This story plays to the heart of my campaign to get companies to think differently and to truly focus on customers to drive commercial success.

Ok having had the problems that I had with my O2 renewal described in my previous post, let’s build on that as it got me thinking about the world of tariffs and how they are so out of touch with the reality of today, yet all mobile companies are ‘in the club’ so nothing changes.

When I was sorting a new SIM only contract for my teenage son I asked the company to tell me his usage over the last 2 years so that we could get the best bundle offer for his needs, what emerged was that he had used

….2 minutes of voice calls in 2 years

..and not much more in terms of texts as everything is done through Skype and Instant Messaging, so biggest usage data.  Ok I would like the minimum number of call minutes and lots of data – ok they said “that’s 500 minutes, unlimited texts and 2GB data” – “what 500 minutes per year” “erm no per month” “hang on so the minimum is 600 times his proven annual usage what use is that” “well that is the best bundle available”.  Now, to check this out I then went on to a comparison web site and sure enough the best ‘deal’ I could get with the data he needs is a staggering 200 minutes per month and all those unused texts.

Clearly the marketing people think it sounds good to be offering these big numbers BUT the reality is they are about as much use as an ashtray on a motorbike and are just a legacy of a previous world where these things mattered.

I don’t claim to fully understand the pricing and cost model behind all this BUT let’s get real kids/teenagers and older do not use the three elements of calls, texts and data this way anymore and are not fooled by this simplistic and lazy marketing.

So lets introduce a “Teenage Tariff” and if you think the name is excluding us older people create a variant (personally I quite like the idea of having a teenage tariff ;)), it has 60 minutes of calls a year, it has 250 texts a month and either 2-4Gb or unlimited data.  Now you marketeers see if that lands well with your audience I know I would buy it for my kids in a flash, because it reflects THEIR NEEDS, I might even expect to pay a small premium.

So mobile companies who is going to be first to break ranks and prove that you can #thinkdifferently and meet your customers needs not your own and win new customers ????