Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/02/28/bt_price_hike/

BT preps 2000 per cent evening call price hike

Someone's got to pay for free weekend calls

By Christopher Williams

Posted in Broadband, 28th February 2008 14:08 GMT

BT is in the middle of a massive marketing campaign for its new "Unlimited Weekends" calls package, which will offer free calls on Saturdays and Sundays. There's a doozy of a catch, however: weekday evening call charges will rocket to more than 2000 per cent of their current cost.

Unlimited Weekends will replace BT Together Option 1, the basic calls package, from 1 April. Under the current standard regime, an hour long call to a UK landline during the week costs a flat-rate 4.5 pence.

The new charging scheme will slap a six pence set-up levy on each call. Each minute of the conversation will then be charged at 1.5 pence per minute, so Monday to Friday an hour-long call to a UK landline will go from 4.5 pence to 96 pence. The full details are here (PDF).

BT is offering a way to escape the hike. If you agree a 12 month contract it'll bump you up to BT Together Option 2, which includes free weekday evening calls. A BT spokesman said the move is a customer retention ploy.

He said: "We make no apology for the rise in evening call costs. We are trying to move customers to unmetered packages."

BT won't turn down the extra revenue from the months it'll take most people to realise the massive increase in their weekday evening costs, of course. ®

Bootnote

Kudos to Reg reader Simon for reading the small print. As he dryly notes, the letter BT sent to customers to announce the changes promises "we're always looking for ways to give you more value for money."