It’s clear there’s a lot of people unhappy at the upgrade policy of O2 for the iPhone 3G. The network currently wants everyone with an iPhone 3G to pay off their current contracts if they want to upgrade to one of the new 3Gs models.
I say ‘currently’ because it seems the UK launch is being marred by some pretty negative headlines and I can’t help but think Apple will soon step in and a change of heart will be announced.
For my part I only got my iPhone 3G 16GB 13 days ago so in theory I ought to be miffed that it’s already ‘obsolete’ except I knew the rumours of a new phone and took a gamble that the free offer for the 3G might not be replicated for the new model.
Turns out I was wrong but my experience with O2 today has been very positive, I emailed in asking whether there was any option to swap the phone and got a very helpful call which offered me a chance to send the phone back, change to a non-iPhone tariff until next week and then change back again next week.
I appreciate the offer, after a lot of thought I won’t be taking it up simply because:
1) I have a VADO if I want to take video for the web
2) In all the years I’ve had phones with voice dialing and controls I’ve never actually used it
3) A compass will be little use to me
On the other hand I share everyone’s miffedness at the ridiculous tethering charges being advertised by O2 – £15 a month for more ‘unlimited’ data transfer to use on your laptop on top of the ‘unlimited’ data transfer we’re already paying for. Eh?
What difference does it make to O2 what device we use the ‘unlimited’ data allowance on?
It seems to me the company isn’t really playing fair. It’s been happy to entice people with the ‘unlimited’ data plan for the iPhone and enjoy the benefits of having a monopoly on the device (high upgrade fees, a ‘must have’ product) but it’s now wanting to double charge customers because it finds the new features inconvenient.
If you’ve spent two years building a customer base of early adopters sold on the concept of mobile computing you shouldn’t be too surprised when they expect to use the ‘unlimited’ data plan they’re already paying for on the device you sold them.