It's always puzzled me why mobile operators expect you to decide at the start of your contract how many calls and texts you think you'll use each month and then commit to that combination for 18 or 24 months; it's certainly not a customer centric approach to business. My usage fluctuates from month to month and I have no idea what my world will look like in 18 months time! Of course the mobile operators want a long commitment so they can recoup the handset subsidy, although that model looks increasingly dubious - I've bought my handsets unlocked for a long time now to avoid lock-ins. However the consumer is left snow blinded by the mobile operators' contract marketing efforts, with few alternatives to this unimaginative 'take it or leave it' proposition. Regular prepay is flexible but not an option because the per call and text charges are ridiculously high.
So, has anyone in the market solved this problem yet? Well my friends at giffgaff have made a good start but... It's great that giffgaff lets me choose my calls and texts bundle month by month because that does give me some control, however what I want to do is build my own service bundle...
I want to create a personalised service bundle on a month by month basis, based on the options and components that work for me. As an example, I want:
- 600 UK minutes
- 1000 UK SMS
- Inclusive 0870 calls
- Free minute of calls for every minute received
- UK local number to give to a few privileged folk
- German number because I'm travelling
- Inclusive international data
- Inclusive calls to Germany
- Tethering so I can use my iPhone for data connectivity with my MacBook
The permutations are endless and next month it will be a different combination...
As I select each option the cost of the item and the overall product combination cost would be displayed and I could tweak it so that I end up with the optimal feature/price combination for me. At any time during the month I can tweak the bundle so it changes for the next month. My service bundle can be as simple or as complex as I want. It delivers customer choice and puts me in control of my usage.
And if anyone could do this, I reckon giffgaff could ...