Although customers are still reeling from the recent BT price rises that were announced at the beginning of the year, BT customers who are coming to the end of their contracts are now finding out that there renewal deals are significantly worse than the deals they were previously on – in some cases amounting to a 50% price rise.
BT has told some customers that this is due to ‘increased costs’ however the scale of the increase for many customers makes this almost unbelievable.
Telecoms customers across all the major brands have been made aware of the previous years how wholesale landline costs have decreased by approximately 75% whilst year on year the costs of line rental and calls on landlines has soared to record highs. Many customers now only want broadband from BT but, as with almost all providers, are forced to take out a landline which costs a minimum of £18.99 / month for line rental – a charge that is due even if it is not used.
The suspicion of many customers is that telecoms companies are offering ‘teaser’ rates on the broadband whilst jacking up the price of line rental – a required component to receive the broadband they are offering – to ‘compensate’ the company.
BT’s recent price rises at the beginning of this year were once again inflation busting, with the flagship BT Infinity 2 product increasing by 8.33% – a price rise which has meant that customers under contract are allowed to leave penalty free within 30 days of being notified of the price increase – although many customers are expected to tough it out and begrudgingly accept the price rise.
The double whammy for existing customers however is that the usually reasonable loyalty discounts that they get for renewing their contract with BT have all but evaporated – with some existing customers, facing a increased bill of 50% due to a much worse discount for renewing this year and the price rises due to come in on April 2nd.
Many existing customers are complaining to BT about service problems and the price rises with many customers suspecting they are being used to subsidise absurdly expensive deals for football TV rights for the BT Sport platform following an agreement to pay UEFA, the European governing body, a hefty £1.2bn to extend their rights deal to Champions League and Europa Cup football.