. Anonymous Coward

    Well, I for one

    hope that BT (and the whole Telco sector) drops its confusion marketing stance.

    I'm looking for O2 broadband, BT lines and BT Vision.

    Sky seems ok but their mid-range stuff seems terribly dated (sky box £99, BT Vision box = free).

    I suppose I could look at fragmenting all of the stuff I want but with different contracts, problems if stuff goes wobbly, ... I'd reckon it is worth a good tenner pa to have a single point of contact and that raises matters not only of cost and specifications but of service provider customer service provisioning.

    For example: my present telco on one mobile takes about 20 minutes to sort stuff out. An alternative I used in the past and contacted toiday takes on average less than 5 minutes to sort stuff out.

    Call me daft if you wish :) but the selection criteria should include: cost, spec and customer service.

  33. Charles Smith
    Thumb Down

    The real cost

    The current BT call set up charge is 8p per chargeable call. Per minute call charge: 4.5p

    Make a 30 second call it will cost you 12.5p

    Monthly line charge including a paper bill: £15.

    Add VAT on top of that.

    I used Skype to join a 1 hour phone conference in the USA earlier this week on a PAYG basis

    the cost was 87p including VAT, at the BT rates it would have been £10.45

  34. FathomsDown


    I stopped using BT two years ago and pay considerably less now than I was paying BT then!

    I know a number of people who use Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin and who complain bitterly about the flakey service and poor customer services. So I just point them in the direction of where I went; :-)

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "single point of contact"

    That's a fine principle, but it only works if the support is competent, which I know from first hand experience rules out both BT and TalkTalk for both broadband and voice. It probably also rules out Orange. I'm Murdoch-intolerant too. So, for the time being, line rental is through BT with their cheapest calls package (which they did "free" in return for a ridiculous 12 month contract), and to avoid BT-chargeable calls I pay 5p per UK call (and that's it) to one of the many Finarea brands. Their customer service may or may not be competent, but in the years I've used them I've NEVER needed it.

  36. not sure
    Thumb Up

    what christopher woods said

    This i am sure about.

  37. Stu


    Sky have been great with me - first I had Sky just for TV, then moved over to Max Broadband and Unlimited calls as well - and then just before Christmas they rang me and said "why don't you move your line rental over to us, it's only £10 a month instead of BT's £11.50, and anyway BT are putting it up to £12.50 in the new year - the money's better in your pocket than BT's" - no brainer.

    You can get the full Sky TV package, 16Mbps Broadband, Unlimited calls to UK and several useful foreign countries (US, Spain etc...), and Line Rental for £61 a month, with only a £5 up-front installation charge (free box), if you order online...

  38. Anonymous Coward

    "Nothing to do with Global Services" - says who?

    The Global Services foulup has been known about for months, though seems to have come as a surprise to the press in the last few days. It's sufficiently far back for the BTGS boss to get a £1M5 parachute organised despite the £340M writedown attributed to BTGS. How many other BT employees will be so lucky?

    My sources tell me that BT have a big programme in place to lose lots of employees for free via the "performance review" process. What kind of performance is an unexpected £340M writedown? How many of the other "poor performers" are going to get a years wages as a payoff (that's what the £1M5 represents)?

    Then there's the longstanding huge hole in the BT pension fund, which presumably got a bit bigger the last few months, and the abysmal commercial and technical (wrt availability, reliability and EMC) failure which is BT Vision, and... well, that'll do for now, save them for another day.

    BT don't have separate shareholders for separate businesses, so when one bit fouls up, customers and employees of the rest can quite easily be made to pay, especially when the alleged regulator is complicit, incompetent, or both, and when BT's accountants have had years of adjusting the books to look however BT want them to look at any given time, so that their record of ridiculous dividends (14% roi?) can be maintained.

    "They are puting up prices to raise money to bring more fibre to the home "

    No. BT have thrown their dummies out of the pram on that one and made it quite clear that if someone else doesn't pay them an EXTRA £1bn or more for rolling out next generation broadband, they're not playing the game.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Cris Page

    >There can be no technical reason for us not to be able to take a broadband only line

    Speaking as somone who does the wiring in the exchange (jumper monkey) all I can say is that it happens more often than you think. Im not involved with the sales side of things but I have wired quite a few lines for pure broadband. These are usually LLU's and are a pain in the arse because there is no voltage available to check continuity etc. and they are all business lines.

  40. dervheid
    Thumb Down

    Re: RE: Sigh (2)

    Coax to the street JB then into the fibre-optic. Copper for maybe 150m +/-.(Virgin)


    Shitty ancient two-wire (unscreened) to a pole mounted box, then through a multicore (sans screens between pairs, maybe o/a screen) through a poxy in-line joint to repair a damaged cable, then into a street JB into a bigger multicore, via god-alone-knows how many more joints, finally ending up back in the converted exchange . Copper for maybe 2500m. (BT)

    Nope, no difference at all.

  41. Anonymous Coward

    Offcom or whoever thay are this week...

    Needs to unbundle line rental from BT. I want to pay my ISP only.

    I dont want an analogue phone I only want a Digital data line to my ISP.

  42. G4Z

    @ I'm looking for O2 broadband, BT lines and BT Vision.

    Uhh... you need BTbroadband in order to have BTvision anyway because of the QoS they have to use.

  43. Kerry Ritz

    Time for Naked DSL

    It's time for OFCOM to mandate naked dsl--that is the ability to have line that is broadband only and excludes phone service. that means you an shop around for other phone services or use the voip servive of your choice., currently you have to pay BT for use of the phone and data line even if you dont need the phone component.

    naked dsl exists in many european countries--eg france, netherlands, italy, and even exists in canada and the US.

    OFCOM has been reluctant to force companies to introduce naked dsl. perhaps it's time for the european commission to get OFCOM to do its job and encourage real choice and competition in the UK.

  44. peter

    Look up the alternatives

    Dont like paying BT line rental? - Talktalk or sky

    Want free UK numbers - try Talktalk for a package for free UK numbers

    Don't like 08 numbers - try

    Dont like overseas extortionate costs - try VOIP

    Dont like extortionate cross provider mobile costs - buy a PAYG sim for £5

    Just work out were the majority of you costs are and make the change

    For example, I phone overseas friends a bit, don't use my mobile much, but do want broadband and daytime and evening call in the UK. I certainly do not need Sky 'designed for the average 13 year old market' programmes.

    Obvious really, £20/month from talktalk with broadband and free uk calls, and VIOP to my friens overseas and PAYG mobile and don't do business with companies who make money when I want to complain about their mistakes. Total cost £20 and odd mobile calls.

    Its not difficult

  45. Dave

    @Neil Daniels

    I don't have enough time to explain just how wrong you are, so I'll stick to the summary: VERY.

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Paper less billing lies

    As a Sky customer who only pays BT for line rental (yes i am moving that to sky too). I can say that it is categorically that BT still charge you £4 for paper free billing.

    The fee is dropped for Direct Debit billing, which is completely different.

    DD can be good for some people, almost always good for the company being paid, but there are people like me who it is not good for, mainly due to being a contractor and so not always being paid on the same day every month. Penalising those people and making out they are wasteful scum who insist on chopping down trees is more propaganda.

    Being charged extra for paying with the currency of the realm is ridiculous.

  47. VulcanV5
    Paris Hilton

    BT: dependable as ever. . .

    As I pointed out last week on the thread about BT's global losses, what was heartening about BT's email was the way it mentioned, in passing, and in a section on 'other changes we will be making', the 10% price hike.

    Such blatant contempt for customers has always been a hallmark of British Telecom and it's a good thing it hasn't changed its ways even in these uncertain economic times. After all, everyone needs something to depend on.

    As for BT, we're delighted with our service. We pay £12 per month by direct debit, have paperless billing and free calls after 6pm and weekends.

    Our home telephones have two folders in their memory, the first with all the numbers in STD form, the second with all the numbers prefixed by 18185 and then the full code.

    If it's a day time call in the UK, then it's a 18185 connection, the connection charge for which is 4p and then nothing at all for the call.

    If it's a call after 6pm evenings and weekends, then obviously there's no connection charge or call fee.

    We would worry about BT's increase of £12 a year on our phone bill but really, life's too short. And as we're currently £7 in credit with BT, well, the extra fiver isn't a deal breaker.

    As it stands, we've been satisfied 18185 customers for quite a while now (we can track our phone expenditure on line; each month the total is billed to our credit card; pre-payment is not required) and in that time we *know* we have saved around £600 on calls to the UK, Hong Kong, the US, Italy and Australia where friends / relatives live.

    One day BT may wake up to the fact that the more contemptuous it is of its customers, the more they'll reciprocate in kind. But that's a long, long way off. . .

  48. Neil Daniels
    Paris Hilton


    Fair enough, I'm not a network engineer after all. So what exactly is coming down my coax line from the street box?

    Paris because apparently we know the same amount.

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