A few months ago I posted about O2 imposing mid contract price rises. These were at the time blamed on increasing costs by O2 in tweets such as this one:
and numerous other official statements on the matter all blaming increasing costs as the reason why price rises were necessary.
However a few days ago O2 released quarterly figures to their shareholders which reveal something new. That for the last few months O2 have been feeding their customers a pack of lies.
Their costs haven’t actually increased by 2.7%, RPI, CPI or indeed any other measure of inflation. They have actually dropped over the last 12 months. By 5.1%. Which begs the question why were prices rises necessary in the first place and why have O2 announced new price rises for Pay As You Go customers today? Because the answer clearly isn’t down to costs.
You can read O2’s financial statement to their shareholders here (page 24 is the particularly interesting one)
Mere hours after I posted blasting the networks for the lack of information on the UK pricing for the iPhone 4 a little snippet of information has come to light. Not from the networks who are still remaining deathly silent as the game of chicken continues into a 3rd day but from an anonymous tipster e-mailing pocket lint. Now for reasons that will become clear in this post I am taking this information with an extremely large pinch of salt as I cannot believe O2 would demonstrate such stupidity as to offer an early upgrade offer that isn’t actually an offer (again as you will see later in this post)
The rumoured £20 per month remaining of contract to upgrade looks good on paper sure. Most iPhone customers are on tariffs ranging from £25 to £75 per month so this is great no? NO it’s not great!!!
Most iPhone customers probably believe the iPhone tariffs are the full range of tariffs available to them. They aren’t. I changed 2 months ago from an iPhone tariff over to the standard set of tariffs as I was starting to use my iPhone sim in a Sony Ericsson Xperia X10. And being on the standard tariffs makes me aware of two more additional tariffs below the £25 level priced at £15 and £10.
So I will be on the £25 a month tariff with 12 months left to run when the iPhone 4 comes out. So assuming this taken with a pinch of salt report is correct upgrading to the iPhone 4 using the early upgrade offer will cost me £240.
Alternatively I can either try and get an additional contract or if that fails I’ll have to wait 2 months, downgrade to £15 and then to £10 a month and then pay off my contract. That will cost me £25 for the first month, £15 for the second and then £10 months at £10 which is a total of £140 saving £100.
If the report does turn out to be accurate and that really is the O2 upgrade “offer” I’d strongly suggest people take a good hard look at it and work out if it will be significantly less expensive to do it another way
EDIT – The details are now up on the O2 website regarding the early upgrade offer and as feared its the fantastic £20 a month offer that works out more expensive than dropping down to the lowest tariff and then buying out the remaining months of the contract. Nice one O2
So some 36 hours ago the new iPhone 4 got announced by Apple’s Steve Jobs and became the first truly worthwhile thing Apple have announced this year that isn’t just four existing products stuck together with cellotape! Plus the good news that the UK would be receiving the device at launch.
Since the announcement, what have the UK mobile networks done and what information have they released to their (potential) customers? Well the answer to that is not much. Each network have come out and said they will be selling it (in the order O2, Vodafone, Orange and new to the iPhone T-Mobile). O2 have also come out and said existing customers would be able to upgrade onto it but provided no solid details on if that is all existing customers, selected existing customers, a few customers drawn out of a hat or what.
Go onto most of the mobile phone network websites and you’ll find naff all actual information apart from harvesting e-mail addresses with the promise of being the first to find out. But the information we need such as cost and details of O2’s early upgrade scheme are nowhere to be seen. And it’s starting to thoroughly pee me and some other people off. It’s not like this has come as a surprise to the networks, they must have known about the impending announcement probably long before anyone else did. So all the information their customers need should have been ready to go the second Steve Jobs stopped talking.
If you look on the twitter feeds for some of the UK networks HERE and HERE its just full of people asking the same question that should have been answered on Monday night “how much will it cost” or in O2’s case “will I be able to upgrade and how much will it cost” and its getting ridiculous. The only reason I can think of why not one of the networks has come forward and revealed their pricing is they don’t want to be first and risk the other 3 undercutting them. Now that is fair enough but they need to realise that keeping their current and potential customers in the dark is going to thoroughly pee them off possibly to the point where they will just go to the first network to announce the prices even if the others are slightly cheaper.
Last year O2 made a right mess of the 3GS launch by refusing to listen to their customers and not allowing any kind of upgrade path without paying unlawful penalty charges, buying the device at full cost on PAYG or taking out additional contracts. This was responsible for the #o2fail tag to appear on twitter and it has had one or two mentions again this year as has my hashtag #tellushowmuchnow (which hasn’t taken off as yet). This year 4 networks are bustling for our custom but are making an even bigger pigs ear of things by keeping (potential) customers in the dark and not giving people the information they need. Who knows, perhaps by the time iPhone 5 is announced we might know how much iPhone 4 is going to cost!