Plusnet has become the latest home phone and broadband supplier to push up its prices for line rental, with customers facing a £1/month rise next month. But if you're affected and can find a better deal elsewhere, you can leave your contract penalty-free - or if you're willing to stay, you can beat the hike by haggling.

The BT-owned firm's decision to up the price of line rental to £18.99/mth from 29 June follows similar increases from BT, Sky and Virgin Media, while call costs will also be affected.

For the cheapest deals out there, plus how to cut costs, see our Cheap Broadband and Cheap Home Phones guides.

How Plusnet's hiking prices

Here's how Plusnet line rental prices are changing:

  • Standard monthly line rental will rise by £1/mth to £18.99/mth.
  • Standard annual line rental paid upfront (Plusnet's Line Rental Saver option) is rising by £12 to £197.88 for the year, equivalent to £16.49/mth.

In addition, the following changes will be made to call costs:

  • The cost of the Anytime, Plusnet Anytime and Talk Anytime call plans will rise from £6.50/mth to £7/mth.
  • Call set-up fees will rise by 2p to 21p.
  • The cost of calls to mobiles will rise from 12.54p/min to 14.65p/min.
  • A new fair usage limit will be applied to call plans which include calls to 0845 and 0870 number - the limit is 150 calls or 1,000 minutes per month, whichever is reached first.

How to beat the hikes 1 – escape your contract penalty-free

When suppliers raise line rental costs, existing customers have 30 days during which they can leave their contract penalty-free.

Plusnet also confirmed that those who've paid for line rental upfront will be able to get refunded for the remaining months of the annual period, should they choose to leave.

A Plusnet spokesperson said: "All we ask is that customers let us know within 30 days of being informed and give us 14 days' notice."

As price hikes are common among most major suppliers though, check first that you'll be able to save by moving, and make sure you factor in any extra set-up costs of switching provider. See Cheap Home Phones and Cheap Broadband for the current top picks.

How to beat the hikes 2 – haggle, haggle, haggle

Alternatively, if you're willing to stick with Plusnet, this is an opportunity to haggle for a much better deal – especially as you'll have the right to leave penalty-free if they don't give you one. You could end up saving more than the extra you’ll have to pay for the increase in line rental.

See our Haggle with Plusnet guide for detailed tips, but for starters here are a few...

  • Benchmark the best deal elsewhere so you ask for a realistic discount.
  • Get through to the retentions (sometimes called disconnections) department. They have the most power to slash costs, as their job is to keep you.
  • Use charm and be friendly. Aggression or anger will just put their back up.
  • Don't panic if they call your bluff and say they'll disconnect you.
  • Problems mean discounts, so if you've had issues with Plusnet in the past – eg, slow broadband – politely tell it when you haggle.

What does Plusnet say?

A Plusnet spokesperson said: "We’re always reluctant to increase prices, and we’re the last big provider to do so. We strive to provide the best for our customers and have been heavily investing in our products and services."