O2 pricing doesn’t favour existing customers

*** Edit to post at 19:42 ***

@O2Forum said “Hi, the Silver upgrade price is the same as a New Customer joining with Advance 150, Gold is the same for Advance 350 etc”

So it would appear there’s a gap in pricing for anyone who wants to go from a Silver upgrade to an iPhone 4 on their Advance 350 plan. You’ll save €60 by buying the phone as a new customer rather than upgrading.

*** End edit ***

I’m in the process of deciding what phone to upgrade to and it’s looking increasingly likely I’ll go from an iPhone 3G to an iPhone 4 once I get the cash together.

While checking the pricing with my existing operator – O2 – I noticed that it’s somehow cheaper for me to purchase a 16GB iPhone 4 as a new customer rather than upgrade as an existing customer. €60 cheaper in my case.

Am I missing something here? Please point it out if I am but if I am correct in what I see being a bit strange I find that a bit crappy I’m afraid. I’ve been a customer with O2 for at least 7 years, the last 2 of which I’ve been a bill pay customer. Surely they should be dangling the carrot for me to at least equal the measure to which they’re dangling it for new customers?

I’ve never had any issues with O2 and up until now I’ve been reluctant to change operator.

O2 upgrade offer
O2 upgrade offer
O2 new customer offer
O2 new customer offer

Click for bigger. Prize if you can spot where I’m making a mistake.

9 thoughts on “O2 pricing doesn’t favour existing customers”

  1. How long is the upgrade contract for? If it’s 12 months rather than the 18 months of the new contract, I would imagine that would explain the price difference.

  2. As you know I upgraded recently myself, I also got a Silver Upgrade, fortunately I went for the €45 per month plan so the phone was the same price for me (in comparison to signing up as a new customer). I am however a bit annoyed that in order to upgrade I had to sign up to the new price plan which is €5 extra per month and only has 500mb of data (used to be 1GB), I also had to agree to pay €12.99 per month for insurance (used to be €9 per month). All in all my upgrade is costing me an extra €9 per month to O2. It sucks. But I looked at all the alternatives and Three seemed like the only real competition, but I had bad experiences with them in the past, so stuck with O2.

  3. There’s no mistake, this has always been their pricing strategy. I fought bitterly with them over this last year – I too have been a bill customer for years, have never missed a bill and send many, many Euros their way every month.

    They eventually gave in and gave me a ‘gold’ instead of a ‘silver’ upgrade which matched the new customer price.

    So, if you think it’s worth fighting for, they might eventually give it to you to shut you up.

    It’s a pity they can’t see the value of loyal, reliable, revenue generating customers who are ready and willing to sign up and pay them money for another 18months instead.

    Good luck with it!

  4. I’m not surprised… and don’t expect any loyalty from O2 as an “existing customer” I was with them for 10 years on bill-pay, and was pretty happy with the service, but needed an upgrade.

    Meteor had a great offer for the phone I wanted. I asked O2 if they could do anything to match, or at least come close, for a loyal customer. Their response “Good bye and good luck!”, or words to that effect.

    When I switched to an iPhone last year I chose Vodafone over O2 for that reason, despite the equivalent O2 plan being a bit cheaper.

    Like you, I never had an issue with O2 during the decade I was with them… right up to the point where I wanted them to look after an existing customer… that’s when things went belly up.

    Good luck with the upgrade… if you decide to stay with O2. Have to say customer service with Vodafone Ireland has been great since I switched, so if you’re thinking of switching provider….

  5. @Paul – appreciate you taking the time to look into it.

    @feylya it’s for an 18 month contract, 12 is of course more expensive.

    @Calvin @Clodagh @Sinead – I honestly didn’t realise this was their pricing policy, it’s been nearly 2 years since I changed my phone (first iPhone had a physical fault after 6 months and was replaced under warranty). Like you Sinead, I was with 3 before and wasn’t exactly delighted with the service I got so only stuck there a year. In fact, it’s the only time I’ve ever gone away from O2. Good to hear good things about Vodafone Calvin, will bear it in mind!

    Really disappointing to see – despite the range of providers we now have in Ireland – how little added value existing customers seem to get :(

  6. I had the same issue with o2. Been a customer for 8 years and was looking forward to getting a new iPhone 4 and believe it or not I had just a silver upgrade when i was paying every month 130€ on average and never complained for being ripped off and fooled with add ons just to be able to call abroad cheaper or upgrades more expensive than for a new costumer. It seems here it doesn’t work this way u pay more and they don’t care about u as customer! Now I’m with Vodafone and I am happy! Getter much better value and got phone nearly for nothing to compare to o2 and my bills are 50€ cheaper now! And I did tell to o2 before leaving the reason and guess what?! Good bye and good luck! It was nice being with o2 but Vodafone is a different league! And insurance is just 10€ with Vodafone for iPhone 4

  7. I’ve had a different experience, and spent some time on their forums when the iphone 4 came out and it seems that the way they do upgrades is a bit sneaky. Basically, based on a magical algorithm to do with usage, time and cost of your bills, they will offer you a bronze, silver, gold or platinum upgrade, but if you don’t use it within a certain time, it is cancelled and you have to start again -it’s unfair and not transparent, but it’s how they do it.

    @Sinead, I’m surprised you were made upgrade your plan, when I upgraded from 3GS to 4 (I managed a gold upgrade from the year since I got the 3GS) I made sure that I was keeping my original plan, with the 1gig data and tethering included. I will also say that I used Carphone Warehouse, and they were a lot nicer experience than O2 online!

  8. Unfortunately it seems they consider a new customer more valuable than an existing customer.

    @Sinead – you should see about adding your phone to your house insurance instead.

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