Monday, 30 June 2008

T-Mobile's Worthless Guarantee

I just spotted the new T-Mobile promise that "You Won't Find More Minutes for £30. Guaranteed" which I thought was quite interesting. I instantly had a few issues with it, but having dug around a bit more, it's even less valuable than I thought. Why?
  1. The phones on offer aren't the greatest and a very limited range. 4 phones: LG KF600, Nokia 6650, SEMC W580i and K660i.
  2. No-one buys at £30. The whole market is pretty much at £35 or under £25. The middle ground is empty and the offers there are typically not the best in the market. It's like a restaurant advertising that it has the cheapest Turnip Surprise. No-one buys it anyway.
  3. If the market is shifting cheaper, it's going to £25. 3's £25 offer of 500 mins/unlimited SMS is a market leader and offering an extra 200 mins for an extra £5/month isn't exactly going to set the world on fire. Particularly as the handset range is limited, whereas with 3 you'd get a free Nokia 6500 Classic.

What's most interesting for me is that the trend of segmenting tariff and handset together (i.e. you can have the cheap tariff but only with a crappy phone) continues. It surely can't be too long before everyone adopts handset charging. Want a top-end handset? Great, pay me. Don't care about handset? Great, here's some extra mins and texts.

At the moment, most efforts to implement this model haven't been user friendly. Take this T-Mobile offer. If you want this £30/month offer you can only choose between four handsets, which seems ludicrous. Why not offer all the handsets and bump up the price a little if someone wants a pricy one. It might not fit with the "can't get more mins for x" shout, but it would take the unusual step of actually giving people what they want. How about that?

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