If you’re a BT or EE customer, we’ve got some bad news – your monthly bill will increase from tomorrow (March 31, 2021). The price hike shouldn’t be too much of a shock, as BT started to warn customers around two months ago. BT, which owns EE, will be increasing bills for landline, broadband, mobile and BT Sport subscribers.
Unfortunately, unless you’re within the first two weeks of your contract, when you can cancel “no questions asked”, it’s not possible to terminate a contract over the annual mid-contract price hikes without incurring a fee. Of course, if you’re outside of your minimum contract period you can end your contract at any time without any fees, including before the latest price rise kicks-in.
So, how much extra will BT and EE customers have to pay?
BT uses the Consumer Price Index, or CPI, to adjust the amount customers pay each month. The CPI, which is announced in January of each year, is designed to be a measure of whether the cost of goods and services across several industries is rising or falling in the UK. To do this, CPI takes a basket of goods (food, clothes, petrol) and looking at what they cost last year, what they cost now, and calculating the difference. Crucially, the CPI leaves the cost of your home out of the basket – so any rises to mortgage payments, rent and council tax aren’t taken into account in the new rate.
Each year, BT takes the CPI rate of inflation and then adds an additional 3.9 percent. So, in total, that’s a rise of 4.5 percent compared to what you’re already paying each month.
For example, if your BT broadband bill clocks in around £40 a month, you’ll need to cough up an extra £1.80 on each bill. That’s around £22 extra over the course of a year.
According to BT, that sort of monthly increase is actually going to be pretty typical this year.
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BT told Express.co.uk that the average increase for customers would most likely be less than £2 a month – £24 per year. While that’s not a huge amount of money, it will still be a very unwelcome change for anyone hit by the hike. As well as broadband, pay-monthly phone, and landline customers seeing higher bills, some BT Sport subscribers will also be hit by the 4.5 percent rise. The latter impacts anyone who watches this BT Sport content as part of a contracted TV deal.
Likewise, EE uses the same calculation. In other words, the CPI with an additional 3.9 percent slapped on. So, if you’re paying £20 a month for your SIM-only deal on EE, you’ll be charged an extra 90p each month – or a total of £10.80 more over the course of the year until the next price hike.
However, if you’re currently mid-contract on an iPhone 12 Pro Max with 512GB of built-in storage, unlimited texts, minutes and unlimited 5G data from EE, you can expect to see a much bigger hike. Currently charged at £113 a month, the new price comes in at £118.08 a month. In other words, more than £60 extra this year.
Plusnet, which is also owned by BT, hasn’t confirmed a price rise yet, but acknowledges that monthly charges could be reviewed later in the year.