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    LACK OF FLEXIBILITY COSTING MOBILE CUSTOMERS DEAR
   
Being on the wrong tariff is costing
    Brits £132million every month

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

London, UK – 21st March 2006: Mobile contract customers feel they are losing out because tariffs can’t keep pace with the fact that their phone usage can vary significantly from one month to the next, new research from T-Mobile suggests.

A nationwide poll, conducted in conjunction with YouGov, reveals that 82% of post-pay mobile phone customers’ bills vary by up to £20 from month to month, with seven per cent saying that their bill often differs by more than £20. And with 61% admitting to exceeding their monthly text and call bundles, a majority of Brits are failing to properly identify the best tariff for their needs, meaning we’re wasting £132million every month*.

The research, commissioned by T-Mobile to mark the launch of its new Flext tariff – which takes into account the fact that customers’ mobile usage can often differ greatly from month to month depending on personal circumstances – also found that 72% of customers claim that during the term of their contract they are never contacted by their network to find out if they are on the right tariff for their needs.

Financial commentator Jasmine Birtles said: "Consumers are losing millions every year through over-priced and inflexible mobile phone tariffs. It's time they insisted on more flexible and better-priced packages."

Phil Chapman, Marketing Director, T-Mobile UK, said: "Because personal circumstances can change sometimes dramatically, financial flexibility is vital. Flext does away with text and call bundles and offers a simple monetary value bundle that can be redeemed against the services a customer wants. Once the bundle is used up customers are still charged at the same great rate, so customers aren’t punished for going over their limit, and with six-monthly Best Plan check-ups, an advisor contacts the customer direct to find out of they are on the right price plan. This means that, for the first time, they can choose to lower – as well as raise - their monthly spend within the contract term."

But many mobile phone customers still say that actually receiving the monthly bill can be a tortuous experience. Only 9% of contract customers admit to opening the bill and paying it immediately, while 2% even admit to never opening it at all. Perhaps this ‘bill shock’ could be down to the fact that only 11% of those people with mobile contracts admit to proactively checking with their operator how much they have spent on their bill during the month. With Flext, customers receive a free weekly text alert so they know where they are during the month and how much of their allowance remains, as well as the date of their next bill.

Birtles added: "It's not surprising that many people don't open their bills and statements every month. Sometimes mobile bills can be so enormous you need all the strength you can muster to face the tiger!"

Free calls and texts are the most important factor when it comes to choosing a tariff, said 55% of respondents. A further 19% favoured cheap call rates but, surprisingly, only 3% feel that getting the latest handset is most important.

Birtles concluded: "Consumers are now, more than ever, aware of what the market has to offer in terms of best value tariffs. Customers are now more

concerned about value for money over the bells and whistles that vendors try to tempt them with".

Chapman added: "Flext is the first truly flexible mobile tariff, offering customers a simple, smart and effortlessly flexible tariff, and allowing them to get the best value from their mobile operator and manage their monthly mobile spend more effectively."

ENDS

Contacts:

T-Mobile

T-Mobile Press Office Tel: +44 (0) 7017 150 150

Julie Watson - PR Manager T-Mobile: +44 (0) 7939 539 462

Julie.watson@t-mobile.co.uk

*Onecompare.com statistic, November 2005

Notes to editors:

18 month minimum term contract

Minutes are for local and national calls to any UK network, and for voicemail retrieval. Texts are to any UK network

Minutes cost 20p per minute, texts 10p each, picture messages 20p each and voicemail retrieval is 10p per minute

Flext Price Plans:

Flext – 18 month contract
Price plan Monthly charge Value received Pure minutes Pure texts
Flext 20 £20.00 £34.00 170 minutes 340 texts
Flext 25 £25.00 £60.00 300 minutes 600 texts
Flext 30 £30.00 £90.00 450 minutes 900 texts
Flext 35 £35.00 £180.00 900 minutes 1,800 texts
Flext 50 £50.00 £255.00 1,275 minutes 2,550 texts
Flext 75 £75.00 £390.00 1,950 minutes 3,900 texts

About T-Mobile

T-Mobile is one of the world’s largest mobile operators with around 80 million customers worldwide and in the UK it is the network of choice for over 16 million customers, more than any other UK network.

T-Mobile has a range of innovative products and services such as Flext, a unique tariff with flexible pricing; U-Fix, a tariff that combines pay-as-you-go and a monthly contract and Web'n'Walk, which enables full open internet access on the move as well as instant messaging. T-Mobile's network coverage is among the best in the UK (over 99% of the UK population) with one of the lowest dropped call rates. It offers the largest worldwide Wi-Fi network, with over 2,000 HotSpots in business-friendly locations in the UK and 13,000 worldwide, and offers a rapidly expanding 3G network across the UK.

For more information about T-Mobile UK, please visit www.t-mobile.co.uk

 

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