Will a telco match phone pricing?

As consumers, we’re told the customer is always right, and that stores will price match, but that’s not always true.

It can be hard to be a consumer at times. We’re often told “the customer is right”, and then that stores will price match, helping you to get the best deal, but there are situations where that’s not true.

A store can and often will price match on the same goods, a move that prevents it from losing a customer and possibly keeps them coming back long term, but a store that represents a service? That’s not so black and white.

In fact, a phone provider — a telco — may be one of the areas where the opportunity for price matching may not be quite so clear cut.

Even though most telcos operate stores across the country, getting one telco to price match to another may not be something you can achieve.

All three of Australia’s telcos were asked about this question — do telcos price match? — and only one provided an answer, with Optus telling Pickr that while it doesn’t price match products with other telcos, “Optus does offer a coverage commitment with its plans”.

On this one, we suspect telcos can move away from the question of a price guarantee by arguing that each offers a service that is uniquely different, and that even if you’re buying a phone from one and hoping the other will price match on a specific phone, you’re not just buying the phone, but buying the service with it.

That may allow telcos a little wiggle room to escape the idea of price matching, because the services aren’t exactly the same across providers.

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