30-03-2012 10:02 AM - edited 30-03-2012 10:03 AM
I was talking with a friend the other day when we were talking about upgrades etc, both of us are heavy users of mobile and me in particular gets really bored of my phone after about 6/8 months (i asume alot of people on here are the same). We were talking about the current tariff options that are available to us and we were thinking that actually the networks think they know what we want when it comes to a tariff but actually i do not think they listen when we tell them.
So this bought me to creating this topic, why not tell Vodafone what we would like to see as an option for a tariff solution instead of them telling us what they are now going to offer us?
Now i know everyone would immediately come in with Unlimited everything for £25 but realistically this is not going to happen so if possible why not get some realistic solutions down that Vodafone may be able to look at?
For me (actually friends suggestion) we were thinking on a tariff that offers the following:
Price per month - From £50- £70 p/m
Length - 5 years
Bundles - Approx 600 mins/Unlimited SMS/ 1-2gig of data
Now here comes the good part - You can have a selection of devices on this tariff depending on how much you opt in to spend per month then after 6 months you can hand in your device for a new one again dependant on how much you are spending.
Little more detail: You could opt to remain with the device that you currently have after that 6 months this would just mean that as soon as a new device is available you can return yours for a new one and your new 6 months starts again.
You would not "Own" the device as such as you are sort of renting the phone from Vodafone but what this means for Vodafone?
They get a device back in relatively good condition - can re-condition the devices and look to re-use this for other tariff options where possible, you have opted to pay alot more over a longer period of commitment but have access to the newer devices every 6 months if you like. Depending on how much you pay will decide on the device range that is available and ifnally if you return the device back in a bad condition then you would be liable for one of three charges depending on how badly the device is damaged etc maybe £30 for scratches/noticable damage - £100 for major damage/repair work and £200+ for BER devices.
For me this sort of thing would be great as i could get that new phone as and when i want too without feeling i have to wait for 18 months for a new one and for Vodafone i am always tied in to them regardless. Vodafone make money from me and from re-using my device as the probability that the condition of the device is going to be good is alot higher and this device can then be re-used for people who want to opt in for a re-conditioned device to bring costs down.
My head is probably in the clouds here but something where i can opt in to change my device sooner rather than later and pay for that privelage would certainly get me on-board even if the contract is 5 years long, as long as they tailor additional bolt ons/additional extras like inernational calling etc then i would be happy
So go on then what do you think? what would you like to see Vodafone offering?
30-03-2012 11:12 AM
Is that not the sort of thing Phones4U JUMP does? They basically decouple the phone from the service use and you have a second contract that allows you to fund handsets. It is possible that if VF did that sort of thing there would be additional service issues because the phone then becomes a rental or Hire Purchase item as opposed to an effective freebie (I know the handset cost is in the value of the contract but technically we are not paying the cost of the phone, we are paying excess for the service and getting a free gift as a reward).
If the P4U model works then other suppliers might follow suit but I am not sure the network providers would fancy going down that route.
The other thing to consider with your suggestion, is how confident are you that over the next 5 years the cost of hardware will stay at current levels (or higher)? If you look at the PC world, real hardware costs have fallen significantly. It is beginning to look as though tablet prices are heading the same way and given the synergy between tablets and phones...
That said, your idea is not without merit!
30-03-2012 01:01 PM
With the cost of handsets coming down there are still those that are rated at the top of the scale when it comes to cost, not only would this encourage people to sign up for larger contracts and possibly spend more but possibly introduce users to the other eco systems out there for a trial (maybe breaking the hold some manufacturers have).
Its only one idea, it would be good to see what others people have.
30-03-2012 01:03 PM
Cracking idea in theory, but on the downside, what if you decided to leave the network? imagine the cancellation fee on a 5 year contract at £60 per month!!
Can you imagine the posts on eForum alone along the lines of......
I signed a 5 year contract 12 mths ago but the signal isnt very good, ive now been told that to cancel i have to pay £2822 to cancel. Vodafone are a disgrace blah blah blah....im of to Ofcom.
And that is why it wont happen.
Although it would be a stroke of genius if it did.
Keep the good ideas flowing though, they make for great reading.
30-03-2012 01:19 PM
Signalling issues etc would be dealt with in the usual manner as they are now, i think T&C's state that a constant network connection can not be guaranteed and they will work to resolve where possible, if Vodafone are unable too then i think you can look to cancel without charge.
Another idea i have thought of just (a bit shaky at the moment) The tariff accumulator (Bare with me on this one)
Essentially your contract fee per month is £xxx a month (This would be a SIM only deal)
With this tariff you get 0 mins/sms/data HOWEVER - You are charged for bundles.
£xxx per 200 Minutes you use
£xx per 500 SMS you send
£xxx per 500mb of data you use
You can opt in to add the other usual bundles that are available.
So as soon as you make a call you are charged for the first 200 minutes bundle at £xxx, as soon as you use data you are charged for the first 500mb at £xxx and so on.
If you do not go over these initial bundles then you are not charged for anything else however as soon as you go over the bundle amounts you are then charged for the next minute/sms or data bundle.
Obviously this would need to be as competative as the current 30day/12 month SIM only options that are out there however alot of the minutes/sms provided are just wasted.
I would imagine that the average user uses under 400 minutes a month/under 500 sms a month and under 500MB of data a month meaning that this could be a useful tariff for the occasional user who wants a contract.
30-03-2012 01:47 PM
The other way to do it and expand on your last message is to break everything into chunks.
£x.xx per bundle of messages per chosen contract length
£x.xx per bundle of calls per per chosen contract length
£x.xx per bundle of data per per chosen contract length
The monthly cost of a handset would be calculated based on how longs and how many bundles of service you use.
So for example:
base cost of a phone = £270. Monthly charge for phone is £15.
I also choose £5 messages, £5 calls and £5 data. Total would be £30 per month.
Because I have a 18 month contract (rather than 12 or rolling) VF give me a discount (say £5 them being genereous). Total £25 per month.
If I decide to commit to 24 months I get a further discount or change spend on any service element a I get a bit of a discount. The more I add the more I seem to get for "free".
That way I get total control over deciding what my contract looks like. The downside of this system is I would probably end up spending more than in the current system because my brain is saying "look how much more I get if I add this" rather than "look how much I can save if I don't have that", which is what happens now. You also start from the point of the phone you'd really like rather than the phone you are allowed to have. Once you've got the gear you tend to want to use it.
The process is not that different to the way they already sell stuff, but I think the spin is positive where the current system forces you to think how little can I get away with spending.
30-03-2012 04:49 PM
One problem is people are taking out tarrifs for Data packages as there scared of going over
The other trouble people don't under stand that when it say 500MB data that is incoming and out going
the data for some is a major worry
Other networks offer Capping you set the rat and then it stops until the next mounth
the other thing i have noticed is How many people go over 2000 TXT messages ?????
30-03-2012 09:50 PM
31-03-2012 01:15 PM
31-03-2012 08:20 PM
I really miss the TMobile flex plan that rather than a set amount of mins data texts, mms etc,
used to offer you a pool of credit for your money, that you could use however you liked against a set price for calls, texts, data etc,
so one month you could be call heavy, the next data heavy and it didn't matter
02-04-2012 01:36 PM - edited 02-04-2012 01:37 PM
Personally i think when it comes to data some people have unrealistic expectations when it comes to data caps, since the boom of smartphones after the iPhone launched data consumption has risen at such a rate that the already saturated networks started to buckle under the pressure of these new types of customers.
At the same time the operators have tried to monetise data use so they can better capatalise on it. Because of this 2 fold behaviour from consumer and provider i think a sort of dead lock has been reached where the consumer is now not willing to pay for something they believe they should be getting and the networks are now not willing to offer more for less.
To save face what the networks have done is limit what data can be used but also allowed us consumers to "obtain" additional data but at a cost which deters most of us from going over our initial data allowance.
Now this has done a couple of other things from what i have seen - people are now over compensating when it comes to chosing their tariff, they are opting for the plans that offer more data just to be safe and those that are more educated to the ways of data downloading have started to change the way that they use their smartphone when it comes to data consumption.
I think that both the network and the consumer are missing out as the charges for data are just too much for people to really not mind going out of bundle.
However! The vast majority of consumers who use smartphones have not got a clue on how to get the most out of their phone, how much data they will be consuming, how to actually use their phone in most cases once it has been setup for them. Even though we have had data caps on home broadband for some time now it still seems to delude most common consumers.
I really do think that some sort of education piece needs to be done at the point of sale around data consumption, what out of bundle charges look like, really understand how people intend to use their device.
I personally believe that for all of our mobile needs we should be using one device - the phone that is your wireless modem, portable smartphone which enables you to tether to your laptop/tablet without habving to worry about what it will cost when using data, but i think we are many years away from this realistically.
02-04-2012 04:07 PM
Largely I agreed with you, Jebelious. Normally I live quite happily within my 500MB cap. That does include a signifcant dollop of effectively free wifi. However, there are times when I feel obliged to throttle back because I estimate a small overshoot. I rarely use facilities like Internet radio and won't consider cloud-based music over 3G. I pretty much know what that will do to my bill. I also know how much data I use at any given time. Most people don't.
It would be nice if the penalty for just exceeding your tariff limit was not so steep. A fiver a chunk is too much! There is still a lot of fear over data usage, in the same way as used to exist over call and text chargers of yester-year. I'd prefer a much more graduated out of tariff fee. It is not as though you get charged by the extra bundle of minutes or texts, when you exceed those limits.
The fact is that mobile data data is probably 5% of my total data usage by phone, the rest being home and work wifi. I begin to wonder just how little mobile data I actually need? I am guessing I can easily get that figure down to well below 1% and that does not include using any paid for service such as Openzone. Therefore the <1% is data traffic I need and the rest is either wasted because of regular syncs or for my convenience/enjoyment.
04-04-2012 08:36 AM
One thing i would certainly state i do not see data heavy tariffs taking over your voice minutes/sms any time soon although that would certainly be a nice thing to get.
06-04-2012 02:10 PM