Re: I'm sure that any of these companies could do far better if they just doubled their prices
>Why is this a surprise? People shop by price, putting quantity over quality, as always.
Only they don't; in this market, people can't shop by price because it is near impossible to compare tariffs. It's what Dilbert-creator Scott Adams dubbed a 'confusopoly'.
Instead, people often go by which network offers best reception in their area, or ditch an operator if they get messed around by them.
The best way to get a good tariff is to buy your phone out-right, and then negotiate a SIM-only tariff, since they know that you can switch operator at any time. It also has the bonus that your phone is covered by the Sales of Goods Act, so if it malfunctions you can insist on a full refund or a straight swap for a new unit from the retailer, without having to wait a fortnight for a repair.
"£16, you say? Umm, seems a little high... £15... lower, lower, nah, lower or I'm switching to Vodaphone... £12? Okay, that'll do. Thank you."