As a user with a number of accounts and contracts, with various networks, for both me and my other half, I decided recently that it was time to start 'consolidating' a little bit, and closing some of them down.
So let me tell you my tale.
In terms of the other half, her accounts are as follows:
1) Orange archived Text Only Package, £20 per month, for 3000 texts (limit, not a fair use figure), with no voice minutes - used as her main phone as she texts so much.
2) T-mobile Flext 35 with Web n Walk, for voice calls, and internet browsing all day, with 25% discount off.
3) O2 Online 500 tariff, with 200 minutes, and 500 texts a month, for £30, but she currently gets it for £20 (well me actually as it's in my name. Which she uses as her business phone.
What I ended up doing for her, is having a THREE MONTH fight with Orange and Customer Resolutions Dept., to allow her (me) to change her archive text only deal, to a standard Dolphin £35 tariff - 500 minutes, 3000 texts (fair use cap). And even then, after three months of fighting and faxing and writing, they still screwed up, as they were MEANT to match the Orange direct deal of 600 minutes instead, but when the tariff was finally changed, they didn't. Thanks Orange.
So this just left her T-Mobile and O2 packages - the O2 one being out of contract in a week's time, and the T-Mobile one in less than a month - so either or both can be scrapped, ported or whatever.
And what I plan on doing with these is cancelling the O2 account, and PAC coding her O2 number, over onto T-Mobile. This is because she now can use her Orange main phone for voice calls too, so she doesn't need her T-Mobile for that anymore - so she will just port her business number onto the existing account. Then she can use Orange for text and normal voice, T-Mobile for Business Voice and text, and use the same T-Mobile account for her Unlimited Internet a la Web n Walk.
This is because Orange still have NOTHING to offer, to allow her to 'consolidate' as you will see from the tale of MY own accounts next:
Right, now that her accounts are sorted, time to turn attention to my own.
I'm a bit more straightforward in that I only have TWO accounts, to her three (which are in my name anyway *lol*)
1) O2 Online £35, with 750 minutes and 750 or a 1000 texts, can't remember which, but discounted to £28 a month at present (bear in mind from dealing with this for many family members though, O2 Online have not been offering any good retention deals lately - in fact, if you take out a new handset upgrade, for three of my family members, they have said this will mean they will lose the existing line rental discount they currently have).
2) T-Mobile Flext 30 + W n W with 25% off both elements.
I use my O2 as my main line for all things, but utilise the T-Mobile one solely for data only, web, email, and blogging, for the last 18 months, so the inclusive allowance of calls and texts has all but been wasted - a situation I am obviously keen to resolve.
So I went round the Metrocentre last week, to ALL the networks, and even rang a number of independents.
And this is what we found:
Can do me a Dolphin £35 tariff to add to my existing account as used by partner, mentioned above, with 500 minutes, and 3000 texts.
Problem here? Data... Get this, the Store Supervisor didn't even know of the existence of any Data Bundle for Consumers, as poor as it happens to be already with the mooted 30MB limit a month. He was adamant that there was no such thing, and there was NO data offering I could have other than getting a data card and business account. I explained loudly to him what actually was available, but would he hell have it.
So my problem with Orange was twofold... it offered the best value calls and texts package of any net at the price point I was looking for, but did not allow me the opportunity to add a Data bundle like WnW, or even if I could get past the thick supervisor, the 30Mb a month limit is all but useless to me.
So in short, Orange literally did rule themselves right out of the game from the off, because of still not having a decent data bundle offering like T-Mobile. Let's remember here, i am not splitting hairs, my whole intention here is to start CONSOLIDATING accounts and packages, so no point at all going to Orange, with the best Voice and Text deal, if I still have to keep my other accounts open.
Same as above for Orange, but with the added bonus of either a free gift such as X-Box 360, or HALF PRICE line rental on a basic handset, on Orange Dolphin £35 - May I suggest you check out the Modaco Shop for some GREAT offers, if this package appeals to you.
Again, this was a none-starter right from the off however, as it STILL means I can't CONSOLIDATE thanks to no proper data bundle. Now do you see where I am going with this... that Orange, even with the best base tariffs by far now, in Dolphin £35, still completely rule out a large number of people right from the outset, by not having a data bundle, which means they need to have two accounts otherwise.
Tried to offer me a basic tariff deal loosely approaching Orange's Dolphin 35, but still could not offer the same amount of texts.
Additionally, what was curious, was that he told me O2 offer 75MB data for £10 a month, which I did not know, and none of us on here seem to be aware of, as it's better than Orange, but costs slightly more, but he did say he could add this by doing an offset against my line rental, to bring the net cost of the bundle down to the same as WnW.
So O2 actually looked a bit better than I thought, but still not ideal, in that for the same money going out each month, I could manage roughly 750 minutes, 1000 texts, and 75MB of data.
With Orange, it would be 500 mins, 3000 texts, and 30Mb Data.
So O2 still were not good enough for me, as 75MB is no use to me. 1GB may be loads more than I need, but I have proved regular in the past that I do however still go over 100MB certain months.
Now admittedly, this one is only an option for me because of my 25% off both tariff and WnW for life, because of when I joined T-Mobile, thus bringing the cost of something like Flext 50 + WnW down to just £43 instead of £57.50, and thus actually cheaper than the prices quoted for packages with Orange and O2 mentioned above. For others, this might be a none-starter due to the package cost, but for many of us that joined T-Mobile when we did, we get a loyalty discount.
So with T-Mobile, I can change my existing Flext 30 + Wnw for which I hardly use the tariff element, up to Flext 50. This will then mean I can make around 200 minutes of calls, (Which is actually probably more than enough, it's just that Orange and O2 lump high minutes in with high texts on their packages, so I don' have a choice), and around 2400 texts, which should be enough for me, high texter that I am.
I will also of course, have my WnW, which as one of the ORIGINAL customers, does not have the conditions the later versions of it do, in terms of restrictions.
All of this, for a grand total, after discount, of just £43 a month!
And this is exactly what I am going to do. Port my main number over to T-Mobile, and uprate my tariff.
And as my minimum contract term on this account ends 3rd August, the nice girl in retentions has assured me the Evening and Weekend Calls offer has been extended until end of August instead of end of July as it was meant to end, so that when I upgrade, I can have most handsets free, including (promised and noted) an N95, to give an idea of the price, and when I upgrade in August, I will have free evening and weekend calls for life, added to my account. So the value of it just increased more again! All without losing my 25% discount, and this has been added to the notes in case of any issues later when upgrading.
So Orange lose out, because of lack of decent Data Bundles.
And let me clarify something for you... I am aware that this scenario only applies to me, in that I have a 25% discount with T-Mobile.
HOWEVER, even Vodafone now, are better than Orange, as they too offer 500 minutes and 3000 texts a month for £35 just like Orange do, OR they offer 750 minutes and 3000 texts for £40, if that suits you better.
BUT... Vodafone's new Internet Bundle is somewhat better than the one Orange are meant to have. In that it is £7.50 a month, not £8 as Orange's is meant to be. And it's a higher data allowance of 100MB (or was it 75MB - either way, better than Orange's measly 30MB). Additionally, it includes things like Google Maps, eBay, Messenger etc as standard, supposedly.
So Vodafone, item for item, pound for pound, offer a better package exactly, than Orange do.
Moral of this really long discourse...?
Had Orange saw the sense to bring out a true unlimited (or even obviously 1GB fair use cap) data package for around £8 a month, akin to T-Mobile and their WnW package, then Orange would have carved up, sliced, diced, and cubed, the entire UK mobile phone market, at around the £35-£45 per month price point.
Not a thing could touch it (with one caveat - MMS is not an inclusive element of Orange packages, so you would either pay a charge for these, or have to add a Photo Bundle).
But it would be as close to Heaven as it would get, for a lot of us sort. But by NOT offering a realistic data bundle, they have made many people CONTINUE to go elsewhere, or even STAY elsewhere as in the case of those of us who jumped ship to WnW when it came out.
Well done Orange on such a spectacular failing, right at the last hurdle of the race.
And here's to another wonderful 18 month period with T-Mobile, as truth be told, I'm not gloating becasue I am simply going over to them... I am an EXISTING happy customer.
Edited by shadamehr, 17 July 2007 - 02:01 PM.