As a huge proponent of the Three UK AYCE (all you can eat) principle, I have been watching this week’s reaction with interest. What seems to have happened is that Three have now decided that the time is right to wind down the One Plan once and for all, and people don’t like it one little bit!
Lets recap what the One Plan is (or was as its not been on sale since mid 2014). Put simply it was the most innovative mobile Plan ever released, back at a time (2011) when Three were actually looking to increase their market share dramatically. Back then mobile plans were as complicated (on purpose) as they are today, but the one Plan came along and was totally unlimited in every area, mins, texts, data both on the handset and tethering were completely and totally unlimited. People did not believe it at the time and quite a few people put it to the test, including Dan Carter writing for Coolsmartphone
Once people realised this was true, a lot of people not only jumped on it, but started to abuse it by using it as a replacement for home broadband. When it started out in 2011 it was only available with a new handset, but in 2012 that changed with the launch of a Sim only version for £20 a month, later to drop to just £15 a month, which was staggeringly good value for money, and brings us up to this week, when letters started going out to people on these £15 a month deals. The letter basically says that if you do nothing they will change you onto the nearest new tariff, which as the One Plan was such an unlimited plan, means they will swap you to the £33 a month current plan (which is basically the same with a limit of 12GB a month for tethering). As these are all aimed at people on 1 mth rolling contracts, (which are always 10% more than 12 mth SIMO) they are offering this plan for £3 off, making it £30 a month. Of course this is a crap newspapers dream headline as they can say “Three are doubling price plans”, and many have jumped on this particular wagon!
Now let us take a rather more calm look at the facts, and I am not playing down the handling of this, all I am suggesting is that before you cut your nose off to spite you face, take a breath, think, and then act.
Right, go read the letter carefully (here is a crap news site for you to read the letter) and note that it says you have a month to decide, and can call and chat to them, or cancel. Many people have proudly tweeted that they are taking this option, and soem seem to think this will somehow upset Three, which is ironic as I would suggest that Three make a loss on these old contracts now. OK, I have no proof at all for this, but come on, £15 for everything?
So, I took a look around, since my last One Plan runs out in a month or so, many of you will recall I knew it was ending and took one out just before the axe fell in 2014. I pay £32 a month at the moment, and it included a phone, iPhone 5 or 5S I think.
So what can you do if you are losing your old contract? Well, can you live with 200 mins of Talk time? If so you could do worse than the 12 mth £20 a month SIMO deal, which will still give you unlimited handset data and a decent 12GB tethering each month, along with unlimited SMS
On top of this if you can bear to start a new contract, you can order this sim via Quidco and possibly get £50 cash back, making this just over the £15 per month that you enjoyed for a long time.
I do understand some people want to keep an old number, but ask yourself, do I really need to?
Frankly, none of the other networks offer any AYCE data deals, which I find gives me a lot of peace of mind, sure, I might only use about 10GB maximum, but I don’t have to think about it, nor worry about some rogue app taking me over my limit.
I have been VERY critical of Three in the last few months, but on this one, I think the people who are getting this letter could do worse than at least acknowledge that they have had a fantastic deal for a lot longer than we all thought, and maybe have a go at the deal I mention above?