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Level 1: Joiner
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎14-11-2018

Misleading Pay monthly Phone Contracts Prices

[ Edited ]

Misleading Pay monthly Phone Contracts Prices


I was looking to upgrade today, and started browsing the O2 Store and shop around with different phones and tariffs, and noticed a really weird thing about the airtime plan prices for different phones.


I compared the Sony Xperia L2 and the Huawei P20 Pro with an airtime plan of 4Gb of data over 36 months.


Sony Xperia L2

Huawei P20 Pro (£60.00 upfront cost)

Device Plan



Airtime Plan




I am not comparing device plan, as it should be obvious the plans will be subject to the value of the phone, and thus not comparable.   When you start to compare the airtime plan price you will notice that there is a £4.00 a month of a difference.  


The question why is there a difference?   I asked this question because the airtime, as per T&C, is for the services of Calls, Text and Data usage, and nothing more.


I enquired about this to customers services and I was provided that there is some form of after sales services.   What after sales services occur with the airtime plan if it only covers calls, texts and data?   I still have not been provided with an answer to what type of after sales services are included in recent and more expensive phones.


I understand that the device plan will be more expensive in correlation with expensive phones, but why is there this surcharge on the airtime on recent and more expensive phones?


O2 offers 0% APR on Phones that are purchased, via, Consumer Credit Agreements (CCA) however, this is not completely true they seem to offsetting this to the airtime and spinning some rubbish that doesn’t make sense.   


And when you look at sim only deals, the cost differ also, as follows:

(there is no 4GB sim only so I had to change and compare 15GB)



Huawei P smart (£0.00 upfront cost)

Huawei P20 Pro (£60.00 upfront cost)

OnePlus 5 (£20.00 upfront cost)

Sim only

Device Plan





Airtime Plan






Again, when we start to look at the airtime price there Is a difference in price depending on the value of the phone.   The 15GB Sim Only and Airtime Plan offer the same benefits, but at very different prices.   Customers services cannot provide a reason other than Marketing determines the prices.


If we take Huawei P20 Pro, there is an additional £5.00 a month to the airtime plan compared to the sim only plan. An airtime plan that is no different from the other phone contracts or the sim only deal, but you will be paying an additional £180.00 over the 36-month contract which is about 19.88% APR over the contract period.


Furthermore, a debate on the difference between 4GB and 15GB plan, there seems to be a £3.00 of a difference but clearly a major variation between price per 1GB.


For example, the Huawei P20 Pro in the above examples as a comparison between the prices of 4GB and 15 GB:


Total GB

Total Price

Price per 1GB








Again, there is a major difference in price per 1GB.   Yes, there will be a discount for bulk buying, however, this again is a practice just to make things more attractive, the average person uses 2.5GB a month in the UK, you can start to see the profit margins between the inflated 4GB and the deflated 15GB and the usage of an average customer and the illusion of value for money.


This practice is no different from other shops inflating prices for weeks (which most likely they don’t sell much of) then having a sale at the original price.   This practice is so Victorian, outdated and pure manipulation to take advantage, rather than offering a price for a valuable service.


I was offered the explanation that other providers do the same, but that clear just shows that the market is flooded with misleading price practice, and clearly doesn’t make it right for O2 to participate in such practice.


While O2 seem to advertise one thing but clearly practice another and this is not acceptable.   I do hope this will spark a debate on acceptable and transparent pricing on mobile phone contracts.  I am aware that O2 and other mobile providers are business that has the aim to make money, however, the practice to achieve that aim should be transparent and not have misleading pricing, just to make things more attractive.


Level 18: Posting pro
Posts: 1,114
Registered: ‎22-04-2017

Re: Misleading Pay monthly Phone Contracts Prices

I agree with you
Posts: 108,433
Topics: 561
Registered: ‎04-04-2012

Re: Misleading Pay monthly Phone Contracts Prices

They hope people won't notice they're getting ripped off I guess.
Another good reason to buy phone outright and just take a SIM only airtime plan..
I have no affiliation whatsoever with O2 or any subsidiary companies. Comments posted are entirely of my own opinion. This is not Customer Service so we are unable to help with account specific issues.

Currently using:
OnePlus 6 (O2 & Sfr), Z3 Tablet (Three UK), iPhone 8+ (EE)
Posts: 81,141
Topics: 576
Registered: ‎04-01-2009

Re: Misleading Pay monthly Phone Contracts Prices

It's Christmas and little Johnny or Amelia wants a new phone on their stocking. Price no object innit?