BT will increase call charges by 10% and raise line rental costs by 50p a month starting in October. The change will increase line rental charges to £13.29 or £12.04 a month if you opt for paperless billing. Daytime calls will increase from 5.9p a minute to 6.4p and call connection charges will increase from 9.9p to 10.9p. BT customers are expected to receive a letter about the changes later this week. You can avoid paying the increased price this year by paying for a year's rental up front which works out cheaper, but for some, this won't be a viable option.
The increase is thought to be designed to push people toward calling packages where they get free calls bundled with their phone line rental. Around half of BT's 12.5 million landline customers currently take one of these options which can give you free calls from £4.99 a month.
"Like many businesses, we have to review our prices as we seek to cover costs and emerge from recession in good shape. BT's tries to protect its customers from high prices; it has been a key mover in Terminate the Rate, the campaign to get the cost of calling mobiles lowered."BT Spokesperson talking to The Telegraph
Other operators such as TalkTalk, O2 and Sky who offer phone lines will be quick to point out that they can offer the service cheaper, but they will likely also increase their prices further down the line to remain similarly priced to BT. One interesting question is would BT have raised their prices by 50p if Labour's proposed plans for the 50p tax on phone lines had gone ahead? Perhaps this is BT taking the initiative to implement the plan anyway to create more money for investing privately in next-generation broadband.