News : BT Broadband Customers to Pay an Extra £2 a Month
London, UK, Jan 23, 2017 -- BT is hiking prices for its broadband and TV customers to pay for better compensation and more UK call centres for customers who receive poor service.
The telecoms provider will use the money to pilot "proactive" compensation for customers who are affected if the company fails to meet service targets.
This could mean giving automatic refunds to customers whose broadband doesn't work or who experience delays in having their internet set up.
The firm has also pledged that customers who experienced problems would be able to speak to someone in a British call centre, with 90 per cent of calls now answered in the UK and Ireland.
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Customers will get free defence against nuisance calls and some would also be eligible for an upgrade to fibre optic broadband for the price of standard copper broadband.
It has also promised to fix customers' broken internet more quickly. Customers who lose access to the internet are now having their line repaired up to 31 hours more quickly than in June last year.
John Petter, chief executive of BT Consumer, said: "Customers will get a better package and improved service this year in exchange for paying a little more."
Last year, in a victory for The Telegraph's campaign for better broadband, BT pledged a multi-billion pound upgrade programme, connecting around two million homes and businesses to ultrafast fibre-optic broadband lines.
The company has been fiercely criticised by rivals in the past for under-investing in its dominant Openreach network, but in October said it is now "pumping in hundreds of millions of pounds of extra money."
A spokesman for the firm said the price hike was not linked to the cost of investing in providing more fibre broadband.
The provider is also going to combine line rental and broadband into a single charge, and existing customers will no longer be billed separately.
The majority of the changes will come into force on April 2.
Competitors Sky, Virgin Media and TalkTalk all increased prices last year. Sky increased the cost of its TV packages by up to £72 in June, and is increasing its line rental charge in March this year.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Thursday, January 26, 2017
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