The big news just now comes from UK network O2 who are making a big update to their Refresh contract offering.
In case you did not know, O2 Refresh was the idea that split your contract into two payments, an airtime part which is for your allowances, and a device plan part which is the interest free 24 month breakdown of the RRP.
The benefit to this was customers can upgrade anytime by just paying off the device balance and then be free to upgrade.
It also meant that you can clear the device plan earlier, and then have lower monthly payment as you just need to pay for your airtime.
No other network has offered this yet, and it is a big selling point for O2.
Today we just found out that you will be able to customise the amount of minutes, texts and data you need for your own personal use and spread the the length of the plan.
O2 Refresh Customisable plans are anything from 3 months to 36 months depending on what you want to pay monthly.
“Our custom plans mark the latest step in breaking away from one size fits all approaches, recognising that all our customers are different and individual, and so are their needs,” said O2 CMO Nina Bibby. “As the first UK mobile network operator to offer this level of transparency, flexibility and control we’re giving even more power to the consumer.”
Right now the O2 site is being updated with the new plans so this is breaking news!
O2 calls time on confusing and inflexible billing by putting customers in charge of how they pay for their devices
- O2 changes the mobile landscape yet again by allowing customers to choose how and when they pay for their device
- New research reveals half of Brits feel ‘ripped off’ by fixed payments that have lead them to be in credit they can’t claim back and over 7 in 10 want freedom to decide what they pay up front
- O2 calls on the rest of the mobile industry to recognise times have changed and to follow suit
Wednesday 29th August 2018, London: A new way of paying for your devices comes to the market today as O2 continues to shake up the old habits of the mobile industry. The move responds to customers’ commitment phobia towards fixed contracts and the increasing need for flexibility.
In 2013 O2 challenged the industry status quo by providing true transparency to customers with the launch of its award-winning O2 Refresh tariff. Today O2 has announced the release of O2 custom plans, which means customers can now customise their device contract to suit their individual needs. Customers can select their airtime plan, choose how much they want to pay upfront for their device and how they want to spread the remaining cost of their device (from anywhere between 3 and 36 months, in one-month increments).
O2’s custom plans helps customers to buy the latest phone when it launches, on their terms, without facing high upfront costs and with 0% APR. This means every O2 customer gets the best value regardless of their contract length and will never pay for a device they already own, proving once more that O2 is the true customer champion as the only UK mobile network operator to offer this level of flexibility and transparency. It builds on O2’s flexible tariffs, launched last November, which give customers to ability to increase or decrease the cost of their airtime plan each billing month, depending on how much data they anticipate using.
Mark Evans, CEO of O2, said: “Our custom plans put power back in the hands of the consumers who don’t want to be tied down by rigid contracts especially at a time when certainty and transparency are at a premium in today’s economic environment.
“Businesses have a responsibility in these turbulent times to do what is right by their customers. The mobile industry does not have the best track record on transparent, flexible billing so we are laying down a challenge to the industry to follow our lead. We launched the first flexible tariff five years ago, which ensured customers don’t pay more than their device is worth, and yet the rest of the industry is still lagging behind. We owe more to the British public.”
In support of the move, new YouGov research commissioned by O2 reveals that:
- Half (50%) of consumers have felt ripped off by fixed payments where they have ended up in credit and cannot claim back the money they were owed.
- 71% would find it useful to choose the lump sum they pay at the start and over a third (35%) say they don’t receive information from providers about options to change their contracts, while almost a quarter (22%) had to pay a cancellation charge they weren’t aware of.
- One in four Brits (26%) admit to finding household bills hard to understand, with the worst offenders being mobile phone (8%), internet (7%), dual fuel (8%), paid TV (6%) and home insurance payments (7%).
Gone are the days of only being able to select fixed contracts. Customers will now be able to build a plan to suit them. They can choose:
- They can define their upfront payment.
- How many months you want to spread the remaining balance at 0% APR.
- Choose your airtime tariff and as your data needs change you can change your tariff up or down per monthly billing cycle
O2 devices are also now supplied unlocked from their sim and regardless of how many months customers choose to repay their device cost over, the total cost will remain the same. With custom plans, O2 does not penalise customers by adding interest or charging early termination fees and customers are free to pay off their device in full, at any time. Furthermore, customers who want to upgrade can unlock the value in their latest device via O2 Recycle.
Custom plans are available on all pay monthly devices. For more information on custom plans, visit: www.o2.co.uk/custom-plans