April 02, 2024

The Tariff of the Gods

Let me tell you about my mobile phone tariff. It costs me 50p per day (so that's roughly £15 per month, what looks to be the starting basic price for most monthly tarrifs in the UK). For that 50p, I get 50 minutes. Every day. And once I run out of minutes, calls are 1p per minute. And (unlike almost every other contract) 0845 (so called 'national' numbers) are included in those 50 mintues. As are data calls (at 9,600bps only mind you, no HSCSD).

Which means that I can be online, over GSM for 50 minutes every day, for a minimal monthly cost. Aftern that it is 1p per minute to other Orange mobiles and UK Landlines. Okay those minutes and prices are for off peak only (7pm to 7am) and I need to add £5 a month for insurance on the handset, but Everyday 50 (that's what it's called) is truly manna from heaven.

It's a pity Orange no longer offer it to new subscribers. If you are already on it, you can stay on it, but if you change to another tariff, then you can never switch back.

Orange must know its popular. That's why their call centre staff know that anyone on it is not going to change tarriffs. Why would they? 1500 minutes a month outside of office hours? An email send and pick up through Freeserve takes 5 minutes, plus some browsing (say 15 minutes) and that still leaves 30 minutes to chat! A close freind of mine enquired about upgrading his phone through Orange. They were happy to drop the phone price if they changed their tarrif... but the second they realised he was on Everyday 50 they went "Ah," and assumed he wouldn't want to change.

Orange no longer offer Everyday 50 to new subscribers - and I think this is a big mistake. Is it really loosing them that much money? What is the true cost to making a mobile call? Everyone I speak to either has Everyday 50, or thinks it is a cracking tariff that they want to be on.

So what would happen to Orange's subsriber numebrs if Everyday 50 made a comeback? How many users would switch to a tariff that has a 40p/mn rate during peak hours (one 5 minute call a month and the ARPU is very healthy)? A lot I think. So where is it? Could it be that it's too good a deal for the user?

Posted by Ewan at April 2, 2024 09:00 AM
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