Feeds

Asda lashes mobile carriers for price hikes

BTCellnet and Vodafone attacked for 90 per cent increases

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

Vodafone and BTCellnet are feeling the wrath of Asda after announcing plans to raise pre-paid mobile phone prices by 90 per cent. The supermarket chain has complained to Oftel, the telephone watchdog, that the companies have broken sales agreements. Asda has been buying mobiles at a cost price of around £30, but BTCellnet has announced it will up this to £60. Vodafone is doing the same, and Orange and One2One are believed to be taking similar steps. Asda claims this is anti-competitive behaviour. The price hikes follows the price war which broke out over pay-as-you-go mobiles in supermarkets last week. Asda, Safeway and Sainsbury’s all followed Tesco's price slashing, resulting in some packages on the shelves priced as low as £49.99. Apparently, Vodafone and BTCellnet were unable to cope with the surging demand, so decided to push up prices. They also expressed worries about a repeat of the problems experienced last Christmas following booming sales. However, according to today's Daily Telegraph, Asda accused the telecomms companies of being just plain greedy. "Having turned mobile phones into everyday items, BTCellnet and Vodafone now want to re-introduce higher charges and put the low-price genie back in the bottle," said Sioned Rees-Thomas, Asda home and leisure business director. Asda called for Oftel to act fast, warning that otherwise customers would lose out. "The words 'cake' and 'eat it' spring to mind," another Asda representative added. BTCellnet defended its actions by claiming the company was simply not wringing enough profits out of its customers. "No one foresaw that the acceleration in unit demand would outstrip customer call volumes in the short to medium term. "Lower-than-expected levels of billable usage, and a higher-than-expected level of sales of phones have therefore necessitated these changes," wept one BTCellnet representative. Oftel this afternoon said it was unable to comment as it had still not received the complaint from Asda. So much for Asda imploring the watchdog to act fast - obviously, the supermarket thought it was more important to alert the press than the regulator itself. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE
Can't face sea of wobbling fondle implements. What happened to lighters, eh?
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Online tat bazaar eBay coughs to YET ANOTHER outage
Web-based flea market struck dumb by size and scale of fail
Amazon takes swipe at PayPal, Square with card reader for mobes
Etailer plans to undercut rivals with low transaction fee offer
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.