O2 backtracks on SME tariff rejig


O2 has extended the availability of its existing SME tariffs until the end of the year.

O2 was to drop 18-month and 36-month SME deals at the end of March, and instead include a 12-month fixed line promotion with all 24-month deals. Following a dealer backlash, O2 has reversed its decision and will retain all its original packages until the end of the year.

O2 is making available its new tariffs through its Business Gateway connecting site alongside its existing packages. Distributors Anglia Telecom Centres, Avenir Telecom, Fone Logistics, HSC and MoCo sent emails to dealers early last week.

Dealers were originally concerned at a perceived loss of customer value in the new tariffs. O2 has removed line rental discounts on longer-term contracts and also free roaming SMS and MMS from the new deals.

In response to criticisms, O2 is also to make available a new 36-month SME deal to incorporate loyalty discounts as earned on existing tariffs. Discount details are expected to be announced in March.

Sources in distribution claimed sales of O2’s new tariffs had been slow at launch.

O2 has stated changes to pricing for its mobile broadband packages have been successful and will remain. An O2 email to partners last week said: “We’ve listened to your feedback and decided to allow you to continue to offer existing voice tariffs, alongside our new tariffs until the end of 2010. This is another great example of us listening to your feedback and making changes accordingly, which further demonstrates our commitment to you. These changes will enable us to continue to lead the market in 2010.

“We’ll also empower you by building some additional discount flexibility into the new tariffs and adding a 36-month option. This will enable you to further respond to specific customer and market needs.”