As BT customers are told they'll soon be paying up to £48 a year more for their services, we explain how customers can minimise the damage to their wallets.
BT ups Sport & TV prices. Broadband unaffected
BT has announced hikes worth up to £48 a year across its Sport and TV packages.
The increases will see your bills rise by between £1 and £4 a month depending on which services you're signed up for and will be implemented on Sunday, 28 July – just weeks before the new English Premier League season kicks off.
Broadband and landline prices will be unaffected, as the company maintains its pledge not to hike these in 2019 (having already done so in 2018).
The full details of the price hikes aren't yet available, but we do know that Classic, Essential, Sport Starter, Entertainment and Entertainment Plus TV packages will rise by £1 a month, while MoneySavingExpert is reporting that those on the Max plan will face the full £4-monthly rise.
Fed up with BT? Check out the cheapest Sky, broadband and TV deals.
Can you tell BT where to go?
The good news is you can cancel the relevant packages even if you're mid-contract without paying a penalty, provided you do so within 30 days of being notified by BT, which says it's in the process of contacting those affected.
The bad news is you can only cancel the parts that are getting more expensive, so you'll have to continue paying for any other services you might be signed up to despite the fact you probably signed up for them altogether.
Given that the vast majority of those facing the hikes will have BT broadband, it's a pain to say the least!
The TV is separate to the line and broadband. If you are currently in a contract for your line/broadband and you cancel the account, you will incur cancellation charges ^Elaine— BT (@bt_uk) June 19, 2019
It doesn't hurt to haggle
BT might not be the cheapest telecoms company but it’s the UK’s biggest provider and many customers like the security that comes with a well-established brand.
Like other telecoms companies, BT regularly puts up its prices but existing customers don't have to put up with the extra cost – they can haggle their way to a cheaper deal.
All you have to do is call 0800 783 1401.
This is the number you call to cancel services but what will actually happen is that you’ll be put through to a “retentions” call centre where the person on the other end will have the power to offer you an unpublicised deal.
It as good as says this on the BT website: “Before you cancel we need to speak to you to confirm some details and discuss alternative options available.”
It’s best to call when your contract is about to end, or has already done so.
Hi Kathy, if you give us a call on 0800 783 1401 the loyalty team will check what deals are available for you. ^Aisling— BT (@bt_uk) June 18, 2019
How to haggle with BT
If you aren't confident speaking on the phone, it’s worth planning what you’re going to say. Have some negotiating phrases ready and use past service problems as ammunition.
Call when you are sure you have plenty of time to talk – this might not be a quick call.
There are some sure-fire phrases to getting you a better deal: “I’m leaving”, “I’m paying too much for my current package” and “x offers a cheaper deal”.
To back up your argument take a look around the best buys on the market to see if you can genuinely get a better deal elsewhere.
Alternatively, tell them the maximum you want to spend each month – say £30 – and ask what you can get for your money.
The secret of haggling is not to be rude or defensive, but use a little charm. Try and build a rapport with the person you speak to so they will like you and give you the best deal they can.
Don’t go with the first offer. Chances are, it's not the best deal they can do. If they can’t or won't slash the price, see if they can include any extras, such as free calls or BT Sport.
Don’t rush into anything if you’re not sure – say you need to check with your partner/flatmates/parents first.
Find out more at How to haggle and save a fortune.
Our customer options team on 0800 783 1401 handle all cancellation requests Grant. ^Karl— BT (@bt_uk) June 18, 2019
Cut back on your call package
It's not affected by the hikes, but savings on your landline can offset your rising costs.
Think about how you use it. Are you on the right deal?
Unlimited free calls might be nice to have, but if you aren't using it that often, £9.99 a month is a pretty hefty cost.
If you own a mobile phone contract and have decent reception at home, check how many free minutes you get. Chances are you could use your mobile for all your calls and scrap BT call packages altogether.
And look out for extras like BT's 1571 Voicemail service, which costs £3.50 a month, of Call Barring, which can cost anywhere up to £12.75 a month.
Can you ditch BT fee-free?
Remember, cashback deals are only available to “new” customers – so if you cancel your services and order them again via a cashback site it’s probably not going to work
Get paid to pay your BT bill
Two bank accounts pay cashback on your direct debits, including the money spent on broadband, TV and phone packages. So you can earn a few quid back thanks to your bill every month.
*This article contains affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission on any sales of products or services we write about. This article was written completely independently.
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