Nick Lane, managing director for consumer customer services at BT
Price rises are never popular, but are sometimes a necessary part of business, if we're to keep up with the rising costs we face and ensure we can continue to deliver a brilliant network experience as customers usage of data grows month on month. We've thought long and hard about how we make sure that any pricing changes are predictable, clear, and not unfairly focussed on our existing customers, but reflected in our new prices too.
Two years ago, we decided to change the way we implemented price changes. Instead of unexpected, and inconsistent price changes throughout the year, we introduced a single contracted price rise, that would happen annually from 31 March, and would reflect the rising costs to the business, and inflation - measured at CPI, and for those who've joined since July last year, CPI+ 3.9%.
With CPI being announced today at 5.4%, most of our customers will see an increase of 9.4%, which means for the average customer a monthly increase of £3.50.
These changes won't be for all our customers, however. For our financially vulnerable customers on BT Home Essentials, BT Home Phone Saver and BT Basic, we will be leaving their prices as they are.
We'll soon start writing to our customers, letting them know clearly what this year's changes will mean for them. We'll also be explaining why this year's increase is necessary, allowing us to continue to offer our customers the best and most reliable connection on our networks, with the latest technologies and brilliant UK based service - and all in the most sustainable way.
1. Customers are using even more data
Customers' data usage on our networks has increased dramatically. We've seen a 90% increase on broadband since 2018 and 79% increase on mobile since 2019 as customers rely on our connectivity more than ever for things like working from home, education online and the growth in TV streaming. Unlike most things we buy, like food, electricity or fuel, you don't pay more for using more as our data plans are unlimited, but we need to keep investing in our networks so they can handle this huge increase in demand.
2. We're pride ourselves on providing the best and most reliable networks
The importance of a reliable internet connection at home and on the go has never been greater. Recent researchshows that for some consumers, a reliable connection is more important than being in a relationship or going on holiday. Only with BT can you get the UK's first unbreakable home wi-fi-with the help of EE, the UK's best mobile network. EE has been named the UK's no.1 for mobile network performance eight years in a row - and we've already got more of the UK covered by 4G and 5G than anyone else.
3. Our personal and local approach to great customer service is working:
I'm incredibly proud of the work my team has done to improve our customer service experience. We remain the only network to answer 100% of customer calls in the UK. Our excellent customer service colleagues provide the best, most personal and local service across all phone and digital channels. Our customers can also get seamless support in store, online, or even in home with our Home Tech Experts - in a way that works for them.
4. We've moving to 100% renewable energy
We already use 100% renewable electricity across our network and our customer services. But for us that's still not enough - we'll continue to invest, leading the way to speed up decarbonisation so everything we do can be powered by 100% renewable energy.
5. Protecting the most vulnerable
Despite all of these, we recognise that affordable connectivity is still out of reach for some, which is why we have protected our most financially vulnerable customers from the changes this year.
Last year, we led the market in introducing our at-cost social tariff, BT Home Essentials, for those on Universal Credit and a range of other means-tested benefits. The package offers fibre broadband and calls for £15 a month, which is helping to close the digital divide and get people back on their feet. These customers will not see an increase in their prices, and neither will customers on BT Basic. We also know for other customers connectivity is as simple as having the comfort of their landline and that's why we're also freezing changes for our Home Phone Saver customers too.
We continue to work hard for our customers. We hope that by investing for the future; in our brilliant networks to meet the continuing increase in demand; in delivering the best experience for our customers through innovative products and brilliant service; and in sustainable ways of working, we will all benefit.