Friday, 7 May 2010

24-Month Contracts Need To Be Stopped

Over the last two years or so, the UK's mobile networks have slowly been trying to swindle the consumer into signing 24-month contracts. This needs to be stopped.

On the 4th of May, 2010, Three UK announced its new pay monthly tariffs and left me shocked. Three has now forced 24-month contracts onto its customers.

It was not long ago that one could walk out of a Carphone Warehouse with the latest top-end smartphone for free after signing a 12-month contract. I got a 6680 (from Three) a few weeks after its release for free on a £30-a-month, 12-month contract in 2005. I then upgraded to a N73 a year later at just £25 a month. It was not until my N95 8GB in 2008 that I was forced to enter an 18-month contract with Three. Trusting Three, I thought this would be the maximum contract length they would go to, as they were one of the last networks to start migrating all the good deals to 18-month plans.

I've now lost my faith and trust in Three.

They have made a mistake with their new plans. From my personal experience, many people who maintain a contract with Three like their technology. I love my technology. I find it difficult to fathom using the same phone for 24 months. Do Three know how quickly the mobile phone world progresses? 24 months is a very long time in this game.

But it's not just my craving for new technology that has aroused an acute sense of disgust in me. Three's Terminate The Rate campaign seemed to suggest that it was actually 'looking out' for the consumer -- that it genuinely wanted us to get the best value for money possible. However, with its decision to provide no other choice than 24-month contracts, Three has revealed its true intention of keeping costumers locked-up to ensure that every last penny of profit can be squeezed out of them.

Perhaps I should incite my own campaign in hope of drawing the attention of Ofcom to the issue of the UK mobile phone networks: Terminate the rape. It has a nice ring to it, wouldn't you agree?

Anyway, Three, I'm disappointed and hurt. My family has five separate contracts with you at the moment. My personal contract ends on the 20th of this month, and you can bet that I'll be requesting my PAC. At least O2 still provides some sort of a choice.

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