back to article BT hikes call charges

BT will lean on its home phone customers as it staggers out of the recession with a 10 per cent rise in daytime call rates. From the beginning of October the cost of connecting a call will rise from 9.9 pence to 10.9 pence, with charges for each subsequent minute rising from 5.9 pence to 6.4 pence. At the same time line …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    Getting out of it

    Does anyone (mainly legal types) know if the increase in charges - particularly line-rental - amounts to an alteration of the 12-month contract and therefore grounds for its termination?

    I'm looking for an excuse to leave the dodgy bar-stewards after they tried to claim that after 12-months you start a new 12-month contract (which was news to me!). I'll be able to get out of it, that much is sure, but using the "invalidated contract" tactic might be an easier method.

    1. N2

      First Telecom

      They seem to work well for me, always prompt to deal with stuff and you seldom get passed around.

    2. bgs264

      Re: Getting out of it

      I read on the BBC web site that the price changes don't affect those of us still in an initial contract. So the line rental and call charges prob won't change and you prob won't get the letter "to affected customers".

    3. Quirkafleeg

      Re: Getting out of it

      Basic line rental charge, TPS registration, Caller ID enabled at no extra cost? That one's renewed yearly.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    More line rental for my <1mbps line - great :(

    I only have my line for ADSL and that can only support <1mbps

    BT don't seem to have any plans to improve rural speeds or access

    Not exactly great value.

    1. Chimpofdoom!


      indeed, seems they want to keep the city folks happy, instead of us folks in the sticks!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: More line rental for my <1mbps line - great :(

      Then you'll have heard the line already - "If you want faster broadband speeds move to the city. Why should we subsidise you posh rural types".

      I'm in the same boat and completely agree with you. In fact it's even worse here because part of the deal BT made to install any broadband access in this area allows them not to open it up to competition, so there's no alternative providers here. Well, there is satellite broadband - but it's expensive and slower than dial up.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Not a case of subsidies for the posh rural people....

        Not a posh ruralite - just so happens that my job is in rural dorset

        The whole country can't move to the city for broadband!

        Also, just as there is inner city deprivation, there is rural poverty

  3. David Gosnell


    According to another article I read, customers can avoid the hike (even for charged calls) by agreeing to a minimum term contract. If true, that would be a first for BT. Normally they sweet talk us into a 12-month contract and, safely over their barrel, do the inevitable from behind.

    Their model really does seem bizarre though. React to mass migration away by:

    a) Offering more advanced services for comparable costs

    b) Becoming more competitive (so might even win some customers back)

    c) Becoming less competitive (to screw over those keeping you afloat, and not tempt a soul)

    Guess which one they're doing.

    1. Geoff Campbell Silver badge

      Mass migration....

      My suspicion is that BT have decided that they make more money for less effort with wholesale services, leaving the billing to third parties. So they have started to hike the prices for those who still have direct accounts, as that way they reduce the billing they have to do.


  4. kevjs

    Any chance of a line rental only...

    I wonder if BT will ever provide a line rental only line?

    I don't want one of your pathetic bundles as I don't even home a landline phone, I only need the pay you so I can have my ADSL connection placed on the line - stop trying to say I can avoid the price increases by buying a bundle - it will cost me more for no gain...

  5. g e

    Glad I moved to SKY


    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      BT on nothing...

      Can't do that if your exchange isn't unbundled :(

  6. Ricky H

    10% rise is actually a fair whack!

    Turns out businesses can do this without too much recourse because once your fixed costs are accounted for this call charge hike comes out of your 'disposable' income. The 20 and 30 somethings today only need Broadband and a mobile phone.

  7. ash etchell


    the gov. drop the broadband levy, and BT pick it up.....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down


      We really should have just gone for the extra levvy... at least then BT wouldn't just be fucking us over.

  8. Rogerborg

    Wait, what?

    BT still have customers? For real? You're shi-... you're kidding me.

  9. Pirate Peter

    time to move line to LLU

    i have been looking at the post office for some time,

    they can support my unbundled ADSL line but now BT look like trying to shaft me yet again i think it is the nudge i need


    mines the coat with a contract in for anyone other than BT

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Re: time to move line to LLU

      I have Post Office telecom with unbundled broadband (BE) and it's fine. The rental costs almost the same, but has the advantages of (1) free landline and 0845 calls starting 6pm instead of 7pm; (2) free calls to mobiles at the weekend; (3) no 12-month contract; and (4) it's not BT.

      Depending on the time of day and destination, I choose to call out via either the landline, VOIP, or mobile inclusive minutes,

      Perhaps BT think this is odd, but the lack of the 12-month contract actually makes me more likely to stick with Post Office, not less.

  10. Kebabster

    Didn't BT do basic math?

    On the BBC Site:

    "BT said it estimates the impact of the changes will be just 1p a day, because its average customer makes only 80 seconds of daytime calls each day, and more than half subscribe to inclusive packages."

    Ummm, how does that work? Given that line rental is up by 50p every month, that's already about 1.6p per day... does not compute...

  11. Jacqui

    bt spam

    his probably explains the BT business people trying to see if we are happy with out business DSL line - which has not worked for years and I keep asking the boss to cancel.

    Anyway my home phone is not getting so expensive 100/pcm that I have decided to go for a competitors phone+ free calls bundle + DSL line for less than the cost of the BT Business DSL!

    I strongly suspect more people will simply cancel thier fixed line or move to a (now much cheaper) competitor.

    BT have no idea how to keep customers.


    1. Rasczak

      Who are you calling ?


      Anyway my home phone is not getting so expensive 100/pcm


      Taking that as a typo and you mean "home phone is now getting so expensive".

      A hundred quid a month ??!! My BT line rental, all 01,02 03, 0845 and 0870 calls at any time, caller display and answer service comes in at less than 17 quid a month, then a quid discount for taking a years contract. That says to me, either you are not taking the best package for the calls you make, or you are making a lot of calls that would never be included in any package, entertainment services maybe ?

  12. Drem

    So Glad

    that I jumped ship before BT jumped the shark (again)

    I've just moved my phone line, and am _so_ glad i did so, all day calls for 50p less than I was paying BT now looks even better...

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    So they announced this on a Sunday afternoon? I'm only surprised they didn't announce it last week during the cup final.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    elsewhere in the civilised World....

    Should come to Finland....I get 13 Mbps over a 50yo copper wire and I'm 5km from the nearest exchange - it should be 24Mbps but given the old wiriing.....

    Our government has decreed that 2Mbps is a human right and if you don't like your provider you are free to change.

    <1Mbps, yep, somewhere I have a GPRS phone that'll give me those sorts of speeds.

    Post your own message

    1. kwikbreaks


      So you Fins have abolished the laws of physics then. Or maybe your 50 year old 5km long copper has lower attenuation than ours does due to the freeze your balls off temperatures.

  15. Matt 20
    Thumb Down

    Guess I'll be off then

    Looks like I'll be switching to O2 just as soon as my 12 months are up.

  16. Lamont Cranston

    Bye, bye, BT.

    I've been meaning to leave you for ages, instead I waited it out and you've driven me away.

    If only there was a way to hack the useless BT Vision box that I'll be left with...

  17. LuMan
    Thumb Down

    Well, they need the money...

    ...after all, they only made £1bn last year (or something).


    1. AndrueC Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      First time in a while

      Not that it's a very good excuse but it's been a couple of years (may be more) since BT last made a profit. That's mostly their fault of course but still - it seems a bit churlish to lambast them for their profits after running in the red.

    2. Tony Humphreys

      Of course

      Where did the unions think that the 3% pay rise each year for the next 3 for BT staff was coming from - especially in a recession as bad as this one?

      Well - I've switched this morning (and saved £40 too boot) - so not me, and if you are not happy paying for someone else's payrise - do the same.

  18. Graham Marsden

    So more customers for... or or or...

  19. symbol1975

    The less well-off suffer again

    Typical of BT - they say that those taking a contract can get out of the hike, but what about those with a poor credit history? BT state in their T&C's that a credit check may be carried out, so those who are not in a position to get a contact and cheaper landline costs will be forced to pay.

    All of this on the back of the latest profits announced. Nice.

  20. Nigel Callaghan

    I can't believe I'm doing this...

    But I'd like to say a good(-ish) word for BT. I live (and work) in the sticks, and I use BT for my land line and BT Business for my Broadband. O2 do my mobile but in the sticks that's not an alternative to a landline for voice calls. There is reason behind my apparent madness. I've used a number of ISPs over the years, and ALL of them have problems now and again. I've also routed my calls via other providers. When things work, there's little to choose between providers (of phone or broadband) - it's what happens when things go wrong that interest me. With a mix of providers (and no matter who the ISP is BT are involved somewhere - Virgin won't do fibre to the house in our village for some reason) everyone always blame the other party - when it's BT end to end it's up to them to sort it - and BT Business are actually very good at shouting at the other bits of BT when things go wrong and usually get things sorted double-quick! Okay, they cost a bit more but it's basically a solid service, and for the sake of a quid or two a month I'm not fussed.

    Landline calls are again a fairly good deal on the top-rate anytime packages - 0845 and 0870 calls included etc - I pay very little on top of the package each month.

    But I still don't understand BT's crazy pricing, particularly for international. Standard rate to Chile f'rinstance is 95p/min - bung BT £1 a month for F&F International and that goes down to 5.3p/min - how can there be ANY justification for that sort of difference?

    So only 2 cheers...

  21. heyrick Silver badge


    I don't have a real phone line phone, it is just there for the ADSL signals. My phone is VoIP, with a regular 'local' number, not some special service number. Calls to anywhere in the country are free (execept funny tariff). Calls to the UK are free (except the 08xx ones). Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Canada, Japan, New Zealand... free. And loads of other places too. I've called a guy I know in London and yacked for hours. Cost? Zero.

    The power is that the telco own the lines, but they don't have the right to block other companies providing services. I just happen to use telco for my internet, but I didn't have to. Oh, and I'm not in a city, or anywhere even remotely "urban".

    In this day and age, communication prices rises will surely only lose you customers.

    In this day and age, the lack of LLU shows how pointless OFCOM is...

  22. AlexPresland


    I have a home phone and only use it for broadband (Plusnet) and the odd 0870 / 0845 call that isn't included in my mobile minutes. Fortunately I live close to my exchange and enjoy a 17Mb connection.

    Every 6 months they call me up and tell me that they'd like me to come back to BT. Each time, I have to explain to them that I only really use my home phone for broadband, that I'm not using another provider, and that if they offered a broadband-only line rental tariff then they'd know this!

    Bring on a broadband-only (possibly with IP-phone service) where the line rental is half that of the current line rental (or less).

  23. Anonymous Coward

    Foot, self, in, shot.....

    Bye bye BT (you theiving set of Phuckers), Hello O2 Home Phone.

  24. TkH11

    @AC getting out of it

    If your contract with BT explicitly states that the fee paid by you is fixed at a price, or fixed for some length of time and BT have changed the price without negotiating you then that could constitute breach of contract.

    However, I very much doubt BT contracts state that.

    You can probably terminate the contract (examine the provisions contained within) by notifying them you want to cancel it but you may have to forego a penalty payment to make up for the lost revenue BT would have received from you, had you let the contract run to the expiry date.

    It's a case of doing the arithmetic, how much would it cost you to cancel the contract early, and how much can you save by going to a new telephone service provider? If the latter is greater than the first, then do it, cancel the contract.

  25. Charles Smith

    Not to mention the low use fine..!

    If you have a BT line and make less that 2 calls (BT) on that line each month, BT will fine you £1.50 a month, ie £18 a year for not making calls.

    We have a line like that, just kept for incoming calls in a disaster recovery situation. We might keep that line but we are going to "fine" BT a whole lot more than £18 in terms of lost business for them. On current reckoning we'll be able to shift close on £2.5K business away in retaliation.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In the manner of Webwise comments:

    BT has NOT increased charges

    And anyone saying so will have their comments (and accounts) deleted.

    So there.

    Integrity? They've probably heard of it

  27. David 45

    No chatter

    Like the anonymous coward earlier, I can count on the thumbs of one hand the number of calls I have actually made on my land-line, having it virtually only for internet. Like-wise, the speed around these parts is abysmal due to lousy BT lines installed in the eighties and never upgraded due to some weird covenant forbidding (along with external TV aerials) excavation for new utilities. Can't even go over to cable for that reason. Doesn't exist round these parts. Goodness knows why as the building aren't listed or anything like that. Whether fibre to the cabinet will help remains to be seen. My ISP TalkTalk aren't my flavour of the month either. They are "aligning" the prices of packages since taking over Tiscali, changing my package from a completely unlimited half a meg (lines are only good for about a max. meg, anyway, with a following wind), to an "up to 8 meg" package and charging me more for the "privilege" of this scheme, which, at present, I have not a hope in hell of achieving. Seems they have been to the same business economics school as BT. I fail to see why I should have to pay for something I can't have.

  28. Anonymous Coward

    £9.49 Line Rental

    is only applicable if you pay £118.33 upfront for 12 months before the price hike.

    Oh and it's non refundable.

    Food for thought.

  29. Matthew 4


    I can't believe BT still charge for local calls etc?? Especially at such high rates.

  30. A 31

    RE: I can't believe I'm doing this

    Am going to find myself doing a bit of BT defending too

    and they have tested my petience at times ...

    but when I see people complaining they don't get broadband in the sticks, it is not a BT problem is it ? or is Virgin supah highway available ?

    Fair enough LLU hasn't spread everywhere

    But BT has to contend with free services like 999 and a pack of undertakings from the regulator. This gives them no money, but they have been tasked with it.

    So to make any cash, are you guys saying they should spend thousands putting a line for 4 customers in the sticks ? I don't see other companies doing it either, do you ?

    I have to say though, the cheek of increasing prices while the top layer gets their juicy bonuses ... but we know of worse culprits ... and isn't that the norm nowadays ?

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    BT shortsighted

    I think it is BT's problem.

    We pay them to provide a poor service. It looked like prices were going to go up to allow for investment in the infrastructure. Now prices have just gone up and there is no new investment on the horizon so we are paying more for a poor service.

    LLU is not available in lots of rural and suburban areas.

    BT is a private monopoly in rural areas and so the rules of the market do not apply. Therefore though they do have a burden to bear from the regulators, they can take cash from us safe in the knowledge it is a line from them or from no-one at present.

    Whilst I take your point that replacing copper with fibre is expensive it does provide great benefit to those at the end of the line.

    By not investing themselves, BT will either end up with more input from the regulators to force them to do it or with just become irrelevant as something else takes up the slack (virgin's plans for using telegraph poles for fibre/maybe even 4G)

  32. Chris Donald
    Thumb Up

    Win friends, influence clients, Keep customers..


    So this is the plan. We are going to reward people who've been loyal customers for years or even just months. Either way, we show we care about their custom no matter how small.

    After our lovely £1billion profit, we must raise our prices.

    That's right. We didn't make enough, so all our lovely, faithful followers, please be happy to contribute a little more to our coffers.

    We know you won't go to the competition or consider any cheaper alternatives. We know you love us so much that actually, a little shafting won't bother you in the slightest.


  33. Dan Herd
    Thumb Up

    Be Broadband

    are trialling landline packages, so I can get rid of BT forever:

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    BTs T+Cs of a couple of years ago did for me, when they tried to use leaflet on the new terms to spin across the board price rises as a price reduction - WTF?? Now in spite of being told on numerous occasions that I wish no more to do with them, they use every ruse in the book to get round the letter of the law, referring to me as The Occupier, making a slight misspell in my name or simply missing the flat number off the address.

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