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Introduction ~~ Last year Orange were the network offering the best pay as you go service, offering the first pay as you go tariff that gave reasonable call charges – 35p peak and 10p off peak and having no service charge or expiry dates on call vouchers. The other networks soon all followed suit and offered similar services to Orange and like many other of my friends I have since changed to BTCellnet for cheaper call rates. Currently the cheapest and best value pay as you network to be on is BTCellnet, however is customer service compromised as a result of cheaper call rates? Well read on and you’ll find out…
Call charges ~~ But first I’ll give you all the basic stuff on call charges:
PEAK RATES (Per minute)
Landline ~~~ 25p BTCellnet mobile ~~~ 10p Other network ~~~ 50p
WEEKEND (Per minute)
Landline ~~~ 2p BTCellnet mobile ~~~ 2p Other network ~~~ 25p
EVENING (Per minute)
Landline ~~~ 10p BTCellnet mobile ~~~ 10p Other network ~~~ 25p
Voicemail ~~~ 10p per minute at all times Text (SMS) ~~~ 10 per text at all times
Customer service ~~ Customer service is not brilliant on BTCellnet; last time I called I was left on hold for 18 minutes. 5-10 minutes is acceptable but 18 minutes is absolutely ridiculous. However BTCellnet redeemed themselves when I was finally put through to a real voice the problem was dealt with efficiently and the problem was resolved swiftly. (I had a voucher problem, the system did not like my code, and so it had to be done manually) That was my only experience with BTCellnet customer care and I’ve had the phone for well over a year so I suppose that says something pretty good in itself, 1 year and only one call to customer care. I’ve lost count of the amount of times I had to phone Orange customer care when I was with them. However that is a different matter and I’ll probably blabber on about that some other time on an opinion on Orange.
Handsets ~~ BTCellnet offer all of the best handsets on pay as you go and have phones to suit all budgets. They have cheap phones like the Motorola V2288, which I am a proud owner of, and expensive fashionable mobiles like the Nokia 8210 and Samsung SGHA300.
Coverage ~~ BTCellnet cover 99% of the UK population and I have only been out of signal very few times. Calls are of high quality even on my cheap, beaten up mobile and calls are still of good quality on 1 or 2 bars. Though the fact that BTCellnet cover 99% of the UK population is a pretty useless figure, a percentage of how much landmass that BTCellnet cover would be more useful. That is conveniently left out of adverts for BTCellnet though. However I’ve trawled around on the net and have found out that BTCellnet cover 86% of the landmass of the UK. 86%, that’s still pretty impressive.
Extras ~~ The two main extras on BTCellnet are Findme, Trafficline, Dictationline and WAP. Findme is available to all BTCellnet customers on Pay as you go and is a very useful service. Dial 1500 from your mobile and you will be told of the nearest cash machine, taxi, hotel, cinema or restaurant. Pretty useful if your somewhere you don’t know very well, it’s a great service. Though the woman speaks in a serious robot like voice. So dial 1500, it’s a little pricey though at 35p a minute. Trafficline is a handy little service that will help you stay clear of traffic jams. It tells you of the roads to avoid and at 10p per minute its quite reasonable. Dictationline is very expensive; it costs 59p per message. I don’t know the actual number as it’s a service automatically programmed into the phonebook of all BTCellnet mobiles. Well anyway to use you phone up and dictate a message that is then sent as an email or fax. Rather expensive in my opinion and one that I would only use in real emergencies. Next WAP, WAP has had some very bad reviews and has not been popular but people were expecting far too much from it. Anyway it isn’t that bad but its an extra that I only use when its free; every few months BTCellnet do a promotion where its free all month. You can access some good websites, even Amazon.co.uk and I even bought something from Amazon with WAP but its painfully slow and sending emails through WAP is a very long process.
Overall ~~ Overall I think BTCellnet are great but my loyalty to them will only last for as long as they are the cheapest Pay as you go network. Coverage is good, from what I have experienced customer service is good, prices are good and there’s a wide range of handsets available. The only disadvantage is that it’s a complete rip-off to use abroad, though all networks seem to be a rip-off abroad and I think the networks are been investigating over it. Overall though, BTCellnet pay as you go is great. I fully recommend it!