Vodafone and Sainsbury’s hope to attract consumers with new price plans
Mobile by Sainsbury’s, the operator formed by the supermarket chain and Vodafone, has announced a number of pay-as-you-go tariffs designed to attract families and infrequent users to its service.
The cheapest plan is £10 a month and includes 200 minutes of UK calls, unlimited texts and 250MB of data. For £15 you get 300 minutes and 500MB of data, allowances which increase to 800 minutes and 1GB if you are willing to shell out £20 a month.
Infrequent users can take advantage of a basic plan that can be topped up in amounts as small as £5.
Mobile by Sainsbury’s
SIM cards will be available in Sainsbury’s stores and there are nine handsets available if customers want a new phone. The cheapest in the range is the Nokia 100 for £12, with the most expensive being the Nokia Lumia 520 at £112.
Other phones include the Nokia 100, Samsung E1190, Nokia Asha 201, Alcatel One Touch S’Pop, Samsung Galaxy Y, BlackBerry Curve 9320, Sony Xperia E and the Samsung Galaxy Fame.
Sainsbury’s will award double Nectar points for top ups and claims if a family of four switches to the cheapest tariff and spends the UK average on food and fuel per week, they can earn £180 worth of points.
“We know that many customers find choosing a mobile phone network a bit stressful, so we’ve opted to not only keep our price plans as affordable as possible – we’ve also made it incredibly simple,” said Emma McLaughlin, Mobile by Sainsbury’s marketing director. “With our pay as you go service, customers know exactly what they’re getting and how much they’re spending – which means no nasty surprises at the end of the month.”
Mobile by Sainsbury’s also offers a ‘borrow a pound’ service, which allows users £1 of credit in emergency situations if they have no funds left. This amount is then subtracted from the user’s next top up, along with an additional 10p.
Mobile by Sainsbury’s is a joint-venture co-owned with Vodafone and hopes to compete against other MVNOs such as Tesco Mobile, Giffgaff and The People’s Operator. The partners claim it will combine Vodafone’s mobile network and technological expertise with Sainsbury’s brand, customer insight and retail distribution.
Sainsbury’s customer insight might be necessary given that earlier this month Vodafone was accused by customers of “patronising” them by claiming the decision to charge calls by the minute and not by the second was to their benefit.
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