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Tesco Mobile review 2018

By Marc Shoffman
Wednesday, April 4th 2018

Tesco Mobile was the first supermarket to enter the mobile marketplace and has made a name for itself when it comes to choice and customer service. You may wonder what a supermarket knows about running a phone network, so we've taken a look.

Tesco goes by the motto ‘every little helps’ and it is certainly helping customers with a range of flexible phone plans and extras such as Clubcard points and discounted family plans.

It runs on the O2 network, so you know you will be getting strong mobile coverage, and also promises no mid-contract price rises. You may already be using Tesco for your shopping, but should it be your mobile phone provider of choice as well?

Tariffs & plans

Tesco Mobile offers a broad range of tariffs and plans. Depending on the handset you choose, Tesco offers either standard 24-month contracts but also has an Anytime Upgrade Flex plan that provides a handset and plan contract for 12, 18, 24, 30 or 36 months. This plan lets you alter your tariff each month and upgrade to a new handset at any point.

Once you have chosen your contract length, you are then directed down the data, texts and minutes aisle where you can choose your bundle. Unfortunately, Tesco Mobile’s stock doesn’t stretch to unlimited allowances on any of its mobile deals.

Tesco also has SIM-only deals on either one-month or 12-month contracts. These start at 100MB with 100 minutes and 5,000 texts and can go up to 50GB with 5,000 minutes and 500 texts.

Pay As You Go plans are available in the form of what Tesco calls its Rocket Packs, ranging from 3GB of data with 500 minutes and 5,000 texts to 8GB with 2,000 minutes and 5,000 texts depending how much you top up.

Phone & device range

Tesco Mobile offers a broad choice of handsets. You can get both top-of-the-range, and also some older devices from big names such as Apple, Samsung, Nokia, Huawei, Motorola, LG and Sony.

It also has a range of so-called "dumbphones" that don’t have internet connectivity, but are ideal for anyone who just wants a phone for calls and texts.

Customer service


Tesco Mobile is highly rated among its customers. The latest industry data from Ofcom showed Tesco Mobile customers reported the highest levels of overall satisfaction with the network at 96% compared with 92% overall in the sector.

Its customers seem less likely to complain as well. In 2016, Tesco Mobile had the fewest complaints per 100,000 customers at just three. This is way below the industry average of 35 per 100,000 customers. When there were complaints, 74% were happy with how they were handled.In fact, Tesco Mobile has a cabinet somewhere full of awards for customer service and value for money from the likes of uSwitch and Which?

Customers also seem pretty happy with their mobile reception. Ofcom data showed 91% were satisfied with their Tesco Mobile reception, which is the highest in the sector and above the 86% average in the industry.

Even Tesco Mobile’s contact centre has one of the shortest waiting times in the sector at just 38 seconds, compared with the industry average of one minute. Its UK-based customer care line is open from 8am-9pm Monday to Friday, from 8am-8pm on Saturday, and between 1am-6pm on Sunday.

Tesco has mobile phone staff in 450 Tesco stores across the UK. You can also contact Tesco Mobile by email, live chat, Facebook and Twitter.

Value for money

Tesco Mobile offers excellent value for money. You can get Clubcard points for every £1 you spend. These points can be put towards shopping or other perks, such as days out and holidays.

If you’ve got more than one Tesco Mobile contract on your account, you can benefit from the Family Perks scheme. Every month, you and your family get to choose extra data, extra minutes, extra Clubcard points, or money off your bill.

There are a few other ways that Tesco helps save money and add extra value. You can trade in your old phone to reduce the upfront or monthly costs and you can put a cap on your monthly bill with a safety buffer, so it’ll never be higher than you expect. This gives you complete control of how much your bill is each month, and so you can use your phone safe in the knowledge that you won't get any nasty surprises.

Coverage

The Vodafone network covers most of the country

Tesco Mobile users the O2 network. This means you get 4G coverage across 99% of the UK. It's worth using its coverage checker and seeing for yourself how good your signal will be based on your postcode.

The coverage checker will tell you how good your 2G signal is for text and email, your 3G for internet use and calls and 4G for mobile internet. You will also get an idea of how strong the signal is both indoors and outdoors.

Conclusion

Tesco Mobile offers just what you would expect a supermarket turned communications provider to do. There is plenty of choice of tariffs, plans and handsets. The only letdown is the lack of unlimited data, minutes and texts.

But Tesco Mobile makes up for the usage restrictions by letting users cap their use and with the added bonus of Clubcard points that will then help make the cost of other items such as shopping or holidays cheaper. Users are also getting one of the most highly rated and award-winning providers, so we'd say it is well worth putting Tesco Mobile in your basket.

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