28 April 2016 ~ 6 Comments

Who can beat LIFE Mobile’s new deals?

life-mobile

LIFE Mobile is a virtual network offering 3G coverage to 99% of the UK population, on the EE network. They’ve just released some new monthly deals that offer excellent value from under £5/month on a SIM-only rolling tariff.

Currently, LIFE Mobile offers the following four SIM-only deals with 30 day bundles:

tarrifs2

A key feature of the LIFE Mobile offering is their Smart Cap option. It is intended to give you better control over your monthly data expenditure. Smart Cap gives you a small buffer to limit your out-of-allowance charges. The default setting is £5 but you can call them and change this to anything from £1 to £30.

For example a Smart Cap of £1 on the £4.95/month tariff, your monthly bill from LIFE Mobile will never exceed £5.95. This is a great feature if you are paying the monthly bills on your children or someone else’s phone. You will never get an unpleasant surprise at the end of the month with Smart Cap.

LIFE Mobile’s cheapest offering at £4.95 has no rivals. If you are connected to BT Broadband you will get 200 minutes with 500 MB of data at a discounted rate of £5.00. This is 400 minutes less talk-time than you will get with LIFE Mobile.

Giffgaff can only offer 250 minutes talk-time and 500 MB data for £7.50. They do have a less expensive option at £5.00 per month, but that only gives 125 minutes talk-time, 500 texts and 100 MB data.

TPO offer some incredible deals but are also outdone by LIFE Mobile’s pricing. Their best priced option costs £5.99 and only offers 100 minutes of talk-time, 100 texts and 500 MB data. For £8.99 TPO still falls short with airtime at 300 minutes, but they offer unlimited texts and 2 GB of data which LIFE Mobile only offers in their £9.95 package. But LIFE Mobile supply 1000 minutes of airtime and 1 GB of data for £7.45. The choice is really whether you use your phone more for talking or for applications which will use up your data. For many users, data is less important since they are often in Wi-Fi zones where they do not use their data at all.

For anyone with their own unlocked mobile phone there are few strong alternatives. LIFE Mobile offers a true budget beating way to get connected. And their UK based call centre has been getting very good reviews from customers. This strong offering puts LIFE Mobile amongst the top UK virtual networks and completely trounces the likes of Vodafone and O2.

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06 November 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Sainsbury’s suddenly axes network

sainsbury mobile closing copy

It has emerged that Mobile by Sainsbury’s currently has a shelf-life of fewer than three months. The supermarket juggernaut has quietly been banishing marketing materials from all of its 1000+ stores in preparation for the shocking shutdown. Current customers have only until 15th January next year to use up their existing credit and choose a new operator to port their number to.

According to an insider source, the reason for the sudden closure is a break-down in negotiations with their infrastructure provider, Vodafone. The network was always a joint-venture between the two companies and without any agreement between them, there is little option but to stop providing a service. At the moment it’s unclear whether Sainsbury’s approached any other providers to step in place of Vodafone to keep the network live. We’ve also not received comment on how financially successful it has been for Sainsbury’s as it might be assumed that they have been looking for a graceful exit strategy.

While there has been little warning to their customers, industry experts say that it’s not a surprising outcome. Vodafone have been reportedly looking to completely withdraw from providing services to piggybacking MVNOs such as Sainsbury’s and Talkmobile.

Sainsbury’s is the second biggest supermarket brand in the country and two of its arch-rivals, ASDA and Tesco are still running their virtual networks running on other carriers. It has to be said, that their offerings have seemed to be much more successful too. While Sainsbury’s will no longer be marketing their network in stores, several of their retail outlets will still be selling mobile phones and accessories.

If you’re an existing customer of the network, you should start thinking about changing to a new network, requesting a PAC and porting your phone number over. No services at all will be available from 15 January 2016.

Did you see this coming? Are you a Mobile by Sainsbury’s customer and if so, what’s your reaction? Do you think Sainsbury’s are acting fairly? And how many of you expecting this coming? Should Sainsbury’s have done anything differently after negotiations with Vodafone broke down?

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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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