BT relinquishes switching charge

27 March 2007
BT has announced it will no longer impose a £5 switching charge on customers after it came under pressure from industry regulator Ofcom to abandon the scheme.

SimplySwitch's Karen Darby welcomed the move, noting that "consumers looking to find a better deal were set to be unfairly punished".

At the same time, BT has decided to relinquish a scheme to hike the cost of barring outgoing calls from a home phone from £11.50 to £17.50.

"We decided proactively to tell our customers in the April edition of the customer magazine that we weren't going to implement some of these charges," John Petter of BT's consumer division told This Is Money.

Nevertheless, the telecoms company will go ahead with plans to charge customers £4.50 for paying their bills by cash or cheque, a move critics have denounced as unfairly penalising lower-income customers who are unable to make an advance financial commitment.

Moreover, the late payment fee for bills will rise as anticipated from £5 to £7.50.

When these charges come into force on May 1st they will "undoubtedly push many people away" from BT into the arms of their competitors, according to Karen Darby of SimplySwitch.

To read more about home phones, click here.


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