Low-cost mobile plans: the end of attractive rates ?
You still pay more than 15 € for limited calls and ridiculous internet data ? You must not know Mobile plans low cost.
The major companies at the helm of the French phone network have been spreading the word to jointly release their offerings low cost in 2011, almost 5 years after the Free tidal wave. The proposed offer ? Exactly the same as for traditional packages, but much cheaper and without commitment.
But the honeymoon period seems to be over and the bad stuff is coming in regularly from SFR, Orange and Bouygues. Here are some of the scams you should avoid if you choose one of these plans.
Very advantageous rates compared to conventional packages
They are no longer presented, Sosh, RED and B&You, the packages low cost d’Orange, SFR and Bouygues, have made a great entrance during their launches. This attempt by the big names in mobile telephony to respond to Free’s attack with packages with unbeatable prices at the time was a success. Indeed, many users have taken the plunge by abandoning those classic commitment packages, which are too expensive and have few benefits after all.
It must be said that the so-called ” low cost “of the major operators had a bright future ahead of them ! From very competitive rates, without obligation, no application fee, … the operators even gave you the honor of transferring between your two contracts without you having to do anything.
This is how you could easily find yourself with 40 GB of internet, unlimited calls and SMS/MMS everywhere in France, sometimes even in Europe, and all that for less than 10 € per month, more than 2 times cheaper than what the classic packages offered under commitment.
You are no longer satisfied ? A competitor offers the same thing for less ? The change of’The operator is simple: c’that’s the freedom of no commitment !
Beginning of the hostilities: this email that was not to be missed
For a long time, the situation remained as is: a good plan that was not shady. No small lines that would catch up with you in due time. No conditions, no little “*” next to each of the convincing arguments that attracted you, no misleading advertising.
What was shown was what you got, no more, no less.
We had to suspect that it was finally too good to be true.
The first alerts were launched a few years ago when some users were surprised by a strange email sent by their operator. The content of the email is usually an addition of option on your package as follows:
A package that evolves with new advantages. Options that are added without being asked ? We wouldn’t spit on it. On the other hand, the increase in rates following the addition of unsolicited benefits ? Here, the pill is hard to swallow.
Especially since this change will be made by default.
Fortunately, upon receiving this email, you have a few weeks to refuse this change, depriving you of this “incredible” opportunity. The mail usually includes a link to your customer area to refuse this offer. You will receive confirmation as follows:
Where many cried to the scam because it was enough to have missed the single email sent to cancel this change, we could rejoice to still have the luxury to choose. SFR has nevertheless gone even further …
RED by SFR: a “lifetime” rate that finally has an expiration date
So far, in the area of packages low cost, the norm was to offer a very attractive rate but at a very low price limited duration. The contract was there: low rate for 1 year before returning to a more conventional rate. Users were satisfied with this since they could change operator with a simple click, enjoy the offer of a new operator low cost for 1 year, and change again without any problem.
A bit of a tedious process, but it was the cost to have a cheap and quality package.
SFR was however the first operator to lift this condition on its RED packages by offering contracts with advantageous rates for life. The operator does not hesitate to’elsewhere to put it forward on its advertisements: ” There are promos that stop after 12 months. Not with us ” or ” Without prices that double after a year “One could read on the communications posted in the metro, on bus shelters or even on the Internet.
Same operational method, some users could see an email land in their mailbox:
Except that this time, no possibility to refuse as you can see in this email. No link to refuse the’No offer or mention that’a refusal is even possible.
If you do not wish to undergo this automatic increase (to benefit from advantages that you might not need), your only option is to cancel your contract.
Some users have tried to contact advisors to ask for the cancellation of this offer on their package as well as a refund of the difference they had paid for sometimes several months without realizing it. The answers have always been negative, leaving consumers frustrated and angry at having been ripped off.
On February 11, 2021, the same sentence falls for users of B&YOU : Bouygues customers receive an email indicating an evolution of their package for 4 € more (from 4,99 € /month to 8,99 € /month), again, without possibility of refusal.
It seems that the cheap packages have finally an additional cost: the need for an increased vigilance on your mailbox to put the sails as soon as the operator will try to pass a news pricing changes without your consent.
The users who are angry about not having signed up for a variable geometry rate are even crying out misleading advertising against SFR which nevertheless announces a “lifetime” tariff. It is often said that life is too short, at SFR, these are certainly not empty words for their rates.
Bouygues followed suit soon after, so you can imagine the end of very low rates for low cost packages ?