T-Mobiles rivals are feeling the pain of the blistering start of T-Mobiles Flext tariff.
Some have reacted with tariffs to counter the wave of customers swayed by Flext. 3 gave its own stores and Superdrug concessions a special deal to come close to matching Flext last week: 300 minutes and 1,000 texts for £30, and half-price line rental for nine months.
An insider said: Flext is really hurting us. Weve been told to promote the new deal because it is pretty much the same deal as T-Mobiles.
O2 is set to unveil a new tariff in April, focusing on nine months half-price line rental on 18-month deals. Staff said it was a big step for the network to promote deals, rather than just value bundles.
Were really pleased with the response. Customers understand what we are trying to do, said T-Mobiles marketing chief, Phil Chapman (pictured).
Vodafone is expected to make a big tariff launch at its retail conference in Brighton next week, although the details are being tightly held. The operator made a big splash last year when it stole the thunder from the then-dominant 3 with its high-value, cut-price hero 3G tariffs.
Orange has been left holding out for its controversial Animals tariffs. Initial reactions from retailers have focused on the lower value of Oranges bundles compared to Flext.
Meanwhile, T-Mobile staff are basking in what one staff member described as unprecedented sales. He claimed his store sold twice the typical amount this weekend, even taking Christmas into account.
Phones 4u and The Carphone Warehouse keep coming in and reckon they are basically working for T-Mobile. Theyve asked: Can you order us some T-Mobile badges? said one T-Mobile store manager.
Flext 35 (either 900 minutes or 1,800 texts for £35) is dominating offers at the major multiples, although there are variations on how it is being presented with predictable layers of cashback.
Carphones top online deal is on Flext 30 with its exclusive pink Motorola L6, priced at £4.99 for 12 months on an 18-month contract.
Phones 4u and The Link are sticking to explaining the official T-Mobile line of 900 minutes or 1,800 texts; Dial-A-Phone, which waited for rivals to launch their offers before it finalised its own deals, is offering seven-and-a-half months free line rental on the Nokia 6111.