BT have announced a £1 increase in monthly telephone line rental charges which will increase the cost for standard customers from £11.50 to £12.50 a month from the 1st of April. The price increase comes after announcing two weeks ago that they would be making calls to 0845 and 0870 numbers free for some customers. Customers who don't take a calls package will also suffer a 15% increase in the cost of a daytime call, rising to 4.5p a minute.
The line rental increase will also have an impact on how much people pay for broadband as most (ADSL) broadband services require a phone line even if you don't intend to use it for calls. This means many users will end up paying the extra £1, increasing the overall cost of their service. Some providers who offer unbundled services such as TalkTalk also provide a telephone line, and it may work out cheaper to use a bundled service like this. Users should be aware that they may end up having to pay a reconnection fee (up to £125) for the phone line if they move to an LLU provider like TalkTalk and then want to move to back to another provider in the future, offsetting any savings gained.
One other option to mitigate this increase is to switch to paperless billing. BT report that 13.5 million of their 14.5 million customers still receive paper bills once a month, and could decrease their charges to £10.25 a month (£11.25 new pricing) by switching.