Plusnet to withdraw broadband without line rental package

9 October 2019   By Dr Lucy Brown, Editor

Budget broadband provider remove longstanding option to take broadband without line rental amid pricing review.

Existing customers can still enjoy broadband with Plusnet and line rental with another provider, but the package will not be available to new customers from 3 December 2019.

As well as this, Plusnet are implementing price increases for their broadband packages and are also making an array of changes to call charges and a £1 per month line rental increase.

It follows a tumultuous year for Plusnet triggered by the switch to a new billing system back in September 2018.

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© Plusnet

Line rental changes

Plusnet have been an anomaly in broadband pricing for several years due to offering broadband services without line rental, as long as the customer was already served by the underlying BT network.

From 3 December, this will no longer be the case, meaning customers taking broadband from Plusnet will have to take line rental too as is the case with other providers.

It's unclear how popular Plusnet's offer of broadband without line rental was, but it was something different in the marketplace that is now being closed to new customers.

For existing customers, there should be no immediate changes to the services they receive, but it's worth keeping an eye on what happens when contracts are up for renewal.

As ever, we would always recommend shopping around for a new provider if customers are unhappy with any of the packaged costs offered by providers. Search for a new deal here.

Price increases

Plusnet have also undertaken a comprehensive price review that increases prices for their broadband packages, along with many call charges and packages.

These are the headline broadband price increases:

  • Unlimited Broadband (10Mb) - £14.49 to £16.49
  • Unlimited Fibre (36Mb) - £18.49 to £20.49
  • Unlimited Fibre Extra (66Mb) - £23.49 to £25.49

As customers often have phone charges or additional services like TV on top of their monthly broadband fee, these figures might not match what you pay.

In addition, it's important to remember that Plusnet still operate geographical pricing, meaning 1% of their customers already pay more for services. These prices are rising too.

It also details the call charge increases from 3 December. These include:

  • A 1p increase for call set-up, bringing it to 23p per call
  • Calls to landlines rising 1.5p to 15p per minute
  • Calls to mobiles rising 3p to 18p per minute
  • Unlimited UK and Mobile Calls rising by £1 to £9 per month
  • Evening and Weekend Calls rising by £1 to £5

There are also details of price increases for legacy packages, so it's worth checking on the site for full information.

Plusnet's struggles

It's true that nobody likes a price increase, but all broadband companies increase their prices from time to time, so switching is no guarantee of avoiding increases.

For example, Plusnet caution that even customers on their fixed price broadband contracts are still affected by the call charge increases, and this is fairly universal.

However, Plusnet acting to increase their prices now following a year of problems stemming from their switch to a new billing system in September 2018 is bound to cause consternation.

They were the most complained about broadband provider for both Q4 2018 and Q1 2019, and have recently had to issue backdated bills to some customers, suggesting this trend will likely continue in the next round of complaint figures.

Even so, they have joined other major broadband providers in promising fairness to their customers by signing up to Ofcom's fairness commitments and improving out of contract pricing strategies.

Read our recently updated review of Plusnet broadband here.

Which broadband deals are available in your area?

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