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Summer 2015

Spotlight
Our co-operative difference
New products and services
Meet our Affinity Partner
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Ryan_Foley Phone Co-op customers are significantly more satisfied than the telecoms industry average

Thanks to everyone who participated in our first annual Your Voice Counts survey. It was great to hear from so many of our customers - we had over 1,850 replies! We're glad to know that the vast majority are satisfied with The Phone Co-op (93% overall and 57% are 'very' satisfied).

An Ofcom report issued in December last year revealed that only 67% of customers with BT, Talk Talk, Sky or Virgin are satisfied with their land-line service and up to only 69% with their broadband. Satisfaction with the major mobile providers was also at an average of 73% which makes all of us at The Phone Co-op very happy to have achieved 93%. It does however remind us that there is always room for improvement.

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Being an ethical purchase (33%) and buying from a co-operative (32%) are by far the most important reasons why people said they chose The Phone Co-op. We're happy to say that we're meeting customer expectations on being a trusted, reliable and ethical provider. And most said (82%) that The Phone Co-op was better than their previous supplier.

Previous supplier

So it's not surprising that more than two-thirds of our customers would definitely recommend our co-operative telecoms services to a friend. (Don't forget our refer-afriend scheme!) It's good to have customer input on how we can improve for the future.

Recommend

Our younger customers want 4G service and this is something we're already looking into. We're also glad that this newsletter is helping to engage with our members - watch this space for a special section for member-generated content. We also hope that you will continue to get involved in other ways: in person at the AGM or Half Yearly Meeting, or through social networks like Facebook and Twitter, or as a Phone Co-op Champion.

Importance

Lastly, we are proud that our investments are aligned with your top interests: sustainable energy production (76%), fair trade (71%), promoting co-ops (63%) and supporting community projects (57%). 

Coop

 

The Phone Co-op's Half Yearly Report
will be available at www.thephone.coop/about-us/annual-reports

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 Toni_Blinkhorn The Big Clean Up

 

This month sees the annual celebration of all things co-operative with Co-operatives Fortnight running from 24th June - 4th July. Co-operatives across the country come together to make an impact. This year the focus is the Big Co-op Clean with an aim of communities getting together to clean up their local area and homes with any excess items being donated to good causes.

To celebrate Co-operatives Fortnight this year, we will be helping people put their old mobile phones to good use while caring for the environment. The recycling scheme will enable used mobile phones to get reused to reduce the mining of minerals in conflict-affected regions. Many of us leave our old mobiles to gather dust somewhere and can now get involved in either its renewal or safe disposal. Any proceeds gained from phones will be given to the International Co-operative Movement's Appeal in Nepal and for every phone donated, an entry will be made into our competition to win a Fairphone. Fairphone is the first smartphone that puts social values and ethical production first and we're very proud to be the sole UK supplier.

Ed Mayo, Secretary General of Co-operatives UK, the organisation behind the Co-operatives Fortnight campaign said: "It's fantastic to see that The Phone Co-op is joining us to celebrate the work of around 6,000 co-operative businesses across the country. An exciting fortnight is ahead and we're looking forward to spreading the word and making sure people know what co-operatives contribute to in their local community."

Bring your old mobiles to us as listed below or visit www.thephone.coop/recycle. Please remember to donate by the end of July to get entered into the competition.

Co-op_fortnight coop

Dates_calendar

Vivian_Woodell The Changing shape of the telecoms industry - and what it means

You will probably have heard that two big mergers are planned in the telecoms industry. If the competition authorities agree to the deals, BT will take over EE, and Hutchison (owner of Three), will take over O2. The combined effect of these two mergers would be to transform the landscape of our industry, in a way we believe would be bad for consumers.

The evidence from other European markets is that where the number of network operators reduces below four, prices rise. BT won a 4G license in the last round of auctions. This should be bringing a fifth mobile network operator to the market. A merger with EE changes all that. Couple that with the planned merger of O2 and Three and the number of future network operators falls from five to three.

Our view, and that of our trade associations IMVNOx and Federation of Communications Services, is that if these deals go ahead, it should only be on the condition that the wholesale market for mobile services is opened up fully, so that, as with fixed line, virtual operators have access to all services on regulated terms, creating a level playing field for all.

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Lee_thomson Our better than ever Mobile Prices

We have offered highly competitive bundles in the cut-throat mobile marketplace for five years, proving that great value and great values can go hand in hand. We've recently reduced prices further and added a great new bundle that provides unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 3GB of data for only £23 a month.

Our bundles are flexible and our SIM-only contracts mean you can change your bundle from month to
month if necessary.

Your bundle lasts longer with us, as we deduct your call allowance by the second, unlike most providers who
round up each call to the nearest minute. Over a month, this can make a big difference.

If you do use more than your bundle allowance, unlike other operators we only charge 20p per minute.

Best of all, our residential bundles include free calls between Phone Co-op mobile users, and if you have one of our home phone and broadband bundles, you can call also call any Phone Co-op mobile user for free from your landline. Get your household to take up our phone, broadband and mobile services, and recommend us to your friends, and you may never need to pay to call a mobile again!

Our bundles start at just £8 a month for 200 minutes and unlimited texts. Go to www.thephone.coop/mobile or call us on 01608 434000.

Price_table

 Remember our PAYG bundles. Contract-free, starting at £5 & lasting for 30 days.

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 Sue_Powell Cost of calling 08, 09 and 118 numbers

From July 1st the regulator Ofcom is changing the way service numbers (084/087 etc.) are charged for.

Service numbers include many, from the 084/087 for contacting banks, those beginning 09 for TV voting or recorded info lines to those beginning with 118 for directory enquiries. The change will make it possible to work out how much the total call will cost, irrespective of which phone provider you use. The cost of calling any of these numbers will be split into two parts:

1. The Access Charge - what the provider charges you, per minute, for connecting the call. With us it'll be 7.2 p per minute from a landline and 21p per minute from a mobile, both including VAT.

2. The Service Charge - the owner of the number decides this and must display it wherever their telephone number is shown.

For example, if an organisation's service charge is 20p per minute, they should state ''Calls cost 20p per minute, plus your phone provider's access charge". Calls to Freephone 0800 and 0808 numbers will now be free from mobiles as well as from landlines.

Free will now really mean free 

Visit Ofcom's website for further information - www.ukcalling.info.

If The Phone Co-op has provided you with one of these service numbers, please call our Business Services Team on 01608 434 070 to advise you on what to do ahead of these changes. 

Canada Co-operative Exchange

Hi there, my name is Taylor and I've just arrived at The Phone Co-op to work and learn for a year. One of the things that make The Phone Co-op great is their continual support to develop the cooperative economy. In fact, that's why I'm here! I'm working with others from Vancouver, British Columbia to start up our own Internet and mobile co-op called Raven Wireless. I'll be learning the ins and outs of how The Phone Co-op operates and governs itself. In exchange, I'm bringing entrepreneurial energy and experience to the team here. Stay tuned to hear more as the foundation is laid for Raven Wireless to take flight!

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Wendy_Gupta New partnership with Friends of the Earth

Friends of the Earth is one of the most dynamic, respected and effective environmental campaigning charities in the world. Everything we do is about creating a fairer world where people and nature thrive.

We've been doing amazing things for over 40 years now including:

  • Getting the world's first Climate Change Act passed by government
  • Getting Doorstep Recycling taken up
  • Campaigning to toughen up the law ensuring companies reveal their impact on people and the environment
  • Getting the government to commit to Saving British Bees last year

But we're not a lone voice. Collaboration is critical so we work closely with business, politicians and opinion leaders to make change happen. And we're doing it with brilliant ideas in great campaigns with people like you at The Phone Co-op!

At a time when our planet faces unprecedented crises, the world needs Friends of the Earth and the solutions we offer like never before. So see things differently and join the movement - www.foe.co.uk.

Download the Great British Bee Count App and help us save Britain's Bees! And sign our petition to enable Britain to remain frack free.

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Get your power from Co-operative Energy, plus £20 credit on your phone bill

We are working with Co-operative Energy to bring you another excellent, co-operative service. Make the switch and we'll offer you a £20 credit on your phone bill.

Why choose a co-operative for your energy?

  • Excellent Customer Service with competitive and fair pricing
  • They have a high renewables content
  • To have a say in the running of another co-operative society
  • To get a dividend share in the profits of this successful co-op

If you are ready to switch, visit - www.cooperativeenergy.coop/thephonecoop or call 0800 093 7511 for a quote. Don't forget to mention 'The Phone Co-op' to qualify for this offer. For full terms and conditions
visit www.thephone.coop/coopenergy.

Share with a friend

Happy with our services? Proud of being a member of The Phone Co-op?
Then recommend us to a friend to share £40.
thephone.coop/referafriend or call us on 01608 434000.
Follow us on Twitter @phonecoop and www.facebook.com/ThePhoneCoop and spread the word.

 

Blog reminder

Don't forget to see the blogs on our website. These cover stories from updates on our products and services, guest blogs on key topics, events, opinions, customer testimonials and useful info. Just go to www.thephone.coop/about-us/blog or www.thephone.coop/membership/blogfor membership updates.

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Share your thoughts. Send us your ideas for our newsletter to marketing@thephone.coop Follow us on Twitter @phonecoop and Facebook.

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