Yasterday I decided that I had better test the current offering from 3 as it had a been sometime since I had last done so and a number of people have asked me for an opinion when we meet next week.
As luck would have it, I was close to the shop on Kensigton High Street and seeing a working handset on offer at £19.95 including £10 airtime on pay as you go I thought how can I go wrong.
On requesting such a deal for myself I was told that they don't have any of the £19.95 handsets in stock. No problems what other handsets can I have on Pay As You Go?
None, we have not been selling phones on Pay As You Go since November in this store I am told. I could trythe store on Oxford Street they might have a handset or I can try Superdrug across the road.
So I try Superdrug. On entering the store I find the stand with a number of handsets and accessories but no one to serve me. I ask someone stacking shelves if they can help. She says yes, what do I want. A 3 handset on Pay As You Go please. Sorry mate, we don't do Pay As You Go its contract only, I don't think your credit that bad that you can't have one. Look I only need a phone for a short time and so I don't want a contract. Well we can't help you then.
So I stop off at Oxford Street on my way home and guess what, same story all over again. No mate we only do contract handsets and SIMs.
Now I wonder, are the management trying to massage subscriber numbers? Is it that the actions of T-Mobile have disrupted them so much that the Pay As You Go market has no future for the guys at 3 and they are working on a new business model based on contract customers staying for 2 years plus? Or is it that they just no longer have a clue and the Boss back in China no long wishs to keep losing money faster than a injured footballer in a casino?