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Huge increases of PAYG SIM card tariffs at Vectone and Lycamobile

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Will customers move away from Lyca and Vectone after these price hikes?

Will customers move away from Lyca and Vectone after these price hikes?

Vectone and Lycamobile has recently raised their standard PAYG SIM card rates by around 50%

Two well-known MVNOs, Vectone and Lycamoble, changed their basic PAYG SIM card tariffs during last couple of weeks. This price hike touched mobile calls, landline calls and text messages.

In November (data from Nov, 4th) Vectone Mobile websites showed that mobile calls outside Vectone cost 10p/min, landline rate was 5p/min, while non-Vectone texts were at 10p per message. During our next check of British PAYG SIM card tariffs on Dec, 2, we noticed that calls to other networks rose by 50% to 15p/min, landline calls went up by 80% to 9p/min and texts rate was increased by 33% to 15p. These changes were introduced only to Vectone’s standard rates for PAYG SIM cards. Customers may take advantage of their Pocket Saver bundles which also gives access to discounted rates that basically are the rates valid before the price hike.

Lycamobile’s update of PAYG SIM card rates was of the same size. Customers now have to pay 15p per minute for mobile calls, 9p for landline calls and 15p for a text. This means that the rates were increased by 5p, 4p and 5p respectively. Additionally, Lyca also changed its international PAYG SIM card rates, particularly costs of international texts.  In this case, the update made the rate grow by 25% from 12p to 15p. If customers select one of the UK Plan bundles, then they are offered special lowered international and national rates. Special National tariff means that UK landline calls 5p/min, while mobile calls are for 10p/min.

Lyca and Vectone’s decisions to increase standard rates for their PAYG SIM card definitely isn’t a popular decision, however, thanks to their wide range of bundles customers may actually not feel that change too much.

Written by adm

December 11th, 2014 at 8:23 pm

Lebara increases PAYG rates more than expected

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Will customers complain about Lebara PAYG rates rise?

Will customers complain about Lebara PAYG rates rise?

Consumers might be surprised by Lebara’s increase of PAYG SIM card rates by around 25 percent.

Last month we reported that Lebara announced a change in their tariff for PAYG SIM cards. The MVNO’s website showed that rates were supposed to be raised by 1p. Lebara officially informed its customers about the upcoming change and gave them plenty of time to react to the tariff increase.

It turned out, however, that the price hike introduced by Lebara is more than they advertised on the website in September. On October 1, the customers were surprised to see that PAYG SIM card rates grew to 19p. The hike involved mobile and landline rate, text messages, mobile data and voice mail. Previously abovementioned prepaid rates at Lebara were at 15p. This makes Lebara PAYG SIM card offer less competitive than their competition and it seems that they fall behind other MVNOs.

Such a huge rise is not often seen on the British market, customers might not welcome it considering that prices changed by over 25%. Have you been affected by the price increase at Lebara? Are you planning to switch the operator because of it?

Written by adm

October 9th, 2014 at 3:34 pm

Posted in tariffs&rates

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Lebara increases PAYG SIM tariff

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Will customers complain about Lebara PAYG rates rise?

Will customers complain about Lebara PAYG rates rise?

Lebara UK announced small changes in their PAYG SIM card tariff, which means slightly higher rates.

It is always unwelcomed when an operator decides to increase their rates. This time it’s one of the most established MVNOs, Lebara, that informed about price hikes for their pay as you go SIM card users. The operator announced to their customers about the change 30 days before the updated tariff comes into force (October 1).

If you are a Lebara customer you should not be too concerned about this tariff increase. The MVNO decided to increase their PAYG SIM card rates just by 1p. The affected rates are domestic landline and mobile calls, texts, voicemail and data. This means that instead of 15p per minute/text or MB consumers will pay 16p. This is the lowest possible hike and standard PAYG SIM card users should not feel much difference, however if you look at it percentage-wise the MVNO changed the rates by roughly 6,5%. In business terms it may bring them a lot of extra revenue, however Lebara UK core business is providing cheap international call rates and this part of their PAYG SIM card tariff wasn’t included in this upcoming tariff update.

Interestingly, as of today Lebara hasn’t updated the price of their bundles and bolt-ons for PAYG SIM cards. If you are with Lebara and rely on their UK Plus, Lebara Freedom, Data Pass or any other package, then this price hike will not affect you at all.

Written by adm

September 16th, 2014 at 12:24 pm

Posted in tariffs&rates

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Ofcom’s mid-contract price hike protection

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Ofcom speaks out on mid-contract price hikes

Ofcom speaks out on mid-contract price hikes

The British watchdog has imposed a new regulation to protect customers against price rises in the middle of a contract.

Following a number of complaints sent by upset customers, Ofcom looked into legal and ethical aspects of unexpected price hikes. As a result of their investigation, they published a ruling on mid-contract price changes in October 2013 stating that a customer should have a possibility to resign from a contract without any consequences as long as the price of the contract is being increased by the service provider.

This ruling came into effect on January 28. From now on, operators should inform their customers a month before the contract price is increased. Additionally, such customers will have an option to walk away without any repercussions.

There was a mixed reception of this new ruling by the operators. On the one hand, Three UK and Vodafone promised to comply with the new rules and not to impose any price changes to contracts. They do not exclude changing the price of calls and texts outside your monthly allowance, but whatever you agreed on when signing the contract will be unchangeable. On the other hand, there is O2 which refuses to fully agree to Ofcom’s decisions. This operator said that it will continue to increase the cost of contracts by the RPI (retail price index), which this year equals to 2.7% and it also added a clause in new contracts that would make new customer forfeit their right to cancel a contract should there be a price hike. This move is in direct opposition to Ofcom, but as the new ruling only protects people that have signed a contract post- January 23, there is nothing the watchdog can do about old monthly payers.  O2 has decided to enforce a middle-term contract only once in their history. That happened in February 2013, however the operator has already announced that a new price hike is coming this March and according to terms and conditions of the post- January 23 contracts there might be a price hike that reflects RPI each year.

Out of the major operators only EE has yet to comment on the new ruling. Hopefully, the operator will follow Three UK and Vodafone rather than O2. There is a lesson to be learnt from that: even contracts are not set in stone these days, so maybe in terms of telecommunications services it is better to decide on pay as you go SIM card or any other prepaid solution. Such an approach will not tie you to one company for 12 or 24 months and you will be able to choose the most competitive deal as the market conditions change.

Written by adm

January 30th, 2014 at 11:12 am

Posted in networks

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