MILLIONS of BT customers will have their bills frozen for the the next year as the provider also shakes up the way it calculates price hikes.
BT has told The Sun that both new and existing broadband, line rental and mobile users will have their prices frozen until 2020.
While, new and renewing broadband, line rental and mobile customers who sign up from today onwards will see prices rise just once a year in line with the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) measure of inflation.
Previously BT upped prices wily nily but it now says it will always uses January’s measure of inflation to calculate bill changes.
BT last hiked landline, broadband and TV sport package prices in September by up to a whopping 40 per cent.
What made matters worse is that this was the SECOND price hike landline, broadband and BT Sport customers faced as bills rose by up to 33 per cent from January.
How to make sure you’re not being penalised for being loyal
THE best way to beat the loyalty premium is to check if you can switch and save.
These are some of the best websites to use to find a better deal on your provider. Remember though, if you are thinking about switching before your term is up then you could face an early exit fee.
Rival Sky last upped broadband, TV and home phone bills in April 2018 when they rose by around £2.50 a month.
Meanwhile, Virgin Media last hiked bills for millions of broadband, TV and home phone users from October by 4.5 per cent – adding up to £48 a year to bills.
But BT’s price freeze means the next increase won’t take force until March 2020 when January’s inflation figure is announced by the Office for National Statistics.
The provider reckons the switch to using CPI will also halve the average increase for customers from £2 a month to less than £1.
Campaigners have long argued for telecoms providers to use CPI when calculating bill increases as it reflects the real cost of living and it’s typically lower than the Retail Prices Index (RPI) measure that many mobile providers, in particular, use.
Take the latest inflation figures as an example. In November 2018, CPI stood at 2.3 per cent, while RPI was a much higher 5.1 per cent.
BT says it’s never used RPI to calculate hikes.
Haggle for a better deal
IF you want to stick with your existing provider, try haggling for a better deal.
Which? found that customers who haggled managed to knock the following off their bills:
- BT customers saved £210 (29 per cent) a year on average
- Sky customers saved £120 a year (21 per cent) a year on average
- Virgin Media customers saved £180 (19 per cent) a year on average
BT has confirmed that the shake-up won’t affect an existing price freeze that BT Plus customers currently enjoy.
But sadly, BT TV and BT Sport customers won’t benefit from either the price freeze or bill increases being linked to CPI.
BT says this is because pricing for its TV packages is based on content and broadcast rights.
Customers of EE, which is part of the BT Group, also won’t benefit from today’s announcement.
A BT spokesperson said: “From 2020 we will link any future price changes to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation rate.
“We will not be increasing prices for BT broadband, home phone and mobile plans in 2019.
“While prices changes are sometimes necessary to keep up with increasing costs and to provide the best possible products and services, we know that customers want greater clarity and predictability about any price changes.
“We’ve listened to our customers and from 2020 we will be moving to once yearly price changes for BT broadband, home phone and mobile customers.”
More on bills
But the provider has revealed a complete WiFi “disc” that makes your internet 25 per cent FASTER.
It comes as research published today revealed that millions of TV and broadband customers are paying up to £700 a year extra.
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