Emma Lunn: BT has scored an own goal with its line rental and broadband price hikes


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The Independent Online

BT customers are up in arms about another round of price increases – and rightly so. The telecoms giant has announced a raft of line rental and broadband price rises, of up to 6.5 per cent, that will take place from December.

The move has been dubbed the "football tax" by some pundits, pointing to BT's expensive outlay on football rights since 2012. It paid £738m to show 38 live Premiership football matches over three years.

BT's three sports channels are offered "free" to its broadband customers – but all its customers, sports fans or not, have been paying the price. The latest price rise will be the third time prices have gone up since the football deal was announced.

BT, however, was quick to point out that its "high-profile" broadband offers – advertised on TV – will stay the same price. Roughly translated this means "we'll lure new customers in with some decent offers and then milk them for ever more".

My own personal experience suggests that, as well as regular budget-busting price hikes, BT doesn't always treat its customers well. I jumped ship a few years ago after being driven half-mad by repeated faults, an intermittent broadband service and subsequent frustrating calls to India.

BT seemed keen to blame the dodgy connection on my equipment, But it turned out half the neighbourhood was suffering the same problems due to an "area fault" – yet it took weeks for BT to realise this.

For other BT customers who've had enough, BT says all customers can leave penalty-free as a result of the latest price rises as long as they tell it within 30 days of receiving notification of the changes. Time to get switching.

Twitter @emmalunn

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