O2 – Simplicity – Review

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A Full Review Of O2′s Simplicity Contracts

O2 were one of the first networks to really embrace SIM contracts when they launched their ‘Simplicity’ range in 2007. The premise of Simplicity was very simple, instead of signing up for a long term contract, customers simply took on a one month rolling deal and instead of receiving a subsidised handset their price plans were £10 a month cheaper. It was a simple concept, as the very name suggests, but it launched something of a revolution for the networks. SIM only deals did exist previously but they were second class cousins compared to handset contracts, rarely a great deal and seldom pushed hard by the networks.

O2 made Simplicity their number one campaign for 2007, their TV adverts and shop windows led with the message and they soon started acquiring huge numbers of customers onto their SIM contracts which made the other networks sit up and take notice and launched the much more competitive SIM only market that we see today.

Customer Experience

Prior to the merger between Orange and T-Mobile, O2 had grown themselves from the smallest of the big networks into by far the biggest and most profitable. They did this by really focussing on the customer experience, with a mantra of trying to turn customers into fans. O2 invested very heavily in their call centres and soon started to win awards for the quality of their customer service. They launched campaigns like O2 Treats which were small rewards of bonus free minutes, texts, ringtones or games to surprise and delight customers and they focussed on making their systems work smoothly to minimise billing problems for customers in an industry notorious for them. This focus still exists today and O2 are generally regarded as being the most customer focussed and having the best service of the networks.

Rewards

On top of this O2 have focussed on adding extra value for their customers. As part of their sponsorship of the England rugby team, rugby fans get the chance to receive a free ‘pie and a pint’ at Twickenham and with ‘Priority Moments‘ and ‘O2 More’ they offer lots of personalised exclusive discounts for customers from money off at the cinema to discounts on groceries and fashion. Perhaps the most visible aspect of this though is with their sponsorship of live music, both at the world’s most popular live music venue The O2 in London and at dozens of smaller O2 sponsored live music venues around the country. O2 customers get the chance to buy priority tickets for shows and to access VIP bars and other benefits at the venues. It’s all part of a focus on giving customers more than just a good deal on minutes and texts.

Award Winning Network

O2 currently invest more than £1 million a day on maintaining and improving their network and it really does show. They may not have the widest 3G coverage but for calls and texts they have a highly respected and award winning network, repeatedly picking up awards such as Best Network Coverage For Pay Monthly (uSwitch), and Best Network (What Mobile and Mobile Choice). All that said, O2 have to an extent been a victim of their own success and in some places their network capacity is creaking at the seams. As customers use more and more data and make more and more calls, and as O2’s customer base continues to grow they are finding that their customers are using the network twice as much every six months. This can cause some problems in areas with high usage but they seem to be coping well with this rapid increase and are investing more than ever in growing capacity.

The Simplicity Tariffs

So O2 offer a lot in terms of customer benefits and quality of service and network but for many SIM contract customers what really matters is ensuring that they get value for money. Whilst O2’s SIM contracts are highly competitive when compared to their with handset tariffs, there are usually better deals out there in terms of minutes, texts and data for your money. O2 offer a series of deals on both one month and twelve month contracts and you can get a good price plan from as little as £13.50 but for those looking for a real bargain you may be better served looking elsewhere such as Three or T-Mobile. You can compare all the O2 SIM contracts on our O2 page.

On and On

One new addition to the O2 SIM range is On and On, O2’s first unlimited calls SIM contract. It’s a twelve month contract with unlimited minutes and texts and 1gb of data for £26 a month. As with most of their range it is great value compared to O2 with handset plans but not quite as competitive as The One Plan (one month contract and unlimited data for £25) from Three or Full Monty (unlimited everything) from T-Mobile. All that said there are lots of other benefits of being an O2 customer as described above so you need to weigh those added value benefits against pure value for money and decide the right deal for you.