BT is raising its prices by up to 6.5 per cent for millions of customers, the telecoms giant has announced.
Line rental for direct debit customers will increase by 6.25 per cent to £16.99 (up by £1), from 1 December, while the pence per minute rate for calls to UK landlines and 0870 numbers will go up to 9.58p – a rise of 6.44 per cent.
Calls to the speaking clock will go up by 2.37p to 38.97p and a call return will increase from 19.9p to 21.19p, while the set-up charge for landline calls will also go up by almost a penny.
Those on the Unlimited Anytime Calls plan will see their bills increase by 45p.
Broadband bills are also facing some rises of up to 6.49 per cent, though the firm said its "high profile" introductory offers will be unaffected.
Citizens Advice Chief Executive Gillian Guy said: “Inflation-busting price rises are bad news for cash-strapped households.
7 best gadgets to keep your home safe
7 best gadgets to keep your home safe
1/7 BT Smart Home Cam
This is the one of the cheaper options available. That means leaving out some of the more exciting features, like cloud recording, but it does most of the basics: you can watch your home from anywhere, and the sound and audio quality’s good. It’s also black, in a sea of white competitors, which helps it blend in and stops it looking like too much like a threatening CCTV camera. £99.99, Amazon
2/7 Philips In.Sight
This is the perfect high tech replacement for a baby monitor, offering the option to play sound back through the camera, which is set in a small and tough case. You can buy cloud recording for an extra fee, and the app is easy to navigate. £130.90, Amazon
3/7 Dropcam Pro
This is as close to the top of the range as is needed for most uses, and is a neat little box that contains a good camera and can be mounted pretty much anywhere. Nest’s just bought Dropcam — most think that was for the cloud recording software, which is unrivalled. The cloud recording needs a subscription, but it can sense movement and save any footage for up to a week. £199, Amazon
4/7 Nest Protect
A smart smoke and carbon monoxide alarm might seem unnecessary, but the Protect looks after your home without being annoying. It chides you with its human voice if you’ve left something burning in the kitchen – but alerts you quickly and with information about where a fire is if something more dangerous breaks out. £89, Amazon
5/7 Nest Learning Thermostat
Nest made its name with its thermostat, which learns your habits and heats your home accordingly. Nest's thermostat syncs with the company's Protect, shutting down your boiler if it senses a carbon monoxide leak so that you can stay safe. £179, Amazon
Aside from their more exciting uses — such as remotely changing the colour of your lighting — smart lightbulbs can be used to give the impression of someone being home even when they’re not. The bulbs use a simple app so that you can control them from your phone. They also sync with the Nest smoke detector, and can flash red if it finds something amiss or switch into holiday mode when the thermostat detects that you’re away. £79.95 per bulb, Amazon
7/7 Belkin WeMo Switch
For the lamps and other devices that plug into the wall, you can use this to remotely turn them on and off. If you’re worried that you’ve forgot to turn the heater off, or want to disguise that you’re out of the house, you can control your devices from wherever, using a smartphone app or on a schedule. Belkin also offers a similar, motion-activated device. £34.99, Amazon
“In the past 12 months, Citizens Advice has dealt with more than 62,000 telephone and broadband debt problems - including more than 40,000 where our clients have needed help managing repayments.
“Switching supplier is one way of avoiding extra costs, but with our clients reporting broadband cancellation fees of up to £625 when they switch, many will find themselves locked into deals which they want to get out of.”
MoneySavingExpert.com also said that it’s possible to “slice in half” the costs for home phone and broadband.
BT said that it is introducing “the UK’s cheapest line and broadband bundle for low-income customers”.
Consumer Chief Executive John Petter added: “BT is sensitive to the tough economic times and we've taken care to make sure that low-income customers avoid price increases.
“We've added extra money-saving options for low-income customers and for customers who only want a phone line for calls.”
BT’s announcement follows the bill hikes by TalkTalk and Sky, where in March, TalkTalk said its customers will pay as much as £42 a year more for their broadband and TV packages, the Guardian reports.
In June, Sky TV said it would be increasing its prices from 1 September, in which they will rise by up to 10 per cent.