Millions of BT broadband and phone customers will see their bills jump by a massive 9.3% from March – nearly double the current inflation rate.
The move will come as a bitter blow to countless households who are already struggling to cope with soaring energy and food bills. BT’s price rises are particularly steep this year because they are linked to the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) measure of inflation, which rose to 5.4% in the 12 months to December, its highest level for nearly 30 years.
BT raises its prices on March 31 every year by December’s CPI rate plus 3.9 percentage points, which means bills for most of its most broadband, home phone, mobile and TV customers this year will increase by an eye-watering 9.3%.
The increase will add around £42 to the average customer’s annual costs, equivalent to an extra £3.50 a month. The price hike applies to anyone who signed up for a BTpackage on or after 1 September 2020 or who will be out of contract before 31 March this year. BT’s vulnerable customers with its Home Essentials, BT Basic or Home Phone Saver packages won’t be affected by the price hikes.
EE and Plusnet, both of which are owned by BT, are also raising their prices. EE customers who joined the provider prior to 1 September 2020 will see their bills go up by 9.3% on 31 March. Plusnet customers who signed up with Plusnet on or from 7 October 2020 will also face a 9.3% increase in costs from 31 March.
However, EE mobile customers who joined EE before 1 September 2020 and are in contract after March 2022 will see their bills increase by 7.5% on 31 March, in line with the Retail Prices Index (RPI) measure of inflation for December 2021.
The BT group isn’t alone in hiking prices. Vodafone’s broadband customers who took out their deals after 2 February 2021 will see their costs rise by 9.3% from 1 April this year, as will those who took out a new mobile, tablet or smart watch deal on or after 9 December 2020.
Bills will also rise for TalkTalk’s new and existing home phone and broadband customers (with the exception of those on its Fixed Price Plus tariff and vulnerable customers), with costs due to go up by 9.1% from 1 April 2022. This is because TalkTalk raises prices in line with December’s CPI inflation rate plus another 3.7 percentage points.
Virgin Media announced it was raising prices earlier this month, with changes for broadband, TV and home phone customers coming into effect from 1 March, whilst costs for mobile users will increase from April. The price hikes are expected to add around £56 a year to average annual bills.