8/5/2009 11:55:00 AM
Orange first operator to sell three year deals
Orange has emerged as the first network to be pushing three year contracts to customers.
It is currently offering tariffs between £5 and £15 per month for 36 month agreements on handsets such as the Nokia 6500 (pictured), LG KS360 and Nokia 2630.
An Orange spokesman said customers signing up to three year contracts will be entitled to a handset upgrade after 18 months from a range of devices.
It comes as the share of two year agreements accounted for around half of all contracts being sold in June, up from less than 10% at the start of 2009.
Consumer groups have expressed concern that customers are being locked into deals for up to three years for a monthly commitment on a phone. One senior retail source said: ‘This is fighting churn by stealth.’
Meanwhile, Orange has said it continues to offer 18 month and 24 month deals, and is simply giving choice to consumers preferring value. It also said the three year deals were only a small part of its tariffs range.
A tariff of 200 minutes and 1,000 texts costs £14.68 per month on a three year contract, while on an 18 month contract, it would cost £19.57 per month.