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BT warns customers it will be increasing its prices

BT is alerting millions of customers that it is increasing prices by up to 6.5 per cent in a blow to households struggling with soaring utility bills.

The telecoms giant will increase the price of standard line rental for direct debit customers by £1, or 6.25 per cent, to £16.99 from December 1, while the pence per minute (ppm) rate for calls to UK landlines and 0870 numbers will go up 6.44 per cent from 9p a minute to 9.58p.

The set-up fee for landline calls will increase from 15p to 15.97p, residential calls to the Timeline speaking clock will go up from 36.6p to 38.97p and call return will increase from 19.9p to 21.19p.

Broadband prices are going up by as much as 6.49 per cent, although BT said its current "high profile" press and TV broadband offers will stay the same.

The cost of BT Basic, the phone service for low-income customers, will remain at £5.10 a month with a call allowance.

BT said the majority of its customers were on inclusive call packages and did not pay the set-up fee or ppm charges, adding that call bills had "decreased 14 per cent in the last five years".

But it said those customers on the popular Unlimited Anytime Calls plan would see the price increase by 6.43 per cent from £7 a month to £7.45.

The move follows its rival Sky announcing it is to increase some tariffs on September 1.

BT Consumer chief executive John Petter said: "BT is sensitive to the tough economic times and we've taken care to make sure that low-income customers avoid price increases.

"We've added extra money-saving options for low-income customers and for customers who only want a phone line for calls.

"Although some prices have gone up, we want to help our customers to find the best value BT option with Right Plan.

Last month BT claimed its Premier League offering was helping it win its battle with Sky as it grew broadband and TV revenues by a quarter, adding 104,000 broadband customers in the three months to the end of June.

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