The first subscribers that signed up to T-Mobiles 18-month Flext tariffs, around 370,000, are up for renewal next month. Current customers will however remain on the old terms, with the drop in value only effecting brand new Flext customers.
The inclusive credit on T-Mobiles 12-month deals has been reduced from £40 to £30 on Flext £25, £120 to £90 on Flext £35 and £170 to £125 on Flext £50. Voicemail is no longer included, and a minimum call charge of one minute has been introduced. All 18-month tariffs remain the same for customers and dealers.
Dealers are frustrated that customers are being led onto the longer-term contracts. Phone Citys Akif Sadique said: Flext is a very popular tariff, but 18-month deals are harder to sell and mean a further six-month delay in upgrading.
Ashley Communications Geoff Ashley said: People are starting to accept 18-month deals as they can get better value, but the extra six months puts our cash flow on hold.
Fonefinders Paul Marks said: By encouraging more customers to sign up to 18-month deals, T-Mobile is distancing itself from independents.
But a T-Mobile spokesman hit back: Were taking value from the tariff and putting it into other areas. We have a long-term plan for Flext customer retention and will soon be offering additional incentives to make sure they stay with us. The free weekend calls on the 12-month plans still offer very good value.