|Mobile Phone Carriers
||[Mar. 18th, 2008|01:45 pm]
My current mobile phone carrier, with whom I have a contract that's imminently due for renewal, is pissing me off. This is because, while they have an excellent system for keeping track of users who don't want any unsolicited marketing calls, their upgrades department can't actually use it. They've currently been instructed that, if I get another call (of which I've already had several) reminding me that I'm shortly entitled to an upgrade, I'll cancel with them and go and set up a new contract somewhere else. I'm competent to manage my contract myself, and I've kept a note of the dates when the contract is available for renegotiation and when it comes to an end.|
My first task on opening a new mobile contract is always to instruct the carrier that their marketing department shouldn't phone me. I'd like a carrier on whom I can rely to honour that instruction.
So this is the obligatory "suggest a mobile carrier" thread. UK, contract rather than PAYG, lowish usage and unlikely to reach the contracted-included number of calls and texts, would like a low price, not too fussed about handset features.
I am broadly happy with O2 and I do not get marketing calls from them. I do get occasional marketing texts; I'm pretty sure I can turn those off but in fact I don't mind them very much. I am not by any stretch of the imagination 'low use' -- I have the lowest tier of iPhone contract.
I doubt that T-Mobile could phone you if they wanted to and you pleaded with them to do so. Their last excuse to me was the sublime, "This department doesn't have access to your phone number". However they can't make the answerphone work either and the floral-skirted hippie-music they play for the 45 minutes - hour you're on hold waiting for an answer does a lot to explain why Charlie Manson finally cracked.
Apparently they're desperate to offer me a juicy affordable data contract, but can't get their act together to actually do so. Perhaps they're just shy? In the meantime, I still have no data or answerphone.
So if anyone knows of a good low-use contract, I'm listening too.
I used to work for the Vodafone complaints dept, but inclined though I am to suggest that you give them a wide berth, I suspect the others probably suffer from the same problems. Virgin have a good reputation, from what I've heard, but I've never used them myself. I'm currently very happy with O2 (mostly because of the free texts!) but that's on PAYG. So that was very unhelpful, sorry!
Don't touch 3 with a barge-pole.
Not only do they phone you up and offer you a new contract come renewal-time, they also take a "No, I'm not interested in that phone, and I'm going to look around at what else is available" as a "Yes, I'd love this new handset you've already sent me without asking, even though it's inferior to the one I already have, and thanks for signing me up for 18 more months". Add to that, the call centre is in India, and you can't even understand them. Polite, but unintelligible... Bastards.
After that, I went with T-Mobile - no complaints so far. But you only get to see the crap side of customer service in the last 2 or 3 months. The unlimited data is good - as much as you want for £7.50 a month, and they won't charge if you go over the limit (just slow you from 3.5G to 3G, if you exceed some silly high amount, something like 20Gb per month, if I recall)
I've just had two vodafone agents phone me ... the people that originally sold me my first contract and phone many years (which is fair enough, I gave them my details, I bought from them, and if anyone should be in the frame for saying "hi, you are out of your tie-in period and can have a new phone and renegotiate your contract" it's them.
The other one today was Warren at "PhoneTrader", and I must admit I didn't think much of his sales style, but he said he'd phone back with some lower rates and such, but hasn't.
I will phone Vodafone directly and see what they offer, and then talk to T-Mobile again and see what they are offering, and then cancel one contract and stick to one lower tariff including data.
Can't speak for the contract side but on my Virgin I can pay in arrears on standard rates and no set deal. Get a bill once every three months and gets paid by DD.
Also everytime I've had a problem with the handset they've had a brand new one delivered by courier the next day (even once on a Saturday!).
Generally find them brilliant. Their sales department havent bothered me since the first time they called just after I got the SIM and I asked them to put a stop on all marketing.
Reception can sometimes be a bit crap in hotels though. No worse than most carriers though.
Vodafone are pretty good.