BT hikes its prices as its Premier League gamble bites

Given the amount of money BT invested in securing live sports rights it all seemed a little too good to be true that it could offer the privilege of viewing it effectively for free. Signing up for BT’s competitively priced broadband package would give you access to Premier League games, the Champions League and a plethora of other live sports coverage. But as many of us suspected, the offer was too good to be true.

BT has today announced sweeping price hikes for all broadband customers that will affect every BT broadband and TV customer in the UK.

Price rises universally exceed current CPI inflation (1.6 per cent), and in some cases are many times over. All basic broadband customers to see rise of £2 per month and BT Infinity fibre customers to see rise of £2.50 per month.

Line rental has been frozen at £18.99 per month, but cost per minute set to rise by 1p for both mobile and landlines, while call setup-fees (the cost of each call irrespective of how long you speak) has gone by 2p to 21p per call.

Anytime call plans will go up by 49p to £8.99 per month, with evening and weekend call plans up by 30p to £3.80 per month.

Crucially, BT Sport will no longer be free for BT TV customers and will now cost £3.50 per month. Although mid and top-level BT TV packages are unaffected, BT broadband customers who wish to watch BT Sport on their Sky box will see a price rise of £1.50 per month for the privilege and non-BT broadband customers who watch BT Sport on their Sky box will see a rise of £1 per month.

Commenting on the price rises, Dan Howdle, consumer telecoms expert at Cable.co.uk, said: “This affects every one of BT’s customers to a lesser or greater extent and is in my opinion completely unjustified. These price hikes are absurd in contrast to current rates of inflation and, quite rightly, I would expect BT customers to be fuming.

“Customers should remember that under current rules, in the event of a price hike, they have the right to switch out of their contract free of charge. As a BT customer you do get a vote in this – but it’s a vote with your feet.”

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