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Marketing messages: T-Mobile

This is the first of a series of articles that will focus on the web presentation and offerings of UK mobile carriers. I want to explain my impression of the main gist of the site and to tell you ‘what are these guys trying to sell?’. I also want to mimic the feelings and real browsing habits of a customer, so for this exercise I’ve limited myself to 5 minutes on the site and won’t go deeper than a couple of mouse-clicks. Disclaimer: This is for flavour only. Specific tariff details, VAT, fair use, etc will feature in different posts. Here we go!

Nice clean site, lots of white space. Branded colours heavy at the top and fading as you look down the page. I can easily see the SHOP tab and where to sign in for support if I want to use online account management, called My T-Mobile.

My eye is drawn to a big pink box – Ah ha, our first advert. Free internet and texts if I top-up £10 a month on pay as you go.

No specific phones are being thrown at me, a couple of little pics and I recognise the Android Pulse and a Sony Ericsson. This isn’t a pick-list, I’m just being nerdy. Now to the shop tab.

The first thing I see now is a banner, repeating the previous advert and quickly cycling through 4 more. They barely give me enough time to read the advert before they cycle onwards, then I notice the pause button! The extra adverts are:

- a Nokia 5800, 700 minutes, unlimited internet and texts for £30 a month

- a range of large touchscreen phones, 1000 minutes and unlimited texts for £25 a month – 24 month contract

- a low to mid range of phones, 300 minutes and unlimited texts for £15 a month – 24 month contract

- Bundled USB modem and 3 months internet access for £44.03

I click into the Nokia 5800 offer, and discover it’s a 24 month plan as well. I also check out the USB modem offer and find out it’s 2GB a month, then reverts to pay as you go. Now have a pop up asking me if I want to chat or have any questions. A friendly offer of help, or an attempt at getting a quick sale? I’ll pass for now and come back and review online advisors another time. Thank you T-Mobile for another blog topic. That’s my five minutes up.

So my impressions? I don’t feel hard-sold and I don’t have any real knowledge of T-Mobile’s branded plans. They want be to connect for two years as a contract customer and that turns me off BUT on prepay, free text and internet for life if I top up £10 a month sounds pretty good. So good I filled in the box to get a free SIM for a mate.

Let me know what you think.

Originally published at monitors all leading technology stories and rounds them up to help you save time hunting them down.