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