Once again I am entitled to a handset upgrade from T-Mobile having had my smartphone for the last 12 months.
Last year when I did upgrade to the HTC Touch I also had my tariff reduced to reflect that fact that this contract is for my second handset. For the last year I have not utilised the voice or text bundle included in my tariff but have used the web'n'walk data plan to keep up to date on email.
This year T-Mobile have reduce the handset subsidy dependent spend and length of contract, even with an 18 month wait for my next gadget the handset would require me to pay something towards the handset. Over the 16 years that I have been a customer of 0ne-2-one/T-Mobile I have never paid anything towards the handset. So having been asked to make a contribution to the costs for the first time are T-Mobile saying that I lose money for them and so they want me to leave? They must understand that I am unlikely to recommend then to family and friends and so as a plan this is not the same as a local restaurant switch to BYOB rather than renewing their alcohol license!
As someone who works in pricing mobile services I fully understand that handset subsidies only work when the subscriber uses the network. The pay it forward method is broken if the consumer does not utilise the service because the handset is the second device and so the consumer in wanting up to date technology should make a contribution the the hardware.
The question for me as a consumer is should I wait until the unit cost of the handset drops to a level that means T-Mobile will give it to me or pay for the gratification of using the latest technology? I know that as a customer of T-Mobile UK the technology is not that up to date and so the joy of a new gadget is limited.
I think that I will see if I can blag a new handset from one of my contacts at next weeks Mobile World Congress and witch to SIM only as the limited coverage of T-Mobile where I live and work means that it will always be my second line. The current upgrade strategy must place churn high of the customer actions.