Of mobile telcos and leaving @EE

A quick cost-benefit analysis:

  EE Vodafone+3
cost £37/month £9+£12.90/month
2g coverage fine excellent / NA
3g coverage fine NA / excellent
reliability atrocious excellent
contract length 24mo 12+1mo

Just to be clear, by “atrocious” I mean EE’s signal drops-out every time it rains or blows a gale, which in our particular geography is at least once a fortnight throughout winter, sometimes for half a day, and in both January and February, for periods of even 5 days at a time; there was no evidence of internal network monitoring, just fire-fighting reacting to tweets of complaint. As for customer service, when I wrote an actual letter to complain they tried to fob me off telling me to call 150 from the mobile that was out of action at the time. They also took a week to fix a broken SSL certificate on their customer login website. I really hated the phone – the Samsung Galaxy Note proved an unreliable lump of junk, the only phone I’ve had to return for warranty repairs – twice.

Granted, 3’s signal will suffer the same failings, but at a third of the monthly cost I’m prepared to continue paying for that, especially since my primary number is now on the most reliable service.

It’s funny how a lot of Android websites only seem to consider a handful of “premium” manufacturers – if it’s not Samsung, Sony or HTC, very few people seem to be interested. Yet by stepping outside the social Western norms, I’ve managed to acquire a thl mobile with dual SIM-card slots, octa-core CPU, 2GB RAM and a 13-megapixel camera (hey, that’s more than my old Canon G9 compact camera!) at a very reasonable price, and I can get a fair deal on recycling the old Galaxy Note as well.

Moral of the story? If you tie yourself in to a tariff and phone dictated by a telco, the service will be crap, after 2 years the phone will stink, and you’ll be throwing money down the drain. Liberation is bliss.