I mused this:
It was with great relief that I received a call from Vodafone last week to tell me that they could now offer me a free iPhone 3GS with line rental for €60 per month with twice the calltime and minutes that O2 are offering.
I've felt a bit like a shackled dog, tied in to a long contract with no options and absolutely no negotiation power in O2. I had my hand slapped last year for suggesting that I pre-pay several months in order to secure an upgrade to the 3GS. Back then, I was told:
I am sorry but there is nothing different between an upgrade on to the 3Gs than there is for any other handset and you like everyone else will have to follow the rules that are associated with it
As far as I was concerned, O2 lost out on an easy opportunity to gain massive customer loyalty.
It will cost me €450 to break out of my current contract with O2, which lasts until August. The Vodafone rep recommended I take this option, claiming I'd save the difference in roaming fees.
What I don't understand is: why doesn't Vodafone offer to cover my O2 breakout fee in account credit? I don't know what markup Irish Mobile companies are making, but for calls and texts, it has to be high. Offering me €500 in account credit, a significant amount to me, would probably cost Vodafone far less than the €100's I'll be spending if I sign up.
Had O2 extended the courtesy of offering me a 3GS at upgrade price in exchange for pre-payment of several months up front, I'd be a happy customer right now. Instead, I'm looking for ways to jump ship back to Vodafone.
Mobile companies should be clamouring over themselves to offer incentives and rewards based on account credit, prepaying several months in advance, or upgrading before a contract expires.