BT take line rental to almost £18

bt building©iStock.com/theasis

BT LINE rental will increase from £16.99 to £17.99 a month as of September 20th, they've announced.

At the same time anyone renewing or signing up for the upfront option, Line Rental Saver will have to pay £194.28 for the year, the equivalent of £16.19 a month.

Broadband, calls and TV packages are also going up in price by up to almost 7%.

And as BT tend to set the tone when it comes to the yearly increases, we can expect the other ISPs to follow fairly swiftly.

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The phone line

BT have provided a full breakdown of how the cost of each of their services and features is going to increase here, but here are some of the headline before and after prices.

First up, here's what's happening to landline costs:

Phone costs Now From 20 September
Line rental £16.99 £17.99
Line rental plus (priority fault repair, cash and cheque payment options) £18.99 £19.99
Line rental saver £183.48 a year £194.28 a year
Call connection fee 15.97p per call 17.07p per call
Calls to UK landlines / access charge for 08, 09, 118 numbers 9.58p per minute 10.24p per minute
Anytime calls £7.45 or £7.50 £7.95
Evening and weekend calls £2.12 for pre-June 2014 customers; £3.00 for newer customers £2.26 for pre-June 2014 customers; £3.20 for newer customers
Call reject £5.05 £5.40
1571 £1.85 £1.97

At the same time, however, calls from BT landlines to mobiles will be added to a customer's inclusive calls.

Calls outside inclusive periods or to other mobile networks will increase from 12.77p per minute to 13.65p per minute.

What may help combat this raft of rises is a new, all inclusive, home phone package that they say will save users £10.30 a month on getting each service separately.

Home Phone Saver 2018 costs £20.99 a month, for which users get line rental, anytime calls to UK landlines, free caller display and free anonymous call reject - and they can pay by cash, cheque or direct debit.

As the name suggests, BT say the price will be fixed until 2018.

Broadband and TV

Line rental rises in brief
July 2015: Plusnet
June 2015: Fuel Broadband
2014's increases

How broadband prices will go up isn't entirely clear. BT say each of the various packages will increase by a maximum of 6.94%, and that customers should log in to their accounts to see how their particular deal will be affected.

What is clear is that customers with one of BT's data capped broadband deals who fail to stay within their allowance will be penalised in a slightly fairer, but more expensive way, from September.

At present users who exceed their data allowance are charged £5.60 for every 5GB unit they go over by - so someone who uses just 0.8GB more than they should have will be charged £5.60, as would someone who uses 4.8GB too much.

From September 20th, excess data will be charged at £1.50 per 1GB over allowance a user goes.

That's much fairer for very minor offenders, but at the equivalent of £7.50 per 5GB it'll soon add up to a bigger bill - and further incentive to move to an unlimited tariff - for bigger offenders.

It's much easier for TV subscribers to see how their bills will change, though.

BT have given their packages a serious shake up in the past year, so here's how prices are going to change for those on what are now legacy packages - in italics - as well as those with a newer deal.

Package Now From 20 September
BT TV Essential £5.00 £5.30
BT TV Entertainment Starter (if you signed up on or before 24 July 2015) £5.00 £5.30
BT TV Entertainment Max £15.00 £16.00
BT TV Entertainment Plus (if you signed up on or before 24 July 2015) £10.00 £10.65

Note that BT Entertainment Starter, which was only introduced in June, has already become a legacy offering.

That's the result of the imminent launch of BT Entertainment Ultra HD, which at £15 a month is now the flagship package.

What will really grate for others, however, is that those who took up BT Entertainment Plus when it was relaunched in June will very shortly find themselves paying 65p a month more than those who sign up for exactly the same service now.

Want to leave?

The good news is that customers who'll find themselves affected by these increases should be able to leave without penalty, as long as they do so in the next few weeks.

Anyone who takes longer than 30 days after they've been notified to decide to leave could well be liable for early termination fees if they're still within contract - and those are being changed too.

The full details of how those are changing can be found here - but interestingly, charges for cancelling some bundles of services, and for BT Infinity 1, 2 and 3, are being reduced.

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