Seems like an interesting way to do business...
It has long been known that of all the mobile networks in the UK Hutchinson’s 3 gives away the most minutes for least cost. Despite this, the company developed a poor (some would say stinky) reputation in its early days for dodgy signal reception and extremely curtailed 3G features. Both of these elements have been improving over time but 3 clearly feels it still needs to go that extra yard, because it is going to start paying customers who use its service.
Initiated for the company’s new ‘WePay’ pay-as-you-go price plan, the idea isn’t quite as exciting or fiscally suicidal as it sounds. Each time someone calls you or sends you a text message you begin collecting credits which you can redeem every time you buy more credit. In fact, the concept isn’t that dissimilar to the promotions petrol stations run or the points you can receive shopping in many high street stores.
Imitation is the greatest form of flattery though and these links certainly don’t make WePay a bad idea. The reward scheme appears pretty generous too: for receiving a five minute call users can earn enough credit to send two text messages/one picture message or get the highlights from a couple of episodes of Coronation Street (which sounds more like a punishment to me).
“It pays to be popular,” said 3 spin doctor Graeme Oxby. “Anyone who regularly receives calls and texts could end up much better off by moving to 3. You pick up, we pay up; it’s as simple as that.” He fails to mention the concept’s hideous discrimination against unpopular people but, then again, why would they need mobile phones in the first place?
Dependant on the success of this scheme it may restructure the entire wealth distribution of the country with self centred teenage drama queens shooting past the likes of J K Rowling and Roman Abramovich. Do you know what you’re doing 3? It’s a brave new world being proposed.