I suddenly realised two weeks ago that I was probably due a phone upgrade on Vodafone. They kindly gave me a HTC Sensation as a prize in a competition last year so I hadn’t bothered think about it.
But for fun I decided to have a look at what was available.
Whilst the screen on the Galaxy Nexus is lovely, it seems a strange “flagship” with only a 5MP camera and no SD card slot. Being an old softie, I would love some day to get a Nokia again. That Lumia 800 looks lovely and I hope it’s the beginning of the recovery for them.
So I clicked on that to see how much it would be. The old “Free” trick doesn’t fool me any more as it usually only applies to the higher tiers. Despite all my blogging about mobile over the years, I’m actually always on the lowest tier. Living somewhere with a dreadful mobile signal means there is no point in trying to use the phone for voice calls. Phones for me are mobile handheld computers.
The breakdown of my current bill is as follows:
- Perfect Choice 50: €15.70
- Text 150 Add-On: €6.61
- 1Gb Data: €8.26
- Insurance: €5.99 (I must cancel that, never once made a claim in 13 years)
Total (incl VAT): €43.88
When I clicked through on the Lumia, I was greeted by this message “To upgrade to this handset you need to change your plan to My Way or Perfect Choice Access Plus”.
I tried the My Way and was shocked to see the cost. It starts at €30 a month with no minutes or texts off-network and 500MB data. To get a package approximating what I have now would be:
- My Way: €30
- 500 MB Data: Included (half of what I get now)
- 100 Minutes: €9 (they won’t let me select 50)
- 200 Texts: €9.99 (they won’t let me select 150)
Total: €48.99 a month
So I get less data and an 18 month lock-in for more than €10 extra a month (when you take out insurance). Oh and the Lumia ia €99 on that plan.
First time in 13 years I’m thinking of moving, on principle. If I hadn’t won that Sensation, I’d now be forced into that plan if I was going to upgrade from my old HTC Desire.
Their good roaming value in recent years was the main thing keeping me re-subbing to Voda. But if that’s the sort of nasty up-sell trick they are going to try on with long-term loyal bill-pay customers who barely ever make use of the add-ons they pay for, I’ll look to see who wants my business more.
When I go to the UK I usually just pop the Voda SIM into an old phone in case anyone rings me, put a Three UK PAYG SIM in the smartphone and top-up with a tenner for 150MB of data in the generic mobile kiosk in Liverpool Street. So I’ve realised I don’t really need that cheap VF roaming as I’m almost never in any other country apart from UK.
So really any of the Irish providers would be fine for me as long as they do cheap data and have good coverage. So will it be emobile, O2, Meteor, Tesco Mobile or Three? Thoughts?