Mobile Today, a trade magazine for the Mobile Distributors reports that the new contract from T-Mobile is doing very well for the indirect channel.
Well good luck to T-Mobile I have been a customer of the network for a very long time and on the 5th of April I was due a handset upgrade. So off I shot into my nearest local town to find a T-Mobile store. The only one I found was not a direct outlet but rather an independent who was branded T-Mobile. On entering the shop, I wait 2 minutes for the assistant to end his phone call with a friend before we can start.
I explain that I am due an upgrade and he asks for my number and bank card as proof of ID. I am then asked to complete the contract paperwork. Hang on I say what can you offer me in terms of handsets I say.
All we can offer is hear on display. I look around at a rather sorry display of handsets. I ask when can I expect to see a SE P990 or Nokia N80.
I am told he has not got a clue, but new phones are expected in June.
Thus I decline the "service" as I don't want to replace my 12 month old Razr with another one or take a SE W800 if they are not prepared to offer the bribe of a free PSP to keep the kids happy.
Today I get a call from Orange whom I also have a contract with as I got feed up with waiting for 3G with T-Mobile. It is time for my upgrade handset and would I like to go into my nearest shop to see what they can do for me. So I stop off at the nearest Orange store who take my number, check on the computer and say that yes I am due a new handset look we have these handsets in a limited number for key customers which have yet to go on the website. After a cup of tea and a brief demonstration I head for the train home with a new Smartphone and I have set my alarm to wake up me up early so that I can play with it before another day at work.
I will wait for T-Mobile to refresh the handsets but I don't think that they will get me to switch from the current contract to one of the new ones especially as they are now for 18 months and they want to charge me for voicemail. You see I have one of the original staff tariffs that means that I get free calls evenings and weekends and so I am very popular with family and friends as I encourage them to use my phone as much as possible. I have also explained to my niece that the nice chap in Phones4U ripped her off on Saturday when he got her to switch networks to take advantage of the great offer from T-Mobile and naff Nokia handset. A few calls and she is still with O2 but this time with the Nokia handset she wanted.
I guess the new MD at T-Mobile will need a few more like me to say that they have no clothes before he gets the message and tells his boss to stop treating the UK as a sales office and start updating its product range rather than spend a fortune getting people to switch to a bucket full of minutes and very little else.