Re: Lucky, lucky customers
I wouldn't worry myself about it. If the price is right for you, buy. Otherwise, don't. It's a simple rule that holds quite a lot of weight when it comes to your own money.
To be honest, EE is already too expensive for not enough actual value for me, so they're in no danger of seeing any of my money anyway. But apparently they have enough to hire Kevin Bacon to make a fool of himself, and to sponsor everything in sight (weren't the BAFTA's the EE BAFTA's this year?), so obviously they're making money somewhere. God knows where, I don't know anyone who uses them.
The same applies to my Virgin connection. When it gets too expensive, I'm out. Simple as that. I have a (deactivated) phone line from BT in the house if I need it (just gives me an automated BT woman at the moment, so it's obviously "live" even if I'm not paying for it), so that's easy to switch to any ADSL provider I like, we don't use the landline at all, and the TV we get is the cheapest they do only because it was part of the package deal. I actually have to switch over from FreeView every time I turn the TV on because it defaults to it, and we barely watch broadcast TV as it is anyway. I'd be quite happy to cut the Virgin, live off a 3G modem for a while, and source an ADSL supplier for equivalent price - it wouldn't take long to find one. I was half-considering putting a cheapo ADSL package on it anyway, because I've gotten rather good at making Linux routers perform IP failover and load balancing over multiple Internet connections at work.
But at the moment, I have no need to change.
In the modern-era, companies have to stay competitive. It will literally take me seconds to cancel the Virgin Media TV and switch to FreeView (it actually TAKES EFFORT to watch Virgin channels in preference to the same channels on Freeview, and it would save me money!), I can activate an ADSL line in days if need be and satisfy myself with a 3G dongle for the interim for only a pound or two (not counting putting my smartphone with 3G into "AP mode"), and the phone line? If it was that important I'd actually pick it up and check messages every month or so, but I don't. If it really came to it, I'd get a phone "for free" with any ADSL connection, or just buy a Skype number or SIP provider or whatever. Same for my mobile phone provider - if it came to it, a contract SIM is nothing and can be had same-day, even keeping the same number (my current number is about 10 years old this year, I think, if not more).
Not everyone has that choice, of course, but in inner-city areas where you have the most customers and the majority of your revenue, your customers have the most choice. Short of some illegal price-fixing, you can't really raise prices too much without making a loss overall.
Vote with your wallets, people. And if the company is still a success, well done to them. But it doesn't mean they'll see *MY* money.