BT joins Plusnet, Vodafone, EE and TalkTalk in raising prices amid cost of living crisis

Credit: PA

Millions of households are facing a steep increase in broadband and phone bills after BT joined Plusnet, Vodafone, TalkTalk, Rival Virgin Media and EE in announcing price hikes amid rising cost of living pressures. The telecoms giant BT confirmed a rise of more than 9% from the end of March for most customers.

Those affected will end up paying an extra £3.50 a month – or £42 annually– on average for phone and broadband bills. However, financially vulnerable households and those on certain packages, including BT Home Essentials and BT Basic, will be exempt.

The move comes amid a cost of living crisis which will see gas bills soar by as much as 50% from April.

BT is not alone in announcing price hikes which will affect scores of consumers.

What other telecommunication companies are rising prices?

Rival Virgin Media said prices will rise for broadband customers from the beginning of March, with price comparison websites estimating the change will add £56 per year to bills.

Vulnerable customers, including those on benefits, will be free from the extra charges.

Vodafone customers, meanwhile, will also see price rises of up to 9.3% from April, along with TalkTalk customers seeing prices up by 9.1% around the same time. EE mobile customers who signed up before 1 September 2020 will see their bills rise by 7.5% on March 31, while Plusnet customers who signed up after June 30 2021 will face a hike of 9.3% from the same date.

EE and Plusnet are part of the BT Group.

EE will push up its broadband prices as inflation rates soar. Credit: PA

Nick Lane, BT’s managing director for consumer services, said: “Price rises are never popular, but are sometimes a necessary part of business, if we’re to keep up with the rising costs we face.” Working from home, online education and increased TV streaming have increased demands on the company’s network, with a 90% rise in broadband usage since 2018, and a 79% increase on mobile phones since 2019, he said.

His comments come after figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed two thirds of UK adults have seen their cost of living jump over the past month. Some 66% of people surveyed had been hit by increases including steeper energy bills and rising food prices, according to the ONS. The Bank of England raised interest rates from 0.1% to 0.25% last month as it said inflation would hit 6% in the spring – and more increases are expected to rein in rising prices.