Calling the Bluff!

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As is the case with many contracts offered by phone companies these days, you are rewarded heavily for taking an 18 instead of 12 month contract option, both covering the increased retail cost of the latest hand sets, and keeping you cemented to a specific provider even longer. I have been a long term customer with 02, nearly 5 years and on the whole was happy with the service provided; (now they have ditched the premium rate helpline number).

The reception from 02 is good, even in the most remote of places, and as a provider they are competitive in terms of the plans offered. I have also experienced acceptable customer service when a problem has been identified and the online account management system employed is exceptionally easy to use.

I did however find myself reluctant to enter into an 18 month contract, and thus as upgrade time approached I simply didn’t, I kept my old phone and calling plan. However 6 months later my phone did indeed need replacing, and as a result I went hunting for different deals.

After a little investigating I identified the deals that best suited my phone usage, and required more minutes than the 200 previously provided. I discovered a contract that near enough suited my calling pattern, from three for £17.50 a month providing 300 calling minutes and 1000 text. I then got in contact with 02 to see if they could in fact match this deal as I was at present ‘a happy customer’.

What happen is pretty usual behaviour I hear, but demonstrates how playing a bit of cat and mouse can get you a far better contract. An initial phone conversation went along the lines of 02 being unable to match the contract offered by the 3 network and that was it – even after 5 years of custom.

I did not want to switch to the 3 network particularly, as I have heard mixed reviews regarding calling reception in the southwest. I bit the bullet and was willing to switch for the financial benefits. As I was put through to disconnections I was put through to a much more helpful customer service assistant. After 30 minutes of convincing me not to switch I was assigned a contract where by I get 500 minutes and 1150 texts for £2.50 extra a month, the end result meaning I don’t have to worry about over use.

So next time you renew a contract why not call the bluff and see how much more you can get out of your plan?


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