BT ups landline rates

Despite announcing £1.7bn profits in May this year, telecoms groups are cynically raising their prices, with BT set to raise its landline rental prices for the third time in 14 months later this year.

The telecoms giant says its landline charges will rise by 5% to £14.60 a month on 3 December, with call charges rising by 5%. With hikes in gas and electricity prices affecting the majority of households, this latest decision will be a blow to consumers who are already reeling from the government's raft of austerity measures.

John Petter, managing director of BT's consumer division, is all for the hikes. He said: 'We are making a series of price updates in December, but are then freezing some of our main prices until 2013. This will provide our customers with greater certainty over their bills. We are also telling them how they can save money with BT. Our Line Rental Saver product, for example, will soon provide customers with a saving of more than £50 per year.'

After price increases in October 2010 as well as in April of this year, the latest hikes will undoubtedly lead to claims that the company is out to profit at the expense of its customers. The cost of making a landline call with BT has risen by 40.7% since 1 April 2010, with the increases affecting those on BT's basic package, typically the elderly and the poor, the most.

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