Saturday, December 18, 2004

Orange vs. Vodaphone

Having been on my Vodaphone UK contract for a few weeks now I feel able to make a fair comparison with Orange, which I was on previously for 3 years. I also had a vodaphone pay-as-you-go phone before that, but I've never been a customer of any other mobile provider so I can't comment on anyone else (except from 2nd-hand opinions I've heard).

Which, by the way, tell me that Three are very cheap but not as good a service and not so great area coverage; O2 seem ok; and T-Mobile may be a little better than their old days as One-2-One (when they really were rather poor for both non-central-areas coverage and general service) but I don't know by how much.

Anyway, they each have pro's and con's of course. I ended up changing to Vodaphone as they offered a deal that Orange simply couldn't compete with on both the phone and the tariff. I'm picky about my phones, although I wouldn't consider myself a heavy user by any means I am a bit of a gadget person but I go for well-thought out functionality and power-user features every time over looks and style. Ergonomics are important, but that's not the same thing as style. To cut the story short I chose the 6230 (it was that or the SE T610) so anyone I was happy to go with (err... O2, Vodaphone, Orange) who could do me a good deal on that phone with a contract that did the job was going to get the business. I was happy with somewhere between 100 and 200 inclusive minutes per month

  1. Much cheaper with their special offers at the time (6 months half-price line rental and double minutes), 3 months half-price texts.
  2. The phone was free.
  3. Collect Nectar points as you make calls. I suspect this won't make up for the Orange Wednesdays film offer, fiscally speaking or, in fact, fun-wise.
  4. (this list may yet expand)
  1. No rollover of leftover minutes? Not sure if I'm right on this one.
  2. The services aren't as easy or direct or cheap to use: checking your free-minute count uses up your free minutes and requires a couple of levels of menus on the automated system; but they do text you the details (handy if you're forgetful).
  3. You pay for 0800 numbers, ok we get it - the annoying thing is they warn you of this before every call to one; so I hope you're not in a rush to be connected...
  4. (this list may yet expand)
  1. Orange Wednesdays (buy one cinema ticket get one free every Wednesday), not to be sniffed at if you're a film fan.
  2. Nice easy to use services for checking your free-minutes/other info.
  3. More of their phone numbers for customer services etc. are free.
  4. Free calls to 0800 numbers.
  5. (this list may yet expand)
  1. More expensive - they couldn't do any of the half-price offers Vodaphone were able to do, but they could do the double-minutes offer for the first (six?) months.
  2. (this list may yet expand)

In terms of network coverage, they both seem about the same, mind you I've not travelled very far with my Voda-phone yet.

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