Home phone giants BT and Talk Talk are hiking prices for millions of landline customers today.
BT, the UK's largest telecoms company with 12.5 million customers, is increasing line rental charges for those who refuse to pay in advance for a 12-month term, while also increasing call costs for all (see the Home Phones guide).
But it is also cutting the price of line rental for those who pay up-front, which could mean a £30 a year saving.
Talk Talk is hiking line rental and charges for UK and international calls.
It is the second time both firms have implemented wide-scale price hikes this year.
Here are the changes which come info effect today:
- Line rental is rising from £11.54 a month to £12.04 a month (£12.79 to £13.29 for postal billing). This comes without a minimum term for existing customers but a minimum 12 months for new customers.
However, if you pay up-front for 12 months before 12 November, it'll cost £113.88 (£9.49 a month) or £131.88 (£10.99) after that. This option, called Line Rental Saver, is only available with email billing.
Those currently locked into a BT contract can exit without charge to take the offer that will save just over £30 a year compared to the new email billing cost.The packages mentioned comes with inclusive weekend calls to landlines. The cost of upgrading to inclusive landline calls at anytime stays at £4.99 a month.
- Daytime call costs are rising from 5.9p per minute to 6.4p per minute.
- All chargeable calls also come with a one-off fee in addition to the per minute cost. This is rising from 9.9p to 10.9p.
BT says the impact of the call cost rise will be 1p per day, on average.
Talk Talk rises
- Line rental is rising from £11.49 to £12.04 per month.
- Chargeable daytime call costs are rising from 5.8p to 6.4p per minute.
- Set up costs for each chargeable call will rise from 9.9p to 10.9p.
- Standard international rates will rise. For example, a daytime call to Spain will increase from 18.39p per minute to 24.5p.
- The late payment charge will rise from up to £7.50 to £10.
- The fee to move home (and taking the service with you) will rise from £29.99 to £49.99.
- Customers who subscribe to 'Mobile Extra' to cut mobile call costs will pay £1.46 a month instead of 45p.
How can you beat the call cost hikes?
If you make daytime calls, international calls or calls at any time to mobiles outside your inclusive minutes on your mobile, you can slash landline costs by dialling a prefix to re-route your call to a cheaper provider.
Use the Callchecker or International Callchecker service to find out the cheapest 'override provider', as it can vary depending on the type of call made.
Some regular international callers save hundreds of pounds a year.
How can you cut line costs?
You can get Primus Home Saver line rental including evening and weekend calls for the equivalent of £8.25 per month if you pay the £99 annual cost up-front (full details in the Home Phones guide).
Even if you're locked into an existing contract, new rules from communications regulator Ofcom mean it will cost significantly less to exit early.
Instead of paying the standard line rental cost for every month remaining, you'll pay from £2 per unused month on BT, from £3 on Talk Talk and from £4 on Virgin Media.
Talk Talk introduced new charges on 1 June (except for its Tiscali brand, where they'll change on 1 November). Virgin Media and BT will introduce the new costs this month.
Further reading/Key links
Cut call costs: Cheap Home Phones
Find override providers: Callchecker, International Callchecker