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O2 says it is halving bills for 1.5 million customers

O2

O2 has announced it will automatically start halving the bills for 1.5 million of its customers who two years ago signed up to the operator’s 24-month Refresh tariff. The telco claimed the combined total price slash of £324 million means an average saving of £18 per customer per month.

With the Refresh plan, launched in April 2013, the cost for a handset and cost for minutes, texts and data are separated. Once they have finished paying off the phone, bills are automatically reduced to just reflect whatever the subscriber consumers each month. Customers are also able to change their device at any time without having to pay for any early upgrade fee.

O2 claimed Refresh is the most cost-effective mobile tariff on the market, especially where people want to upgrade early or keep their phone for longer than the 24-month contract period. “It’s been two years since we disrupted the market with O2 Refresh and we’re proud to be halving the bills of up to 1.5 million O2 customers over the coming year,” said Nina Bibby, Marketing and Consumer Director at O2.

“We believe customers shouldn’t have to continue to pay for a phone they’ve already paid off, which is why O2 Refresh gives them complete transparency and control over their monthly bill. A cash savvy student will love the option to halve their bill, whereas a gadget lover is much more likely to enjoy the opportunity to upgrade their phone without having to pay any additional fees to end their contract.”

Although being able to upgrade to a new handset at any time without extra cost offers the kind of flexibility some consumers want, the Refresh tariff is only really a cost-saver for those who want to keep using the same handset for longer than two years as any phone a customer takes on will need to be paid off regardless.

Ernest Doku from consumer comparison site uSwitch.com told Telecoms.com: “Whilst Refresh lends flexibility for the consumer as they pay only the tariff after two years – a commendable move – the plan makes it easier to pay off the remainder of a handset fee early in order to get a new phone sooner. Additionally, the remaining airtime cost is sometimes higher than just taking your phone with you and opting for a SIM-only deal.”

Telecoms.com’s news coverage is sponsored by NEC.

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