BT price rises – can you beat them?
BT has announced a series of steep price rises that will hit broadband, landline and TV customers.
The company has said broadband charges will go up by £2 a month and those using BT’s fastest Infinity broadband will pay an extra £2.50 a month.
And from August subscribers to BT TV will have to start paying £3.50 a month, which is currently free.
The cost of landline calls will rise by 1p a minute and the anytime calls add on will go up by 49p a month to £8.99.
The cost of phone rental will stay the same at £18.99 a month, BT said. The price rise will kick in from 2 April.
BT’s main rivals, Sky, Virgin Media and TalkTalk have all announced price increases within the last year.
If you're sick of escalating prices, take five minutes to compare deals on A Spokesman Said and see if you could save some some cash.
For many customers the new rises might be a pound too far – see our breakdown of all the rises in full below.
BT price rises in full:
* Normal broadband– from April 2, up by £2 a month.
* Fibre super-fast broadband– from April 2, up by £2.50 a month.
* BT Sport with BT TV – From August 1, from a new £3.50 monthly charge.
* BT Sport via Sky TV – from April 2, up by £1.50 a month.
* BT Sport via Sky TV (for those without BT broadband) – from April 2, up by £1 a month.
The cost of calls will also rise from April 2.
* Unlimited anytime landline calls package – up form £8.49 a month to £8.99.
* Evening and weekend landline calls package – up from £3.50 a month to £3.80.
* Unlimited anytime landline calls package – up from £8.49 a month to £8.99.
* Landline calls – calls to other landlines, up from 11p per min to 12p; calls to mobiles up from 15p per min to 16p. The call set-up fee will rise from 19p to 21p.
So, can you beat BT's price hike?
Maybe. Here’s what we suggest you try:
See if you can leave without paying an exit fee
Under Ofcom rules, when a company whacks up prices mid-contract and they didn’t tell you there would be a rise when you took the contract out, you can cancel penalty free.
So, if you’re affected by any of the rises, you have some leverage – you can threaten to leave. If you’ve been a customer for a long time, this might also give you extra leverage.
But to take advantage of this rule, you need to tell BT your want to leave within 30 days of being told about the rises.
BT is sending out letters on the 27th of this month.
So if you decide to leave, make sure you reply in writing. Online is fine, but make sure it’s in writing and you keep a record. Be clear that you want to end your contract because of the price rises, as you are entitled to do under Ofcom rules.
Arm yourself with better deals
Before you do this, however, make sure there’s a better deal out there that suits your needs.
Do a comparison and compare costs.
Found a better deal? It's time to negotiate
Then, armed with this information, get onto BT and try negotiating.
Cite the better deal, ask to be put through to disconnections and tell them you don’t want to switch supplier, but there seems to be no reason why you shouldn’t.
You’ll be told BT’s service is more reliable, better quality, blah blah. Stay firm, but polite and say you’re only interested in the best deal. What can they do?
The art of the deal!
The chances are you’ll be made an offer, especially if you’re a customer of long-standing.
Don’t just take it!
The art of the deal is that each party makes an opening gambit but always keeps something in reserve. Don’t listen to phrases along the lines of ‘this deal is available, but you have to agree now.’
Push them on price
Push harder on price and if you feel there is no more wiggle room, perhaps try for extras to be included in the price you’re being offered.
Be ready to switch
If you feel as though you’re getting nowhere, again, be polite and calm, but explain that in that case, you will end the contract.
And once you start the process, it may well be the case that you get a call from the retention department offering you a better deal.
This though, really will be the best you’ll be offered.
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