BT is increasing costs for broadband and TV customers to fund improved compensation and increasing numbers of UK call centres – to handle the receipt of calls from customers receiving poor service. The money will be used to test “proactive” compensation for customers who lose out due to the company’s failure to achieve its service targets.
This may involve refunding customers for broadband failure or set up delays. The company has also promised customers connection to a British call centre.
Customers will also be protected from nuisance calls, with some also qualifying for an upgrade to fibre optic broadband at the same price as standard copper broadband.
BT has also pledged to fix customers’ broken internet more rapidly – in as little as 31 hours, as has been reported in certain cases since June of 2016.
The overall cost of BT’s broadband packages will go up by £2 a month and its fibre internet packages by £2.50 a month.
This will take the cost of a typical bundle up by 5 to 7 per cent, which is way ahead of inflation, which is sitting at1.6 per cent (as per the consumer price index). BT internet packages will also see an increase, up by £30 a year from April of this year.
John Petter, chief executive of BT Consumer, explained: “Customers will get a better package and improved service this year in exchange for paying a little more.”
In 2016, as part of a victory for The Telegraph’s campaign for better broadband, BT promised a multi-billion pound upgrade programme, connecting close to two million homes and businesses to ultrafast fibre-optic broadband lines.
The company is said to be “pumping in hundreds of millions of pounds of extra money.” This comes after criticism of years of under investment in this area.
A spokesman for the firm said the price hike was related to investment for the provision of more fibre broadband.
In addition to increasing the internet package prices, BT Sport will attract a cost of £3.50 monthly (previously available free as part of the package).
Anytime calling plans will go up by 49p monthly to £8.99 per month, and all call prices will increase by one pence a minute.
For customers utilising only a phone line, the cost will stay steady at £18.99 per month – with BT TV package prizes remaining at the same price.
Additionally, the provider will combine line rental and broadband to one price and pre-existing customers will not receive separate bills in the future.
Most change will be in place by April 2nd.
Competitors Sky, Virgin Media and TalkTalk all hiked prices in 2016. Sky increased the price of TV packages by up to £72 in June, and is increasing line rental costs in March of this year.