By 6 years ago in Gadgets

O2 suffering iPhone 3GS backlash

iPhone 3G owners in the UK are fuming this morning after it was revealed O2 would not be offering an easy upgrade to people in mid-contract.

If you want to upgrade to the iPhone 3GS and you are not at the end of your contract then O2 will be asking for £35 for each month left on your contract and then £274.23 to buy the handset. So if you have 6 months left its going to cost almost £500 to upgrade.

The most insulting thing about the new iPhone pricing is that O2 are offering internet tethering (allowing you to use the iPhone as a modem for your laptop) but charging £14.68 a month for the privilege. The iPhone has an unlimited data package so how can they charge again for the same data? And who is really going to use 3GB a month?

Why can’t O2 just offer 50MB of tethered data for free as part of my contract?

You can watch the O2 Twitter feed to see them squirming and check out peoples feelings on Twitter.

By Patrick Altoft. at 9:04AM on Tuesday, 09 Jun 2009

Patrick is the Director of Strategy at Branded3 and has spent the last 11 years working on the SEO strategies of some of the UK's largest brands. Patrick’s SEO knowledge and experience is highly regarded by many, and he’s regularly invited to speak at the world’s biggest search conferences and events. Follow Patrick Altoft on Twitter.

comments

  • Anthony

    I totally agree… I got my Iphone about three months ago with the understanding that the upgrade will be free or at low cost.. what they are planning on charging is totally ridiculous and I for one will certainly not be paying.

  • http://www.danharrison.co.uk Dan Harrison

    What also annoys me is their pricing structure is insane. Given that we’re supposedly in a recession, their prices are far from affordable! It’s a great example of a company being blind to what people really want, and using fairytale pricing.

    Dan

  • http://www.lime-group.co.uk CRM Guy

    I only read another post on Apple stating how they wanted to gain market share with new cut down products of the iPhone. Doesn’t seem O2 are doing them much justice in the UK market charging these sort of prices for upgrades. New contracts then maybe fair enough, but at least treat your existing customer base well!

  • Dan

    You cant really complain if you only got your iphone 3 months ago, their not daft – you buy an iphone 3G they release a newer iphone which everyone knew was comming and you expect them to give you a shiney new one so you can go and sell your old one actually putting you in profit? don’t think so!

    What about the people who’ve been stuck with a 2.0 iphone for the past 12 months? when the 3G one was released? even them (including me) are having to pay £70 to pay off the remainder of their contracts to upgrade.

    if you really want to upgrade (although the rubbish thats comming out of the staff at O2 saying theres no difference between the 3G and 3Gs apart from the 3.0 software which you can download anyway) then buy a PAYG version and sell your current 3G one you’ll still get £200+ for it and just switch sims.

  • Pingback: Open letter to O2 over iPhone 3GS upgrade policy (feel free to adapt and use) | The Spicy Cauldron()

  • http://spicycauldron.com Andy aka Spicy Cauldron

    It’s more than you state if you’re on higher-priced tariffs. I called O2 to ask and was told they want £312 from me even if I am prepared to take out a 24-month contract. I am 12 months in, my current contract ends in December, I moved from T-Mobile to O2 and I pay £44.05 a month. I am livid. I bet those on the even higher tariffs are being told they’ll have to pay even more, in fact I know it because you’d be paying for every month of your remaining contract.

    I have posted an open letter to O2 on my blog – here – and the email address listed thereon is what I was given by customer services. They promise a response within five days but when I pointed out that’s under normal circumstances, not under siege, the woman I spoke to chuckled. She was most sympathetic, obviously hand-tied by her role for the company, but she clearly came across as being in complete agreement with me that this is not only unfair, it is madness. It is no way to treat high-value iPhone customers.

    As it stands, if this policy is not rapidly reversed, I will leave O2 in December after 18 months when, after just 12 months, they could instead have kept me as a contracted customer for another two years. Absolutely bonkers.

  • http://www.zippy.com.au Gerbot

    I’m so angry.
    If O2 lose their exclusive this will make iphone users jump ship.

  • Brian

    Perhaps someone can verify if the following is possible:

    I have Iphone 3g 16gb on O2 £35 per month with 6 months left.

    I am proposing to sell my 3g on ebay (should get approx £280-£300), lets be optimistic and say £300.

    New Iphone 3Gs 32gb costs £538.32 on pay & go.

    Deal will cost me approx £240

    Put existing sim in new Iphone – O2 give you 12 months of unlimited web and Wi-Fi with new Iphone. It’s called the O2 Web & Wi-Fi Bolt On, and you’ll be able to keep it at the end of the 12 months for £10 a month if you like or get a new 18month contract.

    Feedback please????

  • http://lifecoachkansascity.wordpress.com/ Chuck Franks

    To me this isn’t about money. It’s about company values. And apparently Apple is no longer valuing me as a customer. With the palm pre just being released why wouldn’t Apple want to create customer loyalty and not just buzz about a new phone (3Gs) that does more than my current 3G. I for one will definately not choose next time on Brand loyalty. Which is sad…….. for Apple and for customers who want to have high expectations and have them met.

  • Vernon

    I’ll be buying the new phone from carphone warehouse or 02 on the 19th but on PAYG only fior £500 odd quid or what ever it is. I then plan to use my exisiting SIM card from my iPhone 3G for which I have another 7 months to run on my £45 per month contract.

    I will then sell my exisiting 3G model on Ebay getting some of that money back. I then plan to upgrade as normal in 7 months aquiring another new 3GS handset which I will also then sell on ebay for bigger bucks, giving me from both phones a very tidy little profit.

    Bad mistake O2. You’ve just made me richer.

  • Withnail

    I simply don’t understand. These are the same rules that apply across all networks. There is nothing new here. All networks sell 18/24 month contracts. You dont honestly expect to be able to upgrade to another subsidised handset just a few months after taking your first one do you? Vodafone wont be doingthe same for their Blackberry Storm customers who signed 24 month agreements, T-Mobile wont be doing the same for their customers who have taken Android phones. You knowingly sign these agreements and have a choice of waiting to sign up there and then or wait to see what will be launched. Obviously, there will be a new iPhone every year. I bough a new Macbook 1 month ago. They’ve just dropped the prices and improved the Specs. Should I complain ? Should I expect them to upgrade me to the new models ? Other networks will get the iPhone in the future and then 18/24 months down the line you’ll be listing the same complaints because the iphone 5 will be announced and they wont be letting you break your existing agreement. The 3Gs isn’t much different from the 3G. Why would you make this much of a fuss over something that has minor upgrades ? Software 3.0 is the big update and its free to all existing users. I dont hear people who bought a Nokia N96 complaining that they cant upgrade to the Nokia n97 early ? Put some perspective on it !

  • http://www.crearecommunications.co.uk/ Harish

    If this happens iphone customers are in a big loose o2 cant do that

  • Vernon

    Agreed but for the last twelve months we haven’t had copy and paste, mms, text forwarding, voice recorder, peer to peer blue tooth or turn by turn gps to name but a few, all of these were promised to be following soon after launch through third party apps and apples own software updates. Here we are almost eleven months later and only now are we getting them. So basically out of my 18 month contract where I am paying top dollar for the latest and most state of the art multi functional apple iPhone I am getting just two days of what I paid for. For the first eleven months I had a mobile (although good in all other departments) failed to do what a basic £29.99 PAYG mobile did from tesco,and for the final seven months an out of date lesser model usurped by a newer handset that does all the things the 3G should have done from the beginning. And now to top it al off we are told we can’t even upgrade…frankly it sucks. And that tethering gag from O2 is appalling. How can they justify doing that. We have unlimited data usage what difference does it make if the pages are download to a laptop or a phone?

  • http://www.zippy.com.au Gerbot

    I like the plan Brian.
    even if you get a little less (-£30-40) on ebay.

    You might still work out about the same cost anyway.

    interesting.

    I’m going to think about this one

  • Pingback: iPhone 3GS: o2’s Curtain Call « LucasWeatherby.com()

  • Mathew H

    I have read all of your comments with great interest as I too am disappointed not to be able to upgrade to the latest Iphone 3Gs.

    We all think that big corporates have their marketing spot on because they spend millions of pounds on bill boards & marketing directors who control budgets.

    HOWEVER, I have learned in business a simple rule,,,, ‘it costs far less to keep an existing customer than it does to find new ones!’.

    Granted many of us own subsidised handsets but I have enlisted at least 50 -60 new users (I sell computer networks) and I’ll bet that many of you out there have converted at least one friend or family member?

    Where is the airmiles? Where’s the loyalty? anyone checked out the profits on O2’s parent company, the digits are longer than most of your telepone numbers!!!

    Subsidy or not forget the billboards, sack the marketing director (apple sells itself) and give me my upgrade. People who love Apple really can’t stop talking about it and we are both the network and Apples best advertising.

    PS. I hope Mr Jobs is ok as he has vanished over the last few months.

  • timblewee

    I can’t recall ever reading about Nokia customers moaning and starting petitions when they release a new handset and existing customers can’t upgrade for free. It seems to be that people think that it is a God given right for Apple customers to receive free phones whenever a new one comes out, and delude themselves further by believing that this should happen because they are “early adopters” or “brand loyalty”. Get a grip people O2 and Apple are out to make as much money as they can from you.

    Did you really think that O2 were going to allow you to get out of contracts on phones so heavily subsidised? How didn’t any of you see this coming? I did which is why I still have my first gen iPhone and why I will be upgrading when the 3GS comes out. This phone like the 3G is heavily subsidised so I have every expectation that I will have this phone for 2 years bypassing next years iPhone model, which will surely be great. That’s how phone contracts work, and always have done or at least for as long as I can remember.

    Please stop bitching about O2, they don’t owe you anything and neither does apple. It’s how tech stuff works no body else except apple fans moan about it. I bought a macbook 13″ unibody for approx £1250 3 months ago, a slightly better spec one today would cost £939. Should I go to PC World and demand a free upgrade? Of course not that would be ludicrous. when I bought my 1080i HD tv did I return to comet demanding the 1080p version when that came out? No I did not, because I’m not a knob who thinks I should have stuff for free because I am an ‘early adopter’.

    It’s about time that people stopped thinking that Apple are a close friend or a member of their extended family because something they own has their logo on. They are a computer company that wants to make money and lots of it. They are as ruthless as any other company and so are O2.

    If you don’t like it you could always go with another carrier when your contract expires. I hear Nokia have another iPhone killer out soon LOL.

  • http://forensicarchaeology.org Alex

    I just bought a new iphone 16GB a month ago and now i find that they’re releasing the new one. I thought it was just going to be the software update to 3.0. Really gutted!

  • Noodle

    Hi all. I too am appalled by 02’s attitude toward iPhone customers but I’m not that bothered about getting the 3GS.

    My plan is to back this web-led revolt against 02 in the hope that it will force them to reduce tethering prices, then I’m going to ride out the rest of my contract (10 months) and live with the 3G until next year when the ‘4G’ comes out!

    As someone above said, we’re getting an awesome software update in 9 days time. Why not enjoy the new found freedom of firmware 3.0 and stick with the 3G until next year when a greatly improved ‘4G’ arrives? If you jump aboard the 3GS bandwagon now, there is no fucking way 02 is going to let you aboard the ‘4G’ train in 2010!

    (I’m saying ‘4G’ but I just mean the 4th generation iPhone).

  • Anthony

    I have to admit I would like to go back on what I said earlier.. I didn’t know that much details about the software update.. Some of these features were promised in the 3g and never materialized until now.. Now I know I’m getting the software upgrade free for the features I originally wanted my attitude is a bit different.

  • ATL

    How can you people think o2 will give you a free upgrade, or even a half price upgrade, if you had a nokia n95 and then nokia bought out the n95 8gb, i didnt bitch and moan that my provider didnt upgrade me! I just sold my one and bought the new one!

    The cheek of you lot expecting to be effectively given the new model, i have bought all my iPhones outright, when the 3G came out i sold my iPhone and bought the new one, i am doing the same for the 3GS, and i will be queuing up at 8am Fiday to spend £530 for the new model, dont be so tight and put your hands in your pockets!

  • Jake

    I understand what people are saying here, and yeah people shouldn’t moan if they’re tied into a long contract and now want a new phone. Not in most circumstances. But in this instance, O2 WON’T offer anything less than a 12 month contract. and some of the deals available on the 18 month are dreadul…isn’t ther one thats like 125 mins for 30 quid a month?!
    The iphone is better than most phones, but not enough to warrant having to pay 530 pound just to get on a 12 month simplicity contract. So my suggestion to o2 is to know their customer. Iphone owners and potential owner are essentially tech geeks. or closet tech geeks. and posers. So give us 12 month contracts so we can stay au courant. and lower the price of the handset for god’s sake, I’ve had 8 handsets in 8 years and havn’t paid for one. I’d even be willing to be pay the price of a similar spec ipod! But 530 pound for a 32gb? How can it be justified? After all still paying 35 plus quid a month for anything half-decent!

  • Josh

    Just sign a new contract and get a 3Gs then sell your existing 3G and buy out of the contract. That way you get the phone you want and don’t have to dip in your pocket to buy out of the contract. You just have to pay for the new phone and lock into another 18+month contract. That’s what I’m doing anyway.

  • Lewis

    You can change tarrifs on o2 at any time you wish, i have done this, why switch to the lowest tariff then pay off the remainder of your contract. Its a loophole you all missed.

  • Lewis

    Jake £530 is a good price for the technology that goes into the iPhone, youve been lucky enough to pay nothing for your old mobiles, your lucky I lived in Spain for many years and always had to pay 500 euros for the latest handset. youve been spoilt and this device is packing 32GB how can you question that?? have you seen the price of solid state? its not HDD. plus everything else that gone into it I cant complain why should everyone else? this is business buy it if you got the money if you dont then dont. you would start moaning if louis vuitton new luggage cost £2000 grant so why moan at apple for putting such great hardware and innovative deivices on the market and them and the networks wanting to make a profit is fully justified in my opinion

  • Lewis

    Vernon is someone who is using his brains instead of moaning. good call i might take that option

  • http://seogadget.co.uk/ richardbaxterseo

    Chiming in a little late here but yes this is pretty unfair. I’d happily enter a new contract and pay for the phone, but I’m not paying to complete my old contract first. Bang out of order, O2.

  • MAtt

    @richardbaxterseo – nugget. You entered into a contract for X/month some of which is used to pay for calls and some of which pays for the phone. If O2 let you drop that contract early for free and sign a new one for a new phone then they arent getting all the money they wanted for the old phone. If youre still struggling with the concept, let’s say that an Iphone costs 500 quid retail, like a laptop would if you just went and bought one. O2 set you up an 18 month contract at £30 a month. £20 a month goes towards paying for the iPhone -> £360 over 18 months. The other £10 goes to paying for your calls. You have to pay the balance of £500 – £360 = £140 to get your handset. So, £140 deposit plus 18 months@£20/month 0%apr and you have a loan for your iPhone.
    Now the new model is out, you want O2 to drop your contract 6 months early (£120 left to pay on your iPhone 0% loan from O2) just because you promise to set up another 0% loan for a new phone with them? Wake up! Would the bank let you off paying the last 30 grand of your mortgage just because you promised to buy another house using one of their mortgages?

    And for the rest of the bleeding whiners who bought a phone on the hope that it would be upgraded to have copy and paste, or text messaging or whatever -> again, fools! Would you really buy anything else on such a premise? New TV, digital only. Would you buy it for £1000 on the hope that the digital rollout proceeds as planned and your TV will become usable in 2011 but sit there useless otherwise? You paid your money; you took your choice at the time and there was plenty of information around to let you know exactly what you were paying for.

  • http://www.iphone-prices.co.uk 3 G S

    Bonkers, the silly thing is O2 belive its contracted customers will forgive and forget. O2 isn’t the only provider for 3gs pay as you go, it’s coming. new iphone stock is coming to orange soon and then i’ll buy one!

    Jez

  • http://www.theclickfactory.com.au/ The Click Factory SEO

    Man 02 are just crazy!