New phone seller promises to tackle 'injustice' in the mobile industry
A new independent mobile retailer is promising to overhaul the mobile industry by allowing customers to switch between networks to get the best deal.
Unshackled.com, which launches today, is an online shop that splits the purchase of a handset from a SIM in an effort to transform the way consumers buy their mobiles.
Established by three mobile phone industry experts, Unshackled.com will not be attached to one network provider but will offer 15 different networks and a range of phones including Apple and Samsung.
It says splitting the purchase of SIMs and phones will spell the end of the 24-month contract and allow consumers to change their phone and SIM when they choose to.
Unshackled.com claims the average consumer will save £330 buying from its site. It will also offer a trade in service.
CEO John Whittle said: “We want to readdress the injustice that has been going on for far too long and educate consumers that it’s possible to get a much better deal than what is advertised on the high street.
“Many people don’t trust the mobile phone industry, mainly because the interest of the consumer is not at the heart of everything it does – that’s where Unshackled.com is different.
“The business is truly independent and therefore our only interest is helping our customers save money and time when buying a new mobile phone.”
Unshackled.com is working with peer-to-peer lender Zopa and said it will be able to assess a customer’s credit rating to provide real-time, personalised financing for phones, if buying one outright isn’t an option.
Its APRs will range from 9.7% to 24.9% depending on the customer – and customers will be able to pay off early or make extra payments with no extra charge.
Unshackled.com said it will let customers know if their contract is up or they’ve finished paying off their phone, as well as alerting them if a better deal has come along through its MobileWatch service.
Mr Whittle added: “Separating the phone and SIM purchase is the best option for the vast majority of consumers.
“Major networks and mobile phone retailers know this but actively choose not to explain it to their customers as they’re focused on profit not people.
“Unshackled.com scans the market and does all the research leaving customers with a bespoke shortlist of options that will save them both money and time.”
Jaidev Janardana, Zopa CEO added: “With the majority of consumers getting a bad deal on their mobile phone, partnering with Unshackled.com means we can offer consumers a better, fairer and more transparent deal in financing their phone.”
Earlier this year, Ofcom announced plans to make it easier for mobile customers to switch between providers.
The communications regulator said around 2.5m people who changed mobile provider in the past 18 months have suffered at least one major problem and changes are needed in order to address consumer harm and support competition in the market.
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