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Price rises as New Year present from BT Retail
Friday 27 September 2013 16:31:27 by Andrew Ferguson

The annual increases in telephone line rental are a feature of the news again, this time it is BT Retail with its rises in January 2014, following closely on the heels of the news of 90p line rental increase by Sky.

What we know for sure is that voice line rental will increase to £15.99 from the current £15.45. The BT Answer 1571 service will acquire a monthly charge of £1.75 and termination fees during a contract will rise (by up to 30%) along with a variety of other changes.

Several newspapers are talking of up to 6.5% price rises on telephone and broadband, we have confirmed with BT the affect on broadband which is 'broadband prices are going up by up to 6.5 per cent, although the current broadband offers are staying the same price, including Broadband and weekend calls for £10 and Infinity and weekend calls for £15.'

The obvious way to reduce the impact if you are happy staying with BT Retail is to opt for paying line rental annually which for now works out at £11.75 per month. Also finding cheaper line rental deals is an option, but with the increased bundling of broadband and telephone line it can be harder to move around and chase the cheapest deals, operators like Primus and the Post Office have lower priced line rental.

For some years a common marketing tactic of BT's competitors has been 'cheaper than BT' and this latest price rise will help that remain the case, and if broadband prices go up it may please TalkTalk who have complained about margin squeeze at the retail level, and just lowered the price of their telephone and broadband bundles.

"BT will be updating some of its prices from January 2014, following a summer in which we slashed the price of our entry level broadband for new customers by up to 12 per cent. We are writing to our customers to let them know about these changes and to make it clear how they can save money via various deals.

We review and revise our prices every year given the market is extremely competitive. Whilst some prices may go up during the year, many go down or remain the same. Our customers have seen their calls bills fall by 14 per cent on average in the last five years as a result of us slashing the price of inclusive calls plans. We want customers to move onto those plans as they can save money. Hopefully these changes will encourage that."

Statement from BT Retail


Posted by Northwind over 4 years ago
Sixteen quid per month,; fifty pence per day for the provision of a copper wire. Ridiculous.

Is there some way I can obtain some value from that copper line? Perhaps draw a current from it to illuminate my house through the winter? :)
Posted by pcoventry76 over 4 years ago
Get some lights that are the same voltage as the ring wire. :)

Posted by David_W over 4 years ago
I see the argument, Northwind, but it's all about infrastructure provision and maintenance. It is possible for the ISPs to take a 'bare' pair and put only broadband it (by taking an MPF and connecting no voice equipment), but the saving compared to WLR3 voice rental is not much.

The cost has to be looked at as part of the broadband price. You can't have DSL without a pair to put it over. One advantage of the phone and broadband bundle deals is you are aware of the total price.
Posted by David_W over 4 years ago
If you don't use the line at all, make sure you get rid of any supplementary services. If you're with BT Retail, the basic version of 1571 is becoming chargeable and 'free' caller display as part of Privacy at Home at least theoretically attracts a charge if a certain volume of outgoing calls are not made.
Posted by mdar5 over 4 years ago
You really don't understand anything about maintenance of infrastructure do you?

Perhaps you should apply for a job at the likes of Transco, National grid, the water companies, or indeed BT - then you might learn something.

Posted by pcoventry76 over 4 years ago
In my book if you know about the ringwire and what it does then your old school.

Posted by themanstan over 4 years ago
I guess the only way Openreach would agree to naked DSL would be that should a customer suffer a fault, then they would have to pay all costs associated with that fault.

On the other hand, having line rental for a phone means that you are covered at least by the USO for telephony so no cost.
Posted by adamr8965 over 4 years ago
Could this be way forward for the mobile operators with 4G maybe upping their usage limits and reducing the price downwards a little.
I for one am slowly getting fed up with pretty much all company putting the price up when they feel like it.
BT Infinity unlimted 1 will now be £38.99 with line rental.
EE are chaging me £46, for 20Gb of data with unlimited calls and txts, and EE about the same speeds.
Just a thought as 4G will only get better
Posted by cyberdoyle over 4 years ago
4G will probably get worse as the cells fill up with people watching their allocation of 2.5 HD movies a month. If BT had proper fibre connections there would be far less maintenance leading to much lower charges for really fast connections - instead it wants to preserve its legacy infrastructure as long as it can convince people it can deliver superfast to 90%. It will be another few years before people realise it can't. By then the current funding will have gone, and we'll still have second class comms in the UK.
Posted by trolleybus over 4 years ago
I do and I did. Price should be for the provision of the conduit and your choice of how you use the copper pair. I don't have to buy a bike to use a car on the roads do I? As for the imposition of having to pay to get a bill and a fee to send a remittance, that really is taking the biscuit. That's £50 a year taken from the back pocket of those that can least afford it.
Posted by David_W over 4 years ago
themanstan - I'm fairly certain naked DSL is possible now, if the ISP is willing to take an MPF. I don't believe there's any requirement to put voice service on the MPF - you can use it for what you like so long as you comply with the network frequency plan. I don't know whether DSL gear requires a battery voltage on the line to work - if it does, the ISP would have to provide that.

As I said in my earlier reply, the main reason this has not become popular is because MPF is not that much cheaper than WLR3 wholesale line rental with a voice service.
Posted by David_W over 4 years ago
One nasty in all this is not mentioned in Andrew's piece. The previously 'free' caller display as part of Privacy at Home will cost £1.75 per month from January.

We have two lines with unlimited calls and Privacy at Home, both of which are still used. We've stayed with BT Retail for voice because one unlimited calls package covers the whole account - were it not for that, we'd have moved to Zen.
Posted by jrawle over 4 years ago
Will the cost of broadband packages for existing customers rise, or just the line rental? Presumably if they do, they will claim they are reasonable increases so people can't walk away from long contracts. One of the reasons I've kept my calls with BT is becasue of the free caller display. If that's really ending, I'm leaving.
Posted by Copyrightimage over 4 years ago
I'm so pleased that I'm transferring my phone to Zen as well as changing to their unlimited fibre package, a week ago the thought of paying 90p per month for caller display seemed a bit ripe, it now looks cheap!
Never been a fan of BT since they rented a phone to my Mother for most of the 80's. That little cheap plastic phone cost my Mother hundreds of pounds by the slow extraction of a monthly amount. Let's do all our friends and family :-) a favour and get them away from BT, we all still end up in the hands of BT/Openreach in the end but at least they rake in less money.
Posted by zhango over 4 years ago
If anyone from BT is reading these comments I want them to know that I have been a BT customer for over 40 years and have never had my line with anyone else. It's been a very good service but if I now have to pay for the caller display and 1571 then I will be looking elsewhere for these services.
Posted by c_j_ over 4 years ago
"if I now have to pay for the caller display and 1571 then I will be looking elsewhere for these services."


My weekday daytime calls aren't many and consequently it's not worth me paying for the bundle, but I don't pay BT for them either, I use one of the "an hour for 5p" prefix outfits. I also used to pay for CallMinder Plus, but my need for that is now limited.

So, are the BT competitors likely to block access to the cheap-calls prefix folks?

Does BT Sheffield (Plusnet) block access to these folks ?
Posted by AndrueC over 4 years ago
Having to pay for privacy at home irritates me as well. I might have to investigate my ISPs phone offering now. Unfortunately I suspect that the underlying cause of the price rise will affect WLR providers as well.
Posted by AndrueC over 4 years ago
Huh. Reading a bit further suggests no change at all for me. 'BT Unlimited Anytime' stays the same as does their line rental saver offer. There's no mention of a withdrawal of the BT privacy at home waiver if you make at least two calls so it remains free.
Posted by tommy45 over 4 years ago
Cheeky bastods they want to charge for what have been free services and again increase line rental dick turpin had the decency to wear a mask, BT couldn't find a mask
Like others if they are going to stiff their loyal customers they will loose a fair old chunk of them, daylight robbery
Posted by vicdupreez over 4 years ago
I have been saying this for a while, and I am very happy with my current arrangements, which does not include BT in any primary or even secondary capacity. Fixed wireless and a voip connection to a virtual asterisk box on a server in a datacenter somewhere... Gives me access to my "home" line from where ever in the world I may be at any given time.

I also realise that almost EVERY internet connection in the UK is provided by BT in some shape or form... This is why I specified the primary or secondary...
Posted by Bazzz over 4 years ago
I wonder could this have anything to do with paying millions to watch 22 ponces kicking a bladder around a field for BT TV!
Posted by Bob_s2 over 4 years ago
A lot of this increase is to pay for the Free BT Sport. I wonder what the regulator may make of it if BT are loading the BT sport cost into the line rental. I guess if it is just BT retail increasing the line rental it is ok but if BT wholesale are increasing it gets murky
Posted by zhango over 4 years ago
@Bazzz - Yes, I,m sure it does!
Posted by vicdupreez over 4 years ago
Ok... Why am I being penalised for your sporting needs... Ok, so not me personally... I do not pay BT anything, but some of you surely...
Posted by Vivaciti over 4 years ago
Our basic line rental has been sat at £11.40 per month for ages, so there are plenty of alternative suppliers out there if you don't want to pay for the inflated BT Retail services.
Posted by undecidedadrian over 4 years ago
So far trying to get 1571 removed is turning into an absolute farce.

phone 150 - no help told to go online.

Online - I can't find anywhere to remove 1571.

Email special Jan 2014 contact on the website to be sent automated email closing my enquiry and being told to go back online.

Why on earth do they even have a special price rise contact when they are now just closing cases and sending me back to online.

I give it one more go then off to head office as it seems that BT will only take notice if you moan to the top.
Posted by c_j_ over 4 years ago
"Online - I can't find anywhere to remove 1571."

Been like that for ages. Ordering stuff online is easy. Cancelling it online isn't. Can't imagine why that might be.

Handy being a barely-regulated monopolist, innit.
Posted by IamQ over 3 years ago
Time to leave BT for someone else i suspect... I won't be paying for CLIR and I hate/don't use 1571 anyway.

Since BT wont allow dry pairs for xDSL only (Funny how EasyNet will allow me to do this over open reach pairs)

and @mdar5 LOL! Maintenance of line plant. Please don't make me LOL. All of my main cables have air leaks on - what happened to the maintenance there? No one look at frame alarms in the exchanged any more?! Or how about the engineer who chopped through my 16 hard fiber thinking it was a 'redundant cable'
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