steps up the pressure on its rivals by abolishing its standard rate and switchingÊ fixed-line customers to competitive new BT Together packages on Thursday. The simpler tariffs will bring an end to rivals’ comparisons between their best rates and BT’s standard rate. BT’sÊ new prices will put them within a whisker of the cheapest rates available.Customers will now be able to make an easier like-for-like comparison between companies and decide whether a difference of a few pennies a day justifies the inconvenience of receiving two bills and leaving an established operator like BT for newer entrants to the market.Ê
With the demise of the standard rate, customers will be automatically transferred to BT Together option 1 and will pay just 5.5p for an hour’s call evenings and weekends, and 3p a minute in the daytime. BT will be cheaper for most calls to UK landlines than its major cable rivals and, where some non-cable rivals are cheaper, the difference will amount to pennies per day.
Line rental for BT Together option 1 also comes down £1 per month to just £10.50 by Direct Debit, which is a saving for the five million customers already on this option.
Gavin Patterson, group managing director, BT Consumer and Ventures, said: “We think we really rattled the opposition when we announced these simplified, great-value packages earlier this year.
“The independent comparison and switching service uSwitch.com estimates that an average standard rate customer will be approximately £24 a year better off as a result of moving to option 1.
“One of the great benefits for customers is that all our rivals will now have to make realistic, like-for-like price comparisons rather than trotting out comparisons versus our more expensive standard rates. We expect customers to be easily able to judge now how much BT is cheaper than its cable rivals, or to see exactly how small the gap is between us and the few rivals who slightly undercut us.
“Our increased competitiveness on price means customers can focus more on the overall value of what they get. They can factor in considerations such as the service and experience they get from an established operator like BT, when compared to what’s on offer from more recent arrivals to the market.”
Customers on BT Together options 2 and 3 have been benefiting from cheaper prices since April.Ê For £6 a month more than Option 1, BT Together Option 2 offers free UK evening and weekend calls, while Option 3 gives free UK daytime, evening and weekend calls for an additional £15 a month.