Please, please – don’t leave a message after the beep.

The FT has reported that proposed changes in the way mobile phone companies charge for their services could result in users paying to receive calls. The suggestion was made following an interview with Viviane Reding, EU telecoms commissioner, who is exploring ways to reduce costs for Europeans who send texts or use the mobile internet services whilst abroad.

The network operators are, unsurprisingly, alarmed at the proposed changes, which also include plans to cut the profitability in the wholesale charges networks charge for connecting each other to their networks.

It seems to me that there is not as much money to be made in mobile phone industry as we consumers might think – how many free minutes, messages and downloads do you get from your supplier and how much do you pay over your agreed contract minimum price? Personally, I try to avoid going over the minimum charge if at all possible.

Also, I don’t tend to send messages overseas unless it’s for work, and I don’t even use internet on my mobile at home, never mind abroad, because it’s hopeless (the networks need every penny they can get from us to plough into making mobile broadband quick and, ironically, affordable).

But, rest assured that if I do choose to make a call or send a message or download a music track to play at high, tinny volume to annoy people on the bus, I will be aware that there is a cost associated with it, and that will be my choice. Forcing operators to consider a model where they have to charge me to RECEIVE calls will merely result in me turning off my phone, ending my contract and going back to the dark ages in protest.

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4 Responses to Please, please – don’t leave a message after the beep.

  1. Sara says:

    Yikes. I’d imagine that more than you would jump ship, just imagine the outrage of if people are asked to pay for the endless “courtesy calls” that come through trying to flog something. Shudder.

  2. Pezmondo says:

    You are KIDDING me?!!

    Totally. I’d not only tear up my contract… I’d be on the phone to my network provider. Though maybe I’d call from a landline. Someone else’s landline.

    Perhaps it’d just be better to write a letter.

  3. putsimply says:

    I kid you not – at the risk of believing all I read, The Register also picks up on the story:
    “the model in the US, where the thousands of minutes included in monthly packages seem less attractive when you consider you’ll be chewing through them just by accepting a call, as well as making calls. Asked by the FT whether she would let this shift happen, Reding said: ”Why not?” ”
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/06/16/reding_charges/

    – Jo

  4. juliet says:

    I will be cancelling all my personal mobile accounts if this happens and people will just have to leave messages for me at home on my old fashioned answerphone – and then wait for me to get home and get back to them rather than an instant response. Actually, there is a certain attraction in that!

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