By Dan Howdle | Tuesday, February 11th 2020
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 can get just about anything you could think of from Tesco Mobile, mobile-wise. If you're still wondering what a supermarket knows about running a phone network, we have the answer.
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?
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, despite unlimited data becoming the trend at the time of writing (beginning of 2020).
Tesco also has SIM only deals on either one-month or 12-month contracts. These start at 2GB with 500 minutes and 5,000 texts and can go up to 100GB with 5,000 minutes and 5,000 texts.
Pay As You Go plans are available in the form of what Tesco calls its Rocket Packs, ranging from 4GB of data with 500 minutes and 5,000 texts to 16GB with 2,000 minutes and 5,000 texts depending how much you want to top up.
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.
Tesco Mobile is highly rated among its customers. The latest industry data from Ofcom showed Tesco Mobile customers reported a below average level of overall satisfaction with the network at 90%, compared with 93% overall average for the market as a whole.
It did, however, fare best as regards fewest complaints. In 2018 (Ofcom's last report – such reports are often more than a year behind today's date), Tesco Mobile had the fewest complaints per 100,000 customers at just three. Incredible stuff. This is way below the industry average of 35 per 100,000 customers. When there were complaints, 59% were happy with how they were handled compared to a 56% industry average.
Customers also seem pretty happy with their mobile reception. Ofcom data showed 88% were satisfied with their Tesco Mobile reception, which is the same as the average for the sector.
Tesco Mobile’s contact centre has the longest waiting times in the sector at one minute and four second, compared with the industry average of 52 seconds. 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.
Tesco Mobile offers excellent value for money. You can also 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.
Tesco Mobile users the O2 network. This means you get 4G coverage across over 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. There's no sign yet of 5G on Tesco Mobile, but that's not unusual at this stage – third part providers are usually slower off the mark with new technologies than the network providers themselves.
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.