Tuesday 23rd July 2024

Trapped in telecoms: do I really need that new phone?


Two years is a long time. In the world of telecommunications, it’s an eternity. Ask anyone who’s tied into a mobile phone contract.

I’m coming to the end of my two year contract, and to be frank, it’s been a bummer. My previous experience with Orange had been OK – despite creeping costs, and sneaky tariffs, the phone itself was sound, and the service was good.  When the 24 months was up though, Orange had been bought up by the implacable monolith known as EE. Oh dear.

A handover process from Orange that contained one last bill very nearly tanked my mortgage application.

So, two years with EE, and what did I get? A very nice new S4 handset, with no signal in my place of work. A handover process from Orange that contained one last bill that was never brought to my attention, and that very nearly tanked my mortgage application.  There was also a hilarious tariff system. Working out my bill was a bit like trying to do Sudoku from a sheet of paper while on a merry go round.

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Seems like in that two years, the whole telecoms industry has changed too, expanding to accommodate a gang of parasitic companies who’ll work as go-betweens – ready to help the big companies chain you to another flashy new screen and another eye-watering contract.

It is just a phone. Seriously.

I got called the other day from a telephone company. I can’t even remember the name of it, Sky High Phone House Warehouse or something.  I told them I was happy with my current phone  (I am).  I told them that I just had it repaired and overhauled by Samsung, completely free under warranty (I have).  I told them that I wouldn’t be buying a new phone as part of my next contract, because my uneasy relationship with this modern phenomenon doesn’t need a brand new toy to rekindle the flame.  At this point, the Sky High Phone House Warehouse man thanked me for my time, and terminated our call.  Perhaps he went off to write a fresh entry in his witty and thought-provoking blog, reflecting on consumer attitudes to the mobile phone industry. I’d like to think so.

Seriously, though, folks – it’s just a phone. Do you really need a shiny new gadget every time you renew your contract? Save your money, and your attention, for something that deserves it.

Dan Lever

Mouthy Blogger

Family man from Bolton, guitar teaching exercise enthusiast, due to get married any minute now so watch this space.

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