Friday, 23 December 2016

Phone market madness

Yesterday, I stood in for Fr Mark again, celebrating the midweek Eucharist at St John's. Visiting for the first time was Sarah Harris, the new diocesan Community Mental Health Chaplain, who started work recently. She's visiting Parishes, to get to know her 'workplace', and be known by people in them. It's a pioneering ministry indeed, and a challenge to know how to go about it. One of the impressive things about churches these days, however, is the way some host groups involved with the care and concern of people suffering with different kinds of health issues, and outside of the NHS altogether. Great to think she's not starting from scatch.

Clare and I met in town this afternoon, to take her to the EE shop to buy her a new phone as part of her Christmas present. Last Friday I bought myself a new Samasung Galaxy J3, and Clare decided she liked the look and feel of it. She has been overspending on a contract in excess of her light use, and decided to switch to a PAYG contract like mine. With no need for a work phone these days, I'm a relatively light domestic user, and find PAYG flexibile options suit me well. Clare arranged to switch her account, but it won's start until mid-January, but it seems a good idea to see if she could get the same deal as I got on a new phone. 

Not so, it turned out, even though she is switching to PAYG, having spent more money than me on phone bills over the past year, the price for a SIM free phone to use with an existing contract account was still 25% more than I paid for mine. This made no sense to me whatsoever, despite the attempt of the rather rude young salesman to explain away the ridiculous price differential. In the end, we left the shop and decided to defer the phone purchase until the new year, when Clare's PAYG arrangement starts, unless there's an even better deal in the post Christmas sales. 

Disappointed at failing to obtain a phone as a present I visited several phone shops to compare prices, and was astonished to discover how wide is the prices range for a SIM free phone, or a phone locked but able to take a SIM only contract account with a particular service provider, a difference of a third to a half of the cost of the phone. Ah well, we live and learn. Now I have to find another present for Clare, just when I thought everything was settled.

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