T-Mobile shook up tariffs a few years back when it introduced Flext (a system where users are given monthly credit to spend how they choose on minutes, SMS and MMS) and now this promise could do the same...
Coming initially to Solo 30 and Combi 30, the network's £30 price plans, is a market first guarantee: during the lifetime of a customer contract T-Mobile will match the minutes provided by any of its big four rivals (Orange, Vodafone, O2 and 3) on their £30 tariffs.
Let's give an example: soon Combi 30 will give users up to 700 minutes per month, which is pretty darn good, but should you sign up to this on an 18 month contract and six months later find O2 suddenly offers 800 mins on a £30 package T-Mobile will match this without any penalty or extension to your contract. Yep, it's a pretty sweet deal and should give peace of mind to the famously contract-phobic.
Caveats? I had a chat with T-Mobile UK's Head of Postpay, Steve Mitchell and Head of Tariff Programmes, John Cowan and discovered a few:
*The guarantee applies only to minutes, not prices. So, while the above example is true, should O2 come up a deal offering the same 700 minutes but for £25 you won't get a £5 monthly discount.
*Secondly, this guarantee corresponds to all rival networks' standard deals, not the individual deals you may agree with your network come renewal time.
To be fair, these are reasonable exceptions to the rule. I pushed Steve and John about whether this type of guarantee would come to Flext or be represented in terms of data allowances on its mobile broadband packages but was told while the network would "explore our options" it is sensibly monitoring response to this deal first.
The guarantee goes live today. Expect a push for it (including a major ad campaign during the Thursday Euro 2008 semi-final) to begin soon. It's going to be big and, quite frankly, deserves to be.