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BT to hike line rental and call charges

BT line rental up £1 to £12.50, from 1 April 2009

BT logo

BT is planning to increase the price of phone line rental from £11.50 to £12.50 per month, as of April 2009.

The telecoms giant – which scored poorly for customer satisfaction in our recent home phone company survey – is upping the cost of line rental as part of a wider shake up of prices, which includes increases for certain calls and new discounts for customers on 12 month BT contracts.

Find out how to choose and switch home phone companies in our guide to choosing a home phone service.

BT contract customers

Customers choosing one of BT’s 12 month calling plans will escape many of the price rises, leading analysts to speculate the moves are aimed at encouraging more consumers to commit to 12 month renewable contracts and stem the flow of consumers defecting to rivals such as Sky, Virgin Media and Tesco.

BT price rises

Call set up fees are to rise from 6.85p to 8p per call and the price of daytime phone calls will rise by by 0.59p per minute to 4.5p per minute. Those with a 12 month BT contract do not pay call set up fees on any call made within their monthly allowance. 

The price of calling features such as Call waiting, Ring Back and Call Diversion will also rise from 1 April 2009.

The monthly charge for each individual calling feature is increasing by 79p per month to £2.50 per month. Prices for packs of two to four calling features are increasing by £1.57 to £5 per month and by £2.10 to £7 per month for packs of five or more calling features.

How BT customers can save

BT says consumers can help offset the line rental price rise by switching to paperless bills for a discount of £1.25 per month. Larger reductions can also be made by switching payment method to direct debit. 

It is also giving something back to its customers by stopping charging them for making calls to 0845 and 0870 numbers – which are often used by customer service centres. 

Its rivals still charge for such calls, Sky, for instance, charges 6p a minute for an 0845 daytime calls and 10p a minute for an 0870 daytime call. 

BT Friends & Family

BT’s popular Friends and Family discount scheme is also for the chop, and will be replaced by two new Friends & Family schemes offering discounts on the cost of all calls to mobile and international numbers to customers taking out 12 month contracts.

Friends & Family Mobile will be available for no extra charge to Unlimited Weekend Plan customers and Evening & Weekend Plan customers signing up for a 12-month renewable contract – or £1.50 a month for anyone else.

Friends & Family International will be available to anyone signing up to a 12-month renewable contract, or for £1 a month for anyone else.

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