BT further increases landline charges – reminds us that we’re not in control

BT has recently announced that as of December 2011, a number of charges (including line rental) will be increased. This is the second price increase from BT this year.

So, as of 3rd December, line rental will increase from £13.90 per month to £14.60 per month. On top of that, their unlimited anytime call plan is increasing by 20p per month to £4.90 per month – and considering this is BT’s most popular calling plan, this is bound to hit home. If you’re not on the unlimited call plan (or making a chargeable call), your call connection fee is going up to 13.1p per call. And to finish you off, your daytime and evening call rates are going up too. “Terrific!”, I hear you say.

Somewhat strange to remember, though, that BT announced in July that their quaterly profits were up 20% due to increased demand. Does that sound strange to you?

We have to bear in mind that a large majority of people living in out-of-city areas are on market one telephone exchanges. This basically means that you’re stuck with BT wholesale for your telephone and broadband services whether you like it or not, as no other operator can provide a service. What this really means is that there’s no competition – and so BT can charge whatever they like for your telephony services.

If you’re lucky enough to have the availability of cable in your area, perhaps you might want to consider the option of moving to cable broadband and scrapping your landline altogether. We all seem to be on these huge mobile contracts which offer endless minutes – so why do we need a landline? It’s worth a thought – as cable broadband will give you a much faster speed and generally a better service.

It is annoying though – BT are just taking advantage of the fact that they can do whatever they like to charges at the moment – they have control over most of the phone exchanges in the UK and no other operator can do much about it. The only group that can make a difference is Ofcom – but they often seem to cause more trouble than good. And to the average household suffering from money shortages (having already had the warning of increased energy charges), this can only be bad news.

Oh, and if you’ve just joined their supposedly amazing “summer deal” of free service for 4 months, then £16 a month – remember, it’s an 18 month contract.

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