04 November 2015 ~ 0 Comments

MVNOs top customer service poll

customer service poll

A recent poll has shown that customers massively prefer smaller virtual mobile networks to the main players. The recent study asked users to rate the customer service and showed that industry veterans such as Vodafone and EE motivated the worst mobile networks in the UK while smaller organisations such as Giffgaff, Tesco Mobile and ASDA Mobile headed the pack.

The poll was carried out by moneysavingexpert.com and asked 10,620 users to rate their mobile provider’s customer service on a scale from “great” through “okay” to “poor”. The network that topped the table was Giffgaff scoring 65% “great responses” with only 5% of their users rating customer service as “poor”. Close behind in second, was Tesco Mobile with an impressive satisfaction rating of 63%. Third placed was ASDA Mobile and coming fourth was Virgin Mobile. It’s worth noting that all of these networks are MVNOs that actually run using other networks’ infrastructure.

Meanwhile, lingering down in last place was Vodafone scoring “great” in only 20% of responses. Perhaps worse was the fact that 28% of their customers rated the service as “poor”. Barely escaping the booby prize was it EE (including its Orange and T-Mobile brands) which shockingly only was scored “great” by 22% of their users.

The other two main mobile networks are Three and O2, who had to be satisfied with mid-table mediocrity being rated great by 40% and 33% of their userbase respectively. Both had relatively high numbers of “poor” verdicts with 12% of their users giving them the lowest grade.

The poll was especially surprising since MVNOs were evaluated so well. For example, ASDA Mobile actually run’s on EE’s backbone yet their “great” score was 54% vs 22% and only 14% of users decided their service was “poor” compared to 24% for EE.

Analysing the results, it should be clear that you don’t have to go with a big name to get great customer service. And just because you’re paying more with a major network, doesn’t mean you should expect to get a superior experience. ASDA Mobile has always been marketed as a budget network yet they completely outperformed their host network, EE, despite using the same infrastructure. Here’s the results in full:

Rank Network Great OK Poor
1 Giffgaff 65% 30% 5%
2 Tesco Mobile 63% 33% 4%
3 ASDA Mobile 54% 31% 14%
4 Virgin Mobile 42% 44% 14%
5 Three 40% 48% 12%
6 O2 33% 55% 12%
7 BT Mobile 36% 43% 21%
8 Talk Mobile 31% 50% 19%
9 EE 22% 54% 24%
10 Vodafone 20% 52% 28%

If you’re not satisfied by your network’s service no matter what their ranking in the table above, remember it’s really easy to switch mobile network. And you can even keep your same number too. We always recommend going for PAYG or SIM-only deals because they are better value for money and you’re not locked in to a network you hate for years at a time.

Where did your current mobile network come in this consumer satisfaction poll? Do you think it’s a fair rating or do you disagree with the judgement? And which network would you switch to if you could?

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05 August 2013 ~ 4 Comments

Sainsbury’s joins the mobile party


Sainsbury’s has finally joined the UK’s other major supermarkets in offering a mobile provider service. It had to happen eventually. We’d been expecting it would be just round the corner every year but it never was. Until now. Bowing to the inevitable, and just a tad tardy, Sainsbury’s has joined the party. Introducing … Mobile By Sainsbury’s.

Tesco Mobile was the big pioneer starting out way back in 2003. And after that, ASDA Mobile was launched in April 2007 and revolutionised the virtual network market with industry leading rates. In fact, they were the first truly budget mobile network as previously even virtual mobile networks were barely much cheaper than standard high street PAYG tariff offerings. And now, just ten years behind Tesco and with a bit of a mouthful for a brand name, Sainsbury’s has stuck its oar in.

The rates are pretty competitive especially compared to Tesco Mobile and ASDA Mobile. The basic PAYG plan is just 8p/minute for calls and 4p each for texts. Unfortunately data is pretty expensive unless you are a very low user coming in at 50p per day up to a maximum of just 25MB. If you need to check your emails every weekday, it will set you back about a tenner a month just on data. And that won’t even give you enough allowance to download apps and music or stream video.

However, there are some 30-day rolling bundles on offer. Just like SIM-only contracts or bundles offered by other virtual networks, these give you an allowance and can be changed every 30 days. They all come with unlimited texts (subject to a fair use policy) and the cheapest is £10 and provides 200 minutes as well as 250MB of mobile data. If you spend £15 you’ll get 300 minutes as well as 500MB data. And finally, £20 will get you a more hefty 800 minutes as well as 1GB of internet usage.

While these are decent value, you can certainly get much better deals if you’re willing to look elsewhere. So what else has Sainsbury’s got up its sleeve to persuade you to switch over?

It seems that the service is aimed people in their 30s and 40s, particularly mums and families who need to keep in touch with their kids but maybe don’t have enough time to be glued to internet apps and games on their phones. If you just need to make infrequent calls and texts, it’s good value. And even better, there are lots of Nectar points bonuses available for Mobile By Sainsbury’s users.

First of all, all top-ups quality for double Nectar points effectively meaning you get 2% back every time you add credit to your phone. And if you are using one of the 30-day bundles, you also get double Nectar points on Sainsbury’s shopping and fuel station purchases. While this certainly won’t make you rich, many people will definitely appreciate the extra pennies at the end of each month. Be aware, Mobile By Sainsbury’s customers have to opt-in to this scheme and link their Nectar card number by texting it to 40774.

Sainsbury’s previously only used to offer basic mobile accessories like USB cables but they’ve now started cross-marketing into mobile handsets too. They are mainly targeting the aforementioned mums here as well with budget phones ranging from just over a tenner up to a bit more than £100. Unfortunately the prices aren’t so good that it’s worth buying a locked handset and you can get much better deals buying SIM-free phones online. For example, not only is the Nokia Lumia 520 cheaper on Amazon but it also comes unlocked to any network and with free delivery.

It’s still early days but it’s a little concerning that the Mobile By Sainsbury’s website seems a little under construction still even though it’s fully launched. For example, take a look at the FAQ page – many answers are simply incomplete and just plain useless at present. Hopefully this will get sorted soon.

sainsbury's faq incomplete

Mobile By Sainsbury’s have chosen to use Vodafone as their partner network. This is the same choice as ASDA Mobile made so coverage should be exactly the same on both providers. They also offer BlackBerry plans for an additional subscription of £5 every 30 days. Stay tuned for our full review coming soon…

What do you make of this move by Sainsbury’s? Why do you think it took them so long to launch their own network? Are they plans cheap enough to persuade you to change over? And will they be as successful as Tesco and ASDA?

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20 September 2011 ~ 2 Comments

Ultimate mobile network comparison

We’ve just put the finishing touches on what we think is the best mobile network comparison table for UK PAYG. It’s now live and published and we’re pretty sure that this is the most comprehensive way of comparing mobile networks available.

This is the only network comparison chart that really includes everything. We’ve got coverage information, prices for data, calls, texts, MMS, premium numbers, freephone numbers, special deals for unlimited calls, unlimited texts and unlimited data and details about the mobile networks each virtual network runs on. Every cost on every tariff for every UK network.

The comparison chart is extensively annotated and you can even click the headings to sort each column in ascending or descending order to find the cheapest mobile network for your specific needs and usage patterns. Then, before you change mobile network, you can click the network names to read our detailed reviews.

So go check out what’s probably the best mobile network comparison table available, work out how to get the cheapest deal possible and let us know what you think. We think that by giving you all the information in one place, you’ll be able to choose the best value network .

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