O2's sleight of hand on mobile brandband deals

31 October 2008

Genuine concern for treating its customers badly, or a PR stunt to increase sales so more folk will want to punch a cow in frustration? We're always going to side on the latter, but you never know. Well, you probably do, but let's give O2 the benefit of the doubt. At least until we rumble them, which doesn't take us very long.

The mobile company is to revamp its mobile broadband offering, after its own research showed one in ten customers think they've been mis-sold their current deal.

One in five mobile broadband users complained they couldn't use the service anywhere - presumably those wanting service on a moving train, Saddleworth Moor or the centre of the Earth. Nearly one in three customers complained the monthly costs were higher than they'd been led to believe. It's hardly world-shattering stuff, but it's girded the company into "action" - unsurprisingly, it's that brand of ineffective pointless action that isn't going to improve the situation.

O2 are introducing a 10GB package for £30 per month, which would sound vaguely reasonable (it's not really) if it wasn't for the fact that it's on a two year contract. In two years time whatever technology we're using now will be antiquated. Quite how that's improving service to the customer isn't made clear.

The company also boasts about reducing the price of its existing tariffs, with 3GB packages cut to £15 per month, while hoodwinked customers signing an 18-month or 24-month contract will receive a free USB modem. Right, so that'll bring them in line with was 3 were selling six months ago, then? In fact, other operators are already offering better deals and have been for some time.

In fact the only helpful aspect of O2's new caring personae is a 50 Day Happiness Guarantee, that means you can return your modem and end your contract, no strings attached. Otherwise, O2 can shout all they want - if they genuinely believe there's a consumer concern with mobile broadband packages, they haven't done a whole lot to fix it.

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