Inspired by an article by Martin Lewis, I recently contacted O2 (my mobile provider) to renew my mobile phone contract and instead of going through Customer Services, I called their Customer Retentions department on 0800 0288 151. As a result I was able to get a a shiny new Sony Ericsson W880i for free on an 18 month contract priced at £25/month including 1000 any time/any network minutes and 200 texts. This would normally cost £40/month (Online 40 Talker) and that’s with 100 fewer texts.
The key is to be persistent – I asked for my PAC code (which is needed if you want to migrate to another network) on a couple of occasions and was on the line for a total of 35 minutes, so it’s a good job that O2 foot the bill for the call (as long as you phone from a landline – remember that 0800 numbers are not usually free from mobiles and sometimes don’t even count towards your free minutes allowance).
I really wanted a 12 month contract so I could upgrade again after year but O2 weren’t forthcoming with any particularly good deals and I’m happy to wait the extra 6 months for the amount I’ve saved.
I was also offered insurance for £7.50/month which I declined, then £6/month with a £25 excess which I still didn’t bother with – over the term of the contract it works out at over a third of the value of the phone which seems very pricey.