T-Mobile UK earmarks two tariffs for scrappage
Not so flexible, not so friendly
T-Mobile UK is junking its Combi and Flext tariffs next month, the trade paper Mobile Today reveals.
The cellco will also scrap 12-month contracts and will replace the Solo sim-only tariff, according to the paper.
In a presentation seen by Mobile Today [which probably means it has its hands on a briefing document meant for retailers], T-Mobile said the new payment plans will "allow ‘great customer offers’, ‘ultra flexibility’ and ...offer better value for customers".
Replacement plans will enable customers to choose from ‘flexible’ boosters of unlimited texts, landline calls, internet and roaming boosters, Mobile Today says.
Combi is T-Mobile's budget contract option: customers get unlimited internet or text messages, a set amount of call minutes and a choice of two cheap phones. Aimed at heavy users, Flext automatically "remixes" credit according to usage. The contract comes with a "hot" phone and 18-month lock-in - and a minimum commitment of £40 per month, in return for £225 credit.
Combi and Flext may not be missed, if T-Mobile retail staff reactions, captured by Mobile Today, are anything to go by. One notes little consumer appetite for Flext and drawbacks with Combi, which has "no flexibility because the customer has got to have unlimited texts even if they only send two text messages a month".
Britain is supposedly Europe's most competitive mobile phone market, with all the major operators - and 3 - jockeying for position.This could soon change with T-Mobile's owner, Deutsche Telekom, effectively throwing in the towel in the UK, where it is an also-ran. It wants to merge its UK business with France Telecom's Orange unit, to create the UK's biggest mobile phone company with 29 mill subscribers. By all accounts, Orange executives will take charge, when regulators let the merger proceed.
This month, O2, Vodafone and 3 called on the UK's Competition Commission and / or the Office of Fair Trading to review the deal, citing fears over the merged group's accumulation of radio frequencies that may be used for rolling out 4th-generation LTE data services.
I like my Flext tariff as I don't want to have to keep an eye on allowances and it's great not having to worry about how I'm using my phone. Only last year we were being told by T-Mobile and consumer groups alike how popular Flext is - now they're saying the opposite. This is an annoying move by T-Mobile - Flext really was unique in the marketplace. I wonder if the merger with Orange has anything to do with it...
Perhaps we as consumers should be going down the sim only route anyway.
You by the handset you want from the manufacturer you want, with the contract/deal you want from the operator you want.
Shame that at the moment any real decent handsets cost hundreds of pounds sim free, and handsets I want are on operators that I would avoid like the plague.
EU Directive 2009/136/EC,Amendments to Directive 2002/22/EC, Article 30 Paragraph 5 states:
Member States shall ensure that contracts concluded between consumers and undertakings providing electronic communications services do not mandate an initial commitment period that exceeds 24 months. Member States shall also ensure that undertakings offer users the possibility to subscribe to a contract with a maximum duration of 12months.
Did you speak to retentions?
Or any old CSA?
When I was faced with a similar option, I calmly said to the retentions person that I would do the following instead then :
1) New connection in store to get phone I want on same price plan
2) Put through Port request on existing # to go to a Virgin PAYG SIM
3) Once the existing # is on Virgin, immediately port it back to T-Mobile.
I then asked if T-Mobile would rather pay out more money in new connection subsidies (including whatever they pay Virgin for a new "customer") as opposed to just giving me the phone as an upgrade. After speaking to her supervisor, I got the phone as an upgrade.
1/ 18 month lock-in (even if you already have a phone) - Why?
sim only deals of course