Not content with offering you the “best deals” on your new smartphone device or smartphone plan, networks nowadays want you to feel you’re really valued by offering you “exclusive deals” as a loyal customer. Much like the supermarkets offering discounts on their products or their partners products and services the mobile networks have gotten in on the action. Mind you not all of the networks have these programs (Three and emobile for instance dont appear to offer them).

So what can you expect from being a member of these exclusive clubs and do they offer any real benefits? First up we have O2 and their Priority Moments. This is available to bill and pre pay customers with O2. This offers you discounts on cinema tickets mid week, up to 50% off restaurant meals (again usually mid week), discounts off books and clothes, discounts on holidays and priority advance booking of concert tickets at the O2 Dublin. According to O2 there have been just over 1.5 million priority moments redeemed which seems like a lot to me since it only launched a few months ago.

Much like O2, Meteor have Meteor Goodies and again like O2’s Priorty Moments it’s open to bill and pre pay customers. It’s a very similar program to O2’s offering albeit maybe not so large. Which, while easier to navigate then the large selection of offers from O2, may not encompass as much of the country. I’m currently a Meteor customer and have used their “Goodies” to get free coffee’s although when trying to redeem a 15% discount voucher for the online SuperDry store I had little success and by the time Meteor got around to looking into it the offer had been rescinded.

Vodafone have Cherry Points which I suppose is similar to the Supermarket points cards. It’s only open to pre pay customers unlike the other networks. You get points for buying top up credit, for joining Cherry points and when it’s your birthday. You can then use the cherry points to buy credit, phones, sms add-ons. It all sounds great although it does seem like you need to spend a lot to get a bit, for instance 1euro = 1 cherry point and 700 cherry points = a free Vodafone Smart phone. If you think about it and say the average person spends 20 euro on credit a month, in other words 240 a year, then it’ll take them 3 years to get a free (fairly basic) smart phone.

Tesco mobile utilise the power of their supermarket and offer Tesco club points to their mobile phone customers. They currently offer double points for every euro spent and you can also get 1000 points when you move your mobile number to Tesco Mobile Pay as you Go and top-up €10 or more for the first three months. The club card points are available to both bill and pre pay but in the long run pre pay customers will benefit more as they buy credit constantly.

With many of these promotions you do find a lot of them are mid week offers only, or discounts only off the full purchase price, so how good they really are depends on how desperate you are to buy and how willing or happy you are to go during off peak times. Do they really benefit the customer? Well personally speaking I’d rather the networks invested the money they put into these programs in bringing plan and device costs down. I think that’s where real customer loyalty lies. I’m not so sure there are many customers who only stay with their network because of these “exclusive benefits” especially in the current recession we’re all experiencing.

Let us know if you like these exclusives and if they sway you into staying with your network, or if you’ve never used them and see them as a gimic. Fire off in the comments section below.

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