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Line rental jumps up

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BT is raising the cost of monthly line rental from £11.50 to £12.50 and increasing daytime call charges.

If you don't have a bundled call package then per minute charges go up to 4.5p from 1 April. The company won praise here earlier this month for cutting costs of 0870 and 0845 numbers.

James Parker, broadband manager at moneysupermarket.com, said BT was giving with one hand and taking away with the other, and the decision was particularly hard on people who only really use their BT line so they can get broadband through another provider.

Parker said: "At a time when households all across the UK are counting every penny, this increase will come as a blow. Although some customers can negate this increase by opting for paperless billing and paying by direct debit, the millions of customers who already do this will be worse off."

BT's shares took a tumble yesterday when its Global Services arm looked likely to miss financial targets for the year.

BT said:

We have also made some other price changes, including increasing line rental by £1. Ofcom has reviewed the costs for [Openreach] lines and as a result are proposing an increase in line rental charges. This is likely to put up line rental prices for most companies. However, the majority of BT customers can save £1.25 by opting for paper-free billing.

Vulnerable customers on our unique BT Basic option will continue to pay a subsidised line rental of just £4.40 a month, with £4.50 worth of calls included every quarter.

We have also slightly increased the set up fee by just over 1p a call and the cost of daytime calls to 4.5p a minute, although customers can avoid these charges on UK calls by taking our Anytime calls package.

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