Several months ago in the UK Three announced that they would be changing their contracts structure and forcing all of those who were enjoying the £15 a month all-you-can-eat bundle onto a vastly more expensive tariff with less benefits. The Hashtag #Makeitright became an avenue for angry customers to vent their frustration as Three swung their axe.
On the All-You-Can-Eat, £15 a month, SIM only tariff you could enjoy unlimited minutes, unlimited messages, truly unlimited data (without a cap,) and unlimited tethering. This was on top of Three’s already excellent value for money Feel At Home benefit when it came to calling home from abroad.
Of course all good things come to an end. And with Three it was like dropping an hammer on your toes. A few months later and most of those customers have either moved on to another network or are paying potentially double for a lot less than the contract before. To keep something similar to the All-You-Can-Eat tariff would cost the customer £30 a month and they will lose the unlimited tethering.
This was a no escape scenario you were moving contract whether you liked it or not. Regardless of how long you were on the Network, attempting to haggle with call agents resulted in little movement on Three’s part. Their new contracts were set in stone and there was absolutely no wiggle room. Threatening to leave the network resulted in Three merely suggesting that you close the door on your way out. However, they knew their contracts were still slightly better value with slightly more bonuses than you would find on other networks. Three forced customers regardless.
Now a source inside Three has suggested that the reason why the cheap deals have been removed is that Three had spent millions of pounds on extra bandwidth to cater for the purchase of O2 and when the deal fell through they no need to increase their customer base. Losing customers was helpful and those who stayed would help subsidise the cost of expansion. They lost a lot of customers with their heavy handed approach and now they’re trying to win them back with more cheap deals, for example:
Those customers who stayed loyal will have to continue on the contract that they have agreed whilst new customers are going to be paying possibly half the price for six months before moving to a regular price for the last 6 months. Obviously this is going to leave a bad taste in the mouth of anyone who has recently renewed a contract begrudgingly taking one of the lesser value contracts.