Sainsbury’s has today launched a pay as you go mobile phone service, firing a broadside at long-established rival Tesco Mobile.
Dubbed 'Mobile by Sainsbury’s', the supermarket giant’s foray into mobile constitutes three 30-day PAYG bundles, all of which are comparably priced with Tesco Mobile. The entry-level, cheapest plan is £10 and includes 200 minutes, unlimited texts and 250MB of data.
Alongside these, the own-branded carrier, which uses Vodafone's network, is offering the Basic price plan. This has no time limit for using up credit and offers calls from 8p per minute, texts at 4p each and a day’s worth of data use for 50p.
Like Tesco Mobile, which is bound to Tesco’s Clubcard reward scheme, Mobile by Sainsbury’s entitles customers to Nectar points for money they spend topping up their phone. These are rewarded at double the usual rate for 30-day PAYG bundle customers.
Sainsbury’s claims that a family of four who switched to the £10 bundle and tie their numbers to a single Nectar card and whose grocery and fuel spend is in line with the UK average can expect savings of £180 per year.
Emma McLaughlin, Mobile by Sainsbury’s marketing director, said: “The average UK family is feeling the pinch, and this is an easy way to make your pound stretch further.
“Sainsbury’s has demonstrated that a family of four can eat five meals for just £20, so the £180 worth of Nectar points would feed a family across 45 meals a year.
“Or you could use the points to treat yourself and your partner to a relaxing spa day.”
In a move that distinguishes it from Tesco Mobile, which entered the mobile market ten years ago and now has a customer base numbering 3.2 million, Mobile by Sainsbury’s has also announced the ‘Borrow a Pound’ service.
This entitles customers to ‘borrow’ £1 of credit and is intended for use in situations where they are without credit but need to make an urgent or emergency call. The credit they use, plus a fee of 10p, will then be deducted from their next top-up.