Is PAYG dead?

Interesting move by giffgaff.

Their PAYG rates are now extortionate.
A mere 4 minutes on the phone will cost you the princely sum of £1.

Basically, virtually everyone has to get a bundle


Yeesh, well looking at the comments it’s not the most popular thing they’ve done for PAYG…

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I think most places are going towards plans rather than PAYG because they have more consistent income from it

For example with O2 they’re currently guaranteed getting £12.99 from me a month, and then a further £23.11(soon to be £28.11)

With Zevvle however I think I top up £10 and that lasts me more than a month, but it could if I were travelling last me a few days.

It’s definitely not consistent to the day though and in amount of $$

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I suspect it is due to what @nick has mentioned in the past about the minimum cost of having an active SIM on the network. Once you have an active SIM increasing usage and cost doesn’t go up linearly, which is why there is an increasing number of higher bundles and unlimited tariffs.

Increasingly people are moving to using VoIP out data based communication and away from traditional calls and texts, texts are also seen to be very expensive, thus it seems to be the trend to make them unlimited as their usage is so low now, with the trend for lower usage.

Zevvle have the right balance, though probably need another data tier for higher data users. The tiers for the data usage is something I’ve not seen elsewhere on pay as you go and helps to mimic the data bundles or monthly contracts elsewhere without having to worry about being in the right tariff each month.


I’ve also noticed that Smarty are now promoting their bigger bundle tariffs and sidelining their money back for the data you don’t use tariffs, which used to be their main selling point.

I suspect there is a significant portion of the population who prefer the stable monthly payment. I think Zevvle have it right where you sign-up add a bit of a buffer and then set your monthly payments to your average usage to get a mostly stable monthly payment.


They definitely want people to get bundles so they can pay for services in advance, most of which won’t actually use what they paid for. Take the monthly average usage over all users, price the bundle at that +20% and profit.

As far as PAYG being dead from users’ perspective it’s definitely not as it’s the normal way of paying for what you use and not more, so I can see a lot of people moving away from Giffgaff and to other carriers (Three’s PAYG is still very good value for example). In fact, Three is doing the opposite - international calls on PAYG are very reasonable (a slight markup over wholesale rates) while calls to the same destination on a contract will cost you 100x more unless you figure out the right “bolt-on” to add to your plan.

Unless all the carriers do this, most people on Giffgaff PAYG will just switch to a different carrier.


Unless you happen to make an unexpected international phone call (so no time to prepare in advance by having a bolt-on or using a VoIP app) and that will wipe out all your “savings” over using a carrier with a fair pricing policy. In fact, that’s the whole reason for robbery-like rates for international calls - the carriers know nobody in their right mind would use their mobile plan for regular international calls (even the bolt-ons aren’t good value), so they compensate by stealing from users who are caught off guard and didn’t use a VoIP app or similar alternative.

When I used to work at an O2 franchisee they had a separate app called O2 World Chat for international calls we sometimes suggested; you needed to maintain an account on it (in fact it was totally separate from your O2 plan, and I’m pretty sure you could sign up regardless of whether you were an O2 customer or not), top it up in advance and place your call from there. What it would do is give you a local number to call (so it would be included in your plan and thus free) and once you call that number it would place the actual international call, just like back in the “calling card” days. From an UX and common sense perspective the entire thing was BS - why not just have those rates by default on the carrier network and forget about the app? Maintaining this extra infrastructure, app and support wasn’t free, I wouldn’t be surprised if adding all of it up (plus the loss of customer goodwill, support costs, etc) actually costs more than the revenue they get from the insane rates on conventional (non-app) international calls.


Yeah but I have my spend cap at zero, fun fact: O2 still allow all these calls to go through and from my experience don’t bill you if your spend cap is £0 :slight_smile:

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Three is scrapping their 3/2/1 PAYG plan to 10/10/5 mins/text/data , Plus roaming has also increased.


“extremely competitive” huh :thinking:


I suspect too many people getting the SIM and sticking it in a phone and doing very occasional usage this spending maybe a few pound or less a month due to maybe a few hundred MB or no data use and a handful of calls and texts.

For new customers the minimum cost with Zevvle is £5 per month. I’m sure there many spending less than that with the likes of 3, and at the last check several months ago 1pmobile had a minimum top-up. Llikely to try and cover the minimum cost per customer/SIM. PAYG is expensive unless you have the base monthly costs separately covered, and it’s rare to see line rental on mobile.

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