Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Shooting yourself in the foot...

I have been experimenting at home by migrating entirely to my mobile phone rather than use the fixed line at all.

Generally it works well in the terms of call quality - really not discernable difference to my ear.

I actually use an old and separate SIM so that there is a "family line" - so there is no real actual saving as the line rental of one is equal to the line rental of the other - but it is a first step.

I have noticed two issues:

- first, a number of people and it tends to be the older generation or those that are still nervous about mobile phones, call less or ask you to call them because they are concerned about the cost of calling a mobile. This will gradually disappear but it is certainly a factor at the moment.

- second, I am caught out by the increasing use of 0870, 0845 etc etc numbers by businesses.

On my fixed line account these often had local number status and if not had costs clearly signalled. I had to send my PC away for repair recently and had to use an 0870 line for the initial inevitable trouble shooting and then the subsequent repair arrangements, including another call when things went wrong. This line was flagged as being 35p a minute (which will provoke another rant) but on my mobile of course was going to be higher. In the event, three calls of modest length has cost me over £30 or the equivalent of three month's line rental for a fixed line.

This is unfortunately not something which is going to go away. Indeed, it may get worse as this article suggests. These kind of misjudgements by the operators really make me mad. I know a lot of people working in the operators and they are bright, intelligent people and yet as a mass they operate in such a non-customer focused way. If they were to ensure that the cost to me of these lines would be the same as a fixed line phone they would have even more of my business. By insisting that they are out of bundle and therefore liable for the Dick Turpin treatment, they lose not just my spending on that SIM but also my loyalty and the benefit of my recommendation of them to others. It is appallingly short-sighted. WAKE UP!

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