T-Mobile – The Full Monty – Review

T-Mobile Logo

A Review of T-Mobile And The Full Monty SIM?

T-Mobile can trace their roots back to the old Mercury / One to One network which launched as one of the world’s first GSM networks in 1993. The company thrived to begin with but began to struggle and was bought by Deutsche and rebranded as T-Mobile in 2002, the same year that BT Cellnet spun out as O2. T-Mobile has continued to be one of the leading three or four mobile networks in the UK ever since but in 2010 they merged with Orange UK to create by far the UK’s biggest mobile network. Although T-Mobile and Orange continue to exist as brands they are owned by the same company and share some back office functions.

That has some big advantages for customers, as a result of their scale it helps to keep costs down and allows T-Mobile to have some of the most competitive SIM contracts available, it also means that their customers can share a network with Orange which gives them jointly the best coverage of all the networks.

Network Quality

One of the big advantages of choosing T-Mobile is that network share with Orange. In the past T-Mobile coverage could be patchy, particularly in rural areas although they were very strong in cities. The tie up with Orange means that your phone seamlessly picks up the Orange network free of charge whenever there is not a T-Mobile signal. This makes for a huge improvement in coverage and gives the joint network a big advantage over their rivals. In addition to using the networks for calls and text, T-Mobile customers can also now use the extensive Orange 3G network for Internet and data and therefore benefit from the huge investment that Orange have made as they strive to have the UKs largest 3G network, whilst benefiting from the significantly more competitive data allowances on T-Mobile SIM contracts.

Customer Service

T-Mobile won the ‘Digital Customer Experience of the Year’ award at the 2010 CST awards and it is clear that they have invested a lot in online customer service. Their website is clear and easy to use with extensive FAQs in the Answer Centre, support forums and they also offer good customer support on other digital channels such as Twitter. There is substantial online account management at My T-Mobile and there is also web chat and fast turnaround times for email responses. All this is very positive and positions T-Mobile very well for the digital age but sometimes you do just need to speak to someone to get a query resolved. They do offer freephone customer service from 8am to 10pm but in the past the reputation of their call centres has perhaps lagged those of some of their rivals, that said we have never experienced any issues ourselves with their call centres and their reputation has improved, along with the rest of the industry, over the last few years.

Value For Money

T-Mobile offer a very wide range of SIM contracts at price plans from below £10 a month to £31 a month for their unlimited offering. There are 12 month and 30 day contracts available at each price point with very competitive allowances of minutes and texts across the board, plus bonus inclusive T-Mobile to T-Mobile minutes and free voice mail. Generally the value for money for the basic offerings is very good when compared to their competitors but it is the customisation options offered by their extensive bolt ons that really add the value for money.

Bolt Ons

T-Mobile Bolt Ons allow you to add additional allowances to your contract so that you can personalise it to your own needs. The exact composition of the bolt ons does change but at the time of writing there are options to add extra anytime, any network minutes, large amounts of landline minutes, access to WiFi hotspots and Internet allowances of various different quantities. The ability to personalise your contract in this way is one of things that makes T-Mobile SIMs such good value for money as it cuts out wastage on allowances that you may not want and allows you to customise your contract to suit your needs. See http://www.t-mobile.co.uk/shop/sim-only/plans/ for the latest bolt ons available.

The Full Monty

The heaviest mobile users have always paid the price in the form of big bills for large allowances of minutes with contracts up to and above £75 a month not unusual for the highest minute or data allowances in the past and overcharges for calls outside your bundle on top. T-Mobile are the first to really address this problem with the launch of the UKs first completely unlimited plan, the Full Monty. For £31 a month on a 12 month contract the Full Monty plan includes unlimited calls, texts and data so you can be sure that you will never exceed your allowances and run up large bills. It’s a great deal for the very heaviest users although it should be weighed up against Three’s One Plan which is £6 a month cheaper and on a one month contract. The One Plan also includes unlimited data but minutes are capped at 2,000 (or 33 hours a month) and texts at 5,000 so for the very highest users the Full Monty may be more appropriate.