back to article T-Mobile UK earmarks two tariffs for scrappage

T-Mobile UK is junking its Combi and Flext tariffs next month, the trade paper Mobile Today reveals. The cellco will also scrap 12-month contracts and will replace the Solo sim-only tariff, according to the paper. In a presentation seen by Mobile Today [which probably means it has its hands on a briefing document meant for …


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  1. James Whale
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    I like my Flext tariff as I don't want to have to keep an eye on allowances and it's great not having to worry about how I'm using my phone. Only last year we were being told by T-Mobile and consumer groups alike how popular Flext is - now they're saying the opposite. This is an annoying move by T-Mobile - Flext really was unique in the marketplace. I wonder if the merger with Orange has anything to do with it...

    1. Rob


      I'm gonna miss my Flext, thankfully I've only just renewed my contract so I should have another 16months or so on it.

      I get the feeling when I have to choose a new tariff it's not going to be that great for me and I'm gonna feel shortchanged somehow. The definitive deal breaker is if they get rid of their web'n'walk packages.

      1. Cameron Colley

        I like Flext too.

        Though I have to admit to making hardly any calls -- so I dare say free unlimited texts would do me OK. If they scrap Web n Walk, however, they'll loose me as a customer -- it's the only reason I went with T-Mobile in the first place.

  2. Lionel Baden

    So Glad i left 1 month ago

    I wanted to get a touch pro 2 with a renewal of my contract

    This phone was available to new customers but not Existing ones ?!?!? WTF !!!

    I actually liked my flexi tariff though because i dont use text at all really and like being able to spend it on phone calls instead.

    Doubt i will ever go back to T-Mobile now !!!

    Flames cause thats what they will be going down in !!

    1. Rob

      Missed out

      Should have checked some WinMo forums, I got my TP2 on an upgrade with T-Mobile. The trick was to ask for your discount to be applied to your account so that you could go to another company to buy the phone who would apply the discount.

      My discount was £250 and would have stayed on my account for 10 days as an "offer", phoned up a mobile phone shop in southampton who applied the discount and sent the phone out whilst renewing my Flext at the same time.

      Annoying that you have to 'dig' these sort of options out.

    2. Kevin Fairhurst
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      Did you speak to retentions?

      Or any old CSA?

      When I was faced with a similar option, I calmly said to the retentions person that I would do the following instead then :

      1) New connection in store to get phone I want on same price plan

      2) Put through Port request on existing # to go to a Virgin PAYG SIM

      3) Once the existing # is on Virgin, immediately port it back to T-Mobile.

      I then asked if T-Mobile would rather pay out more money in new connection subsidies (including whatever they pay Virgin for a new "customer") as opposed to just giving me the phone as an upgrade. After speaking to her supervisor, I got the phone as an upgrade.

  3. Anonymous Coward
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    Thought we were doing well...

    I've had my Flext thingie for about 3 or 4 years now, and (apart from the 18 month lock-in, which is really irritating) i like it very much. It's basically the only half-sensible tarrif on the market. Also, after the initial 18 months, I managed to negotiate it down to about £10 / month (or there abouts - I can't remember exactly), and this gives me voice, text and internet access.

    WHY do the mobile operators feel the need to screw their customers are every oppertunity they find? What's up with them???

    My top phone gripes:

    1/ 18 month lock-in (even if you already have a phone) - Why? BT are even doing this now!

    2/ Random prices - Do you know ANYONE who is paying the same price? They seem to make the prices up depending on who you are and who you talk to when you subscribe

    3/ Charging for 0800 and 0845 numbers - Why don't these get included in your free minutes?

    4/ Marketing texts from the operator, which they generally stop after you have told them a dozen times not to send you any more

    1. Adam W

      @AC 12:29

      The reason 0800/etc numbers are charged for on mobiles is reasonably simple. You may remember a good few years ago that there were a lot of "international calling" services that you could dial to get better international rates... on 0800 numbers. You would then get forwarded onto the call you wanted, for a much lower rate.

      Needless to say the networks didn't like this, as they were being "cheated" out of revenue. So to nip it in the bud, they all charged for 0800 numbers. Needless to say I can't recall any of these services being advertised in recent times.

      Of course, the networks could have simply reduced their international calling rates, but clearly that would have been too simple...

    2. Anonymous Coward


      1/ 18 month lock-in (even if you already have a phone) - Why?

      sim only deals of course

  4. Gordon861

    No Contracts?

    I'm still on the free off-peak and weekend contracts and happy with it.

  5. Kevin Fairhurst

    @AC 12:29

    1/ 18 month lock-in (even if you already have a phone) - Why? BT are even doing this now!

    12 month contracts weren't deemed as profitable enough, at a guess. Also, it makes people less likely to chase an immediate upgrade, as they can't remember exactly when they're due! If you already have a phone, you should be getting a significant discount on your monthly rental in lieu of a handset.

    2/ Random prices - Do you know ANYONE who is paying the same price? They seem to make the prices up depending on who you are and who you talk to when you subscribe

    I think it depends on what offers / price plans are currently available when you subscribe! There are at least 3 different versions of the Flext £180 price plan that I'm on; the original one, the one I put my then gf on to which didn't include voicemail, and the one I'm currently on (Flext 2009) which includes free Web n Walk and some 0800/0845 numbers.

    3/ Charging for 0800 and 0845 numbers - Why don't these get included in your free minutes?

    Because they're not free to the telco, and thus have to be factored in to the profitability model somewhere. Newer price plans are including some of these as part of the deal e.g. Flext 2009. However, as a trade off you might find you lose something else, e.g. only £175 worth of "credit" instead of £180.

    4/ Marketing texts from the operator, which they generally stop after you have told them a dozen times not to send you any more

    As soon as you get one, reply (for free IIRC) with the word STOP and nothing else. That should pretty much deal with them. The problem is, when you call a CSA and ask them to update the main system, it probably doesn't get reflected in any advertising promotions until Marketing update their lists in 3 months time :/

    Disclaimer: No I don't work for them.

  6. Sergiu Panaite
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    Boo :(

    I'm due to upgrade after their alleged tariff change, and I would hate to not be able to get a 12 month contract again... Yes, I'm a gadget addict, so I change my phone every 12 months - not anymore, apparently. Looks like I'll be going down the sim-only route from now on.

  7. Anonymous Coward

    Bloody Orange (probably)

    For many many years I was with orange who suddenly went down the pan. (stopped free insurance, cheap tariffs etc) and I went to t-mobile.

    t-mobile have been pretty good. I used the flext for both me and the wife and very good it is too. She's a text monkey and I'm a call and web junkie. All very good. When our contracts finished I worked out we'd both be better off on solo and buy our handsets either paygo or simfree. Works out at less than taking another 18 month contract.

    Orange turn up on the scene and all of a sudden it starts to turn to shit. (coincidence?)

    They will need to wrestle my solo plan from my dead and bloody fingers before I relinquish it. And if they do I'll no longer use t-orange.

    Problem is IMHO vodafone are just too expensive, o2 have too many outages because of all the poncy iphone users updating their twitter status with 'I just bought a cafe-frappe-latte-double-mocchachino...' t-orange is clearly turning to a big pile of poo and that only leaves 3, who don't have any android handsets. None of them have particularly good data tariffs apart from t-mobile who actually don't screw you up the ass should you accidentally go over your limit.

    that t-orange merger thing should be dropped. Its going to make the whole uk market get very expensive and generally be bad for the consumer.

  8. Danny 14 Silver badge


    I have an old roaming combi that I got from fake-canceling an out of contract. Its great, for £15 I get free internet (1gig so not the crappy 50mb one) 300 texts and 300 mins. Its a rolling 30 day one so hopefully they wont bin me off it.

    1. eJ2095


      I got my sim on virgin 600 mins any network free unlimted to vigrin and 3000 texts for 15 quid a month..

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    This stinks.

    I like flext, as has been said it made sense. I don't know one month if I will text more or phone more. So the credit was balanced against what I did, not some allowance I have to work to.

    But three months out of the fixed contract I can't get my old tariff, it doesn't exist. I had web and walk for 12 months which long expired and was told I could get out of it, now I am told I can't. All available tariffs are pants compared to my old one.

    None of the phones they offer are any good, in Decemeber I had a choice of 41. Now I have a choice of 6. None of which are top class. (They removed the N97 and G2 from my options of upgrades) I can't help think they are either squeezing me, or they are cutting costs for the merger.

    Reading that the touch pro 2 was on offer makes me livid as that is what I wanted. Time to jump ship.

  10. Individual #6/42


    EU Directive 2009/136/EC,Amendments to Directive 2002/22/EC, Article 30 Paragraph 5 states:

    Member States shall ensure that contracts concluded between consumers and undertakings providing electronic communications services do not mandate an initial commitment period that exceeds 24 months. Member States shall also ensure that undertakings offer users the possibility to subscribe to a contract with a maximum duration of 12months.

  11. Anonymous Coward
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    Perhaps we as consumers should be going down the sim only route anyway.

    You by the handset you want from the manufacturer you want, with the contract/deal you want from the operator you want.

    Shame that at the moment any real decent handsets cost hundreds of pounds sim free, and handsets I want are on operators that I would avoid like the plague.

  12. cs94njw
    Thumb Up

    3 have the Hero

    3 have the Hero!

    But the Milestone is T-mobile, Droid is Orange, and Nexus will be vodafone :(

  13. Nigel 9

    re: "This Stinks"

    <Quote>None of the phones they offer are any good, in Decemeber I had a choice of 41. Now I have a choice of 6. None of which are top class. (They removed the N97 and G2 from my options of upgrades) I can't help think they are either squeezing me, or they are cutting costs for the merger.</quote>

    Most Operators base your upgrade options on your previous years usage, others also factor in length of contract and time as a customer. If you are squeezing them (i.e spending £150 over the year max) then they are hardly likely to throw a £300+ smartphone at you in return for another years revenue, are they? :-(

    Anyway, T-Mobile are an irrelevant annoyance to me, used by PAYG chavs in line with Virgin / Tesco / ADSA mobile etc etc.

    I use O2, and suprisingly they've been great (as long as you know how to play the cancel / upgrade game) and compared to Vodaphone they're gods (in contrast to Orange, who STILL think Im with them despite porting my number 4yrs ago!)

    1. Tony 38

      Savvy not chavvy

      T-Mobile, ASDA, Virgin, Tesco for chavs? Particuarly ASDA, I would say they are for users that don't want to get screwed on call costs.

      Personally I'm on 3 wiht my TyTN II and love them - PAYG so I can jump ship if the CS cause me grief.

      Personally, I prefer the 'get your own phone & PAYG' option as contracts are too risky if you accidently go over an allowance. No tie in, can't land you with large bills and loads of good deals and bonus's for topping up make contracts for mugs.


      Sim free Nexus One = £500 equates to £27 per month over 18 months

      Add a decent PAYG SIM such as 3 @ £10 pm (which includes 150Gb data and 200 txt for each topup)

      Work out how much you pay for contracts v's cost of sim free handset and there isn't much in it.

      As for the comment earlier about 3 not doing Android, as already pointed out, the do the Hero and are in talks to supply the Nexus.

      1. ChrisC Silver badge

        If only...

        ...3 did give you 150GB (or even Gb) a month for a tenner, I'd be switching tomorrow. However, since a quick browse on their site says a £10 top-up gets you a mere 150MB, I think I'll stick with Solo 20...

  14. K12

    Don't panic

    Lots of speculation so will try to go through some of the points.

    First off web'n'walk is alive and well and will remain available at it's current £5, though you will be able to select it as a free option an all plans if you don't like the idea of unlimited text.

    The new plans are as good as the old plans but with a lot more flexibility. As mentioned you will be able to choose a free booster rather than been forced to have unlimited text. You could have unlimited internet or landline or on net or international boosters (not unlimited). Now the really good bit you can change them each month.

    The next great feature is if you choose a lower value handset the line rental reduces accordingly, £10 line rental with unlimited internet anyone? No more ridiculous cash back deals that you stand little chance of getting.

    Flext is dead, yep but the market has changed and companies must change to follow the market, this spells the end for flext which is no longer the big seller it used to be. Realistically when you can build your own plan and get a line rental that matches the value of the phone no one will miss it.

    Networks must offer 12 month plans under ec rules, blimey could almost hear the nasal tones behind that one :) But in answer that would be sim only 12 month.

    Love Flext? Wan't to keep it? No probs, once you have it you can keep it right through the upgrades. T-mobile still has customers on the bronze, silver and gold plans.

    Couldn't get a hd2 on upgrade, never heard of that, bear in mind this is the company that will only give N97's to upgrade customers and even bought in I-phones to keep upgrading customers happy. They also gave staff the ability to do better deals to upgrading customers over new, this included a massive training programme and new systems been installed.

    Have Fun

  15. markp 1

    TMobile are living on the moon.. maybe

    Cuh... bad news, on the surface. Not sure on that "improved flexibility and customer value" flannel. I'll play the waiting game and see how things are in ~12 months when my plan is up for renewal again. As their signal isn't very good where I work, and their choice of upgrade phones is pretty rotten (best I could get out of them is an N79 and I've been seriously considering going back to my old Sony for some time, if I can get it repaired), the only thing that's kept me on TM has been the Flext plan. I did manage to talk them into keeping me on my existing Flext 25 plan (total of £32.50pcm with WnW), with an extra credit sweetener for switching from 12 to 18 months no less, so I might be able to do it a second time, who knows. Verrrrrrrrrry nearly switched to Virgin because of their real-world plan offerings (and they're carried by TM) but the even poorer choice of phones killed it in the end.

    But they already crippled Flext last year when they dropped the lower monthly charge tariffs (not sure why, as they're actually "worse value" and therefore potentially more lucrative when people go over-budget... I was usually hovering just one side or the other of my limit - now I never exceed it ;), and Combi has never had any sensible allowance/tariff combinations since it launched, which is probably why there's not a great deal of uptake for either of them any more. £40pcm is a hell of a lot to spend as a MINIMUM on a contract mobile and a pretty good way to see a lot of your customers go back to PAYG - spending £30+ a month on credit is what made me jump ship to monthly bills instead.

    Could be that their new plans actually are sensibly laid out and offer decent value - e.g. if we can get one at ~£30pcm with some kind of usable internet allowance (say 60mb as a minimum?) and more texts than minutes (300/100 split? I don't do too many long conversations over the mobile), it might not be so bad. We'll have to wait and see. May be also that they're falling apart and have just shot themselves in the foot... again.

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