The People's Operator Review

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THE People's Operator are a low cost, SIM-only mobile virtual network who allow their customers to give a proportion of their mobile spend to a charity of their choice.

On top of that they "share" 25% of their profits with various worthy organisations through the TPO Foundation.

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales is one of the names on the board, and they're vocal about their desire to provide a more "ethical" mobile service.

But what do they provide their potential customers with, apart from a smug glow? We take a look at who they are and how they work, and the deals they offer.

The People's who?

Launched in 2012, The People's Operator, known as TPO for short, are a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO).

Until recently they mainly used the 3G part of EE's network to provide their service, but at the time of this update, they've moved across to Three and all their new plans offer 4G as standard.

Alongside the mobile network, they run an advert free social media network - the TPO Community - where users can share news and information about, and raise support for, the causes they're involved with.

While TPO use a charitable business model, they are still a for-profit company.

The 10% of mobile spend (minus VAT) they donate comes from their marketing budget; rather than paying for expensive campaigns, they rely on word of mouth and adverts placed on the sites of the charities and organisations they support.

A SIM-only provider, they aren't the place to go for the newest handset - but they can offer 30-day SIMs for as little as £7.50 a month.

Another point worth mentioning is that they don't carry out credit checks on new customers, making them a viable option for people whose financial history isn't sparkling.

Who benefits?

When signing up, customers are given a list of registered organisations - ranging from charities to schools and hospitals to political parties and trade unions.

Should an organisation not be on TPO's list of "charity partners" or "progressive causes", tell them and they'll try to arrange it.

These are the organisations that benefit from the donation from our monthly bills. Once we've accounted for the effect of VAT on the bill, someone with a £10 a month tariff would be donating 83p a month, or £9.96 a year.

The TPO Foundation, meanwhile, is the part that oversees who gets the grants funded by the 25% of the company's profits.

There's a slight issue here in that TPO have yet to actually make any profits - in 2015 they made a loss of £10.45 million - but subscriber numbers and revenues have risen sharply in the past year, so there's still hope.

The People's phone deals

As mentioned above, TPO work on a SIM-only basis. Users can sign up to a monthly tariff or a PAYG deal.

Pay Monthly

There's a reasonable range of Pay Monthly tariffs, ranging from the above mentioned £7.50 deal suitable for light users to a 6GB data deal for £20 a month:

Minutes Texts Data Price
the people's operator 200 500 512MB £7.50 Visit TPO
the people's operator 300 Unlimited 2GB £10 Visit TPO
the people's operator 500 Unlimited 2.5GB £12.50 Visit TPO
the people's operator 500 Unlimited 4GB £15 Visit TPO
the people's operator 1,200 Unlimited 5GB £18 Visit TPO
the people's operator 2,400 Unlimited 6GB £20 Visit TPO

The fact that until recently all but one of their deals were 3G only meant that they could offer lower prices than much of their competition.

It's difficult to say how much the move to 4G as standard has affected prices, because while their cheapest Pay Monthly deal is now £7.50, up from £5.99 a month before the change, it also comes with twice the minutes and five times more texts - and a smidge more data:

Plan Minutes Texts Data Price
the people's operator 3G "No Frills" plan 100 100 500MB £5.99
the people's operator 4G "No Frills" plan 200 500 512MB £7.50

If 512Mb of data seems a little light for £7.50 a month, however, TPO have always been quite competitive when it comes to the plans they offer for around £10.

Let's compare their latest £10 deal with the £10 tariffs from two other MVNOs - Virgin Mobile and GiffGaff:

Data Minutes Texts Price
the people's operator 2GB 300 Unlimited £10 Visit TPO
virgin media 2GB 2,500
+ 2,500 minutes to 08 numbers
Unlimited £10 Visit Virgin Mobile
giffgaff 1GB 500 Unlimited £10 Visit GiffGaff

The plan from Virgin Mobile - who use TPO's old MVNO partner, EE - gives the same amount of data, and far more minutes. Admittedly Virgin Mobile only offer 3G data, so the boost in calls allowance is at least partly paid for by the savings made by offering a slower data connection.

GiffGaff use O2's network. Last summer they upgraded their goodybags to offer 4G data as standard, which raised prices a little. Whether they or TPO are better value depends on how we use our phones most - for messaging, calling, or browsing and social media.

As recently as summer 2015, TPO had a plan that offered up to 31GB of data per month - albeit for £49.99 - but these days, anyone looking for allowances larger than 6GB will need to look elsewhere, or rack up a serious bill for out of allowance usage.

Note too that tethering is not permitted.

Pay As You Go

For those who want a bit more flexibility, TPO also offer pay as you go mobile use.

As well as offering true PAYG, the rates for which are available here, they sell a range of bundles, the details of which look rather familiar:

Tariff Minutes Texts Data Price
the people's operator Power Bundle 200 500 512MB £7.50 Visit TPO
the people's operator Super Bundle 300 Unlimited 2GB £10 Visit TPO
the people's operator Wonder Bundle 500 Unlimited 2.5GB £12.50 Visit TPO
the people's operator Extra Bundle 500 Unlimited 4GB £15 Visit TPO
the people's operator Ultra Bundle 1,200 Unlimited 5GB £18 Visit TPO
the people's operator Jumbo Bundle 2,400 Unlimited 6GB £20 Visit TPO

These are basically the Pay Monthly deals with a bit more flexibility - once bought, each bundle is valid for 30 days (use it or lose it), but there's nothing to stop people buying another if they do use up all their allowance before 30 days is up.

It used to be that TPO included a certain number of TPO to TPO texts and minutes free of charge for PAYG customers - up to 100 minutes of calls, or up to 250 texts, per month - but this perk appears to have gone.

Out of allowance charges

Pay monthly customers who do think they're going to go over their data allowance can contact TPO via the website to request an extra data bolt-on. There are three options:

If it's not more data that they need, pay monthly users should be aware that some of their excess usage charges are higher that those paid by PAYG customers using up standard credit.

Here are the standard call charges for pay monthly and pay as you go customers:

Pay Monthly Pay as you go
Calls to UK landlines 12p/min 12p/min
Calls to mobiles 12p/min 12p/min
Voicemail 12p/min 12p/min
Texts to mobiles 10p 5p
Picture message MMS 30p 30p
Data, per MB 15p 15p
Incoming calls 4p/min 4p/min
Access charge for 08, 09, 118 35p/min 5p/min

At the time of this update, however, TPO are offering discounted rates on certain services for both types of customer. Those discounts are as follows:

Pay Monthly (discounted) Pay as you go (discounted)
Calls to UK landlines 10p/min 4p/min
Calls to mobiles 10p/min p/min
Voicemail 10p/min 4p/min
Texts to mobiles 10p (unchanged) 3p
Data, per MB 3p 2p
Incoming calls Free Free

The People's Coverage

As we mentioned above, TPO used to run on the 2G and 3G parts of the EE network, but they've now switched to Three and gained full 4G coverage too.

Three's 3G network covers 97% of the UK population, and they're continuing to expand their 4G network. At present it's mostly concentrated in towns and cities; more than half of UK premises should be able to get a decent 4G signal.

While their network and coverage may not be as wide as EE's, YouGov polling of mobile users consistently sees Three being rated the UK's most reliable network overall - for voice calls, texts and data usage.

TPO's coverage checker uses a rather alarming shade of pink to denote coverage; the more vivid the colour, the stronger the signal should be.

Swathes of the map are coloured pink, but zoom right in to check signal strength before signing up.

Comments

1
4 November 2016
Jen

Do not sign up with this company under any circumstances. I had the service I bought and paid for for a total of 1 month before everything went wrong. They changed my number without my permission and never changed it back. I had no service whatsoever for over a week. They are impossible to get on the phone (once spent an hour and four minutes on hold because I was so desperate to talk to a person and then the system disconnected me saying "You have been on hold for the maximum time allowed. Please call back."), and often just choose not to respond to emailed messages or messages sent on their website. Interestingly, when I decided I'd had enough and asked for my PAC to switch providers, they responded immediately, probably because they are legally obliged to do so. But they did not cancel my service. I have been with O2 now for 2 months and TPO continues to bill me and email me about my service. They do not respond to my requests to shut down the service, and I am now considering legal action. Please avoid. You'd be better off just giving £2 a month to your charity and save yourself a lot of frustration.

2
6 October 2016
Owen

Without a doubt, TPO have provided me with the worst customer experience I've ever suffered. I tried to port twice to a TPO sim, but both attempts failed. I ran up large phone bills trying to contact their customer service team on a daily basis, in an effort to resolve the issues, often being put on hold only to be automatically hung up on once I had been waiting an hour (infuriating as it gets dealing with a call centre). I eventually managed to cancel my rolling contract, but have just found out that they are still debiting my account - which in my book amounts to fraud, given they told me that my contract had been cancelled. AVOID at all costs and don't be suckered on by TPO's seemingly attractive contact terms. My wife has experienced a similarly shocking service from them.

3
30 September 2016
jim

Does this really mean that there is a cell phone carrier worse than tracfone??? WOW!

4
29 September 2016
123

Completely agree with recommendations to stay away from this company. They are a complete joke - I have been waiting for months to get phone service back after they switched over to the 3 network. Customer service don't care, they ask for details that you have already provided them with and you get no response. Awful experience having to deal with their nonsense.

5
27 September 2016
Chas

I wouldn't trust this company with anything. Their changeover to 'Three' made my Sim unusable. I have a dual Sim phone which needs a 2G network which 'Three' doesn't have. Apparently it's my fault that it doesn't work, and now they refuse to refund all of my outstanding balance as I am unable to provide all of the receipts of when I topped up my balance.

6
26 September 2016
Ex TPO

Cheap tariffs to draw you in, to only secretly up your monthly tariff costs and make it hard for you to leave. Takes forever to get through to customer service team if your lucky not to get cut-off. Any issues you have or may have, forget about them being resolved in any time soon, or ever for that fact. If you have a complaint and email them don't expect a quick reply or a reply at all. If you're lucky to get a reply this will be full of promises that will not be upheld. My advice to anyone thinking of choosing this provider, stay away and tell your friends and family to stay away. You will be making your life so much happier and stress free.

7
13 September 2016
Mark

That's the worst service all over the country.
Contacted with them five times so far and they can't solve simple problems. To use mobile abroad have to pay deposit of £100, that's ridiculous. Be aware of this company.

8
5 September 2016
David

I've read many of the below reviews, it seems getting in touch with them is a nightmare, luckily one that I haven't needed to do, I pay for a monthly rolling contract and been with them since the year they started, to begin it was easy to contact them (guessing few customers) but now I admit I find it very very hard.

HOWEVER. In the 4 years I've been with them I've had no network issues, a 1st with all mobile companies. Even my internet is streaming double the speed that SKY give me.

CONCLUSION

Network is amazing and for me, very cheap monthly cost.

Customer service is a true let down (going by other review as I've yet to need to contact them).

9
4 September 2016
Awais Hashmi

TPO is nothing but thieves and scoundrels. I bought their SIM and paid another $5 to activate it. Got the message that it was activated. Never got an internet connection, telephone, or text. I emailed with them. They just lied and lied. They kept my money and no service on my phone ever. So, save yourself some time and money and look elsewhere. Don't get cheated by these rogues.

10
3 September 2016
Guppy

Avoid - AVOID and AVOID AGAIN - AWFUL COMPANY!

Anyone even thinking of using the people's operator for their mobile phone should steer well clear of this awful, unprofessional, useless and completely chaotic company - a terrible MVNO

I am one of their victims who read the "you have been warned" reviews and still, stupidly, thought I would give them a try. It was the worst decision I've made in the past 5 years and caused me nothing but grief, personal financial loss and literally days holding on the phone at huge expense to myself waiting for their rude and incompetent staff to sort out their problems.

The worst aspect is they take money from your account incorrectly months after you have left their company and moved to another network - and they think it's acceptable. You will have to beg for your money back and spend hours on the phone and send dozens of emails only to be told to wait for them to sort it out.
Anyone stupid enough to already be with this company should leave and ensure they "disconnect" their direct debit with their own bank so TPO mobile cannot take any further unauthorised cash out of your account.

Their network is awful, their phone/calling services are inferior in every way and their staff do not answer phone calls for the most part unless you are prepared to wait around 45 minutes on average, sometimes up to an hour goes by where you're placed on hold and the call automatically cuts off after an hour!

Even if you get through to them after 50 mins, that means you will only have 10 mins time limit before they automatically cut you off for reaching an hour on the line - and to make it worse and add insult to injury, their staff refuse to call you back.

I moved to another network on a PAYG basis after leaving the putrid TPO and had to spend £30 credit calling TPO to demand they stop taking money out of my account, they refused to refund my fall costs and made no apology for taking hours to answer. I had to call 5 times and spend 45 mins on hold, hang up and try again for another 50, repeat and do the same until finally they answered - only to be told to 'write in".

I read nothing but negative reviews before I used them and now wish I had listened to all those people who experienced what is probably the worst customer "service" from any phone company ever!

Think very long and hard before signing up to anything to do with this pathetic company

11
1 September 2016
Deepak Shukla

Worst customer service you will come across

12
22 August 2016
Maria

Left TPI as thet were migrating to 4F and they stated that if I did not do this by a certain date (which I did not) I could not keep my number. I then received a bill that is double of what I usually pay. I sent a message to TPO but the response was not helpful. I tried to contact customer service on the phone twice in two different days and after waiting for 1 hour both times I have not been able to speak with any one. Worst costumer service I ever seen.

3 September 2016
Guppy

Complain to OFCOM - their entire operation is a scam

13
19 August 2016
Nigel Hatchett

I received my monthly invoice yesterday (18 Aug 2016) to discover that my monthly tariff had been increased by 25% and my call allowance reduced by 50%. In addition to this my data connectivity has ceased working. After much digging around I found out that they have switched from EE to 3 and in the process changed tariffs. The reason I chose TPO was the fact that they used EE as their carrier (the other main 3 carriers do not work where I live) - in short they shot me in the foot. They have not informed me of any of these changes (checked e-mail and text messages) which flies in the face of Ofcoms guide lines. Contacting them has proved challenging but I eventually (63 minutes) contacted a member of their customer service team and managed to get a PAC code having read various horror stories of other TPO customer's loosing their telephone numbers in this EE to 3 move. I am not sure that TPO is a SCAM but they most certainly useless at running a business - enough for me to leave).

14
19 August 2016
Nigel Hatchett

TPO are not to be recommended or trusted. Contacting their customer service by telephone is nearly impossible, e-mails are generally ignored and on top of that they changed my tariff without first informing me (illegal I believe). One good note on the very sorry 15 months I suffered at their hands is I did get through to their customer service department (65 minutes) to get a PAC code and rescue my telephone number. I seriously question their future viability.

15
15 August 2016
mick

This is probably the most dysfunctional phone company ever. Everything they do is hidden behind their so called charity donations, these people are low life scum.
I strongly recommend giving them a wide berth!!
When other people have been complaining about their customer service, i haven't had that problem because i've never managed to make contact, this is all part of the scam.
If you can't get through you can't request pac codes to leave and retain your number, if you can't make contact then you can't complain.
They say just contact them via email, this is another way of fobbing you off, they just apply selective reading.
Another scam they've just introduced, goes like this - you put money on your account (this I have found is the only task with TPO that's extremely easy to do) then you buy a power bundle (you think you've bought one anyway) they don't activate it. You use your phone as normal, they have made it almost impossible to check your allowance now.
Unlike before you could just tx Bundle to 1250 although they say you can still do this on their adverts you can't just another TPO lie.
But the scam would not work if you could easily check your allowance, so
you use up money of your tpo account without knowing then they very politely top up your balance using your bank details.
They've just introduced this to help you out so you don't run out of credit - very nice of them hey?
Not giving them your card details is not an option.
This is just one of many scams I could go on.
Amazing how they've got away with it though!
Will check reviews first next time.

16
11 August 2016
Marc Walker

TPO. Not good. Customer service really bad. Worse 'live chat' I've ever experienced. Took five minutes to answer one question. Sooooo painful. Had to ask the guy at the other end if he was still alive. Got cut off after getting nowhere fast. Logged back in 30 minutes later and got the same guy! He was probably the only one in that day. Oh and don't bother ringing. I've not even managed to get through to them to tell them I've left.

17
23 June 2016
Mohammad

DO NOT SWITCH TO THIS COMPANY!
All these reviews are all grave warnings

Don't be fooled by their big bundles, they have hidden charges in every corner, customer support is very unprofessional; if you do switch make sure you get your wallet and your wife's wallet combined.

18
22 June 2016
Calum Duncan

I joined TPO moving from giffgaff over a year ago. Cannot praise them enough. I'm in the north of Scotland where you are pushed to get a good 3G signal. Due to EE's network I get 3G almost everywhere. Comparing this to giffgaff and O2 where I was lucky to get anything above GPRS.

All tariffs are very well priced and they swapped over my old number over as soon as I contacted them. Yes they do take a little while to answer the phone, but they can be contacted by email and web-chat. I would recommend email, as unless you get through straight away on the phone you will probably be quicker. 4G comes online for all existing customers next month (July 2016) which I can't wait for. Inverness actually has 4G - I'm amazed! The price of these tariffs will be interesting to see - currently the £8.99 deal is very good for new customers.

All in all of recommend the TPO and have done to many friends and family. All of them seem very happy with the company. We even got the Aila Coull Foundation listed so we can all donate to then!

19
30 May 2016
Daiva

Thank you so much for all the comments here. I was considering them, and couldn't find any reviews except plan comparisons, nothing about customer service, which was suspicious to me. Now I know to never deal with them. I will stay with net 10 for now.

20
19 May 2016
Rob H

Awful service. I've managed four months with them and am leaving - though they need 30 days notice! Service very unreliable, I kept having data dropped and it took ages to reacquire. Roaming doesn't automatically work even within the EU - you have to pay a £50 upfront deposit. Generally a terrible scam, I thoroughly regret giving them my cash.

21
25 April 2016
Primeval Mudd

I switched to TPO from EE/Orange a few months ago and am very happy with them. It's true that they could do with a few more people on the enquiry lines but apart from that they've done what I expected of them and are pretty good value.

I've got a FairPhone2 on the least expensive Cooperative contract, using TPO as my primary SIM.

22
22 April 2016
Rob H

I switched to TPO from GiffGaff and I very much regret it. Always getting data drops, it takes ages to acquire network when I leave an underground station (sometimes 5-10 minutes!), and there's no automatic roaming coverage overseas unless you pay a £50 deposit upfront! With other PAYG operators this is standard. Customer service is non existent. Do not use.

23
16 April 2016
Jazz

The only negatives with TPO is they refuse to allow tethering, refuse to do anything about their ridiculous non message you get when someone calls you and you don't use voicemail (Currently a disconnected type set of tones which EVERYONE thinks means number out of order/disconnected/unobtainable)!!!!!!

All other networks have a "sorry call can't be connected - please try later" type message, but not TPO! At first I thought nothing of it but then doctors, my boss, friends all thought number was wrong/disconnected and some companies even deleted ny number off their records because of it.

Also they take ages to answer the phone but to add insult to injury, calls connected to customer care can only last a maximum of one hour, so a 50 minute standard wait time to get through to them means you'll only get 10 mins worth of chat with them, and to make it even worse, they WONT call YOU back, you'll have to start again!

This network is only for the very patient and those who don't require tethering and want to get rid of stalkers!

Tethering policy is also ridiculous, as it's OUR data WE pay for and its limited to your plan, so why WE can't use it up as we like is another mystery and a big negative for them.

The positive is they give to charity and they claim they will move to a 4G network (Three signal), yet they claimed this would happen first quarter of 2016 and still haven't moved!

Also be aware that they're slow to send out new SIM cards and they take three days to use your PAC code unlike most others who take a day.

It's a good deal otherwise.

24
31 March 2016
Ronay

I am very surprised at how foolish and stupid many people are. How can a company charge you £50, £100, £150 for a contract that they varied unilaterally and which you stupidly paid because of threats to your credit rating.
A sensible person would cancel the direct debit and request a chargeback and report to Ofcom. ~ And if the matter is lodged with Ofcom then they have no way of damaging your credit rating as the charges are now in dispute.

25
30 March 2016
Anony

Terrible company, DO NOT JOIN if you're thinking about it.
They randomly changed my monthly tariff with no warning like the person who also posted, from UNLIMITED Mins to around 250mins, with .10p for every minute used.
Now as you can imagine, a person who pays for unlimited minutes obviously uses a lot and I'm facing hundreds of pounds for two months usage...without doubt I will complain to the ombudsman if something is not done.
The worst thing about it is there is still an offer for unlimited mins for the same price - while they changed me over without permission. Completely UNFAIR.

26
29 March 2016
Mike

I have needed to contact customer services for the first time today, hopeless, have been put on hold for over 10 minutes each time I have tried and still not spoken to anyone. All the hype about ethical service is rubbish a network provider who cannot provide help when needed is useless. I have emailed for my PAC code and will vote with my feet.

27
23 March 2016
P Raybould

I've just returned from holiday to find I have £460 of data roaming charges. The last supplier I had would message me when I spent £50 to warn me. I only used my phone to check whats app and email. I thought companies charging extortionate data roming charges had been clamped down on but obviously not. I've had to pay the fee but have asked for my Pac code as I am going to find a different supplier. I had to call them three times to get my phone switched back on after paying and each time it took 30 minutes to get through to someone. If you ever intend to travel and take your phone I strongly advise that you choose a different supplier.

28
23 March 2016
Mc O'Brien

It is very shameful that most of these new so-called 'value' or 'cheap' networks are nothing but bands of licensed robbers taking advantage of unwary and foolish customers and ripping off people in the name of cheap tariffs.
It is even more shameful that they can be using charities and 'good causes' to lure people to rip them off.
The TOP website for instance is difficult to navigate with important information about the products on offer either not available or simply hidden away or buried where it is difficult for customers to find. Also all of the website are printed in very grey colour making it difficult to read very important details!
Not surprisingly, online complaints about their services and underhand and unethical tactics continue to mount e.g of customers tariff being secretly changed and then billed extortionately for 'going over your usage allowance' and many similar tactics.

29
13 March 2016
Simon Williams

Lots of negative feedback... I can only speak for my own experience, but 6 months in, I'm a happy customer. I've got the deal I wanted, the price I wanted, and they acted quickly to a change in tariff as I requested. I'd love to see the more about the other side, but I can only praise them. I'm now porting my wife, and have done something unusual and recommend them to a friend.

30
31 January 2016
john

Do not trust tpo, definitely not peoples operator, been conned into paying £260 phone bill for 1 month.

Changed my price plan without telling me. disgrace tpo.

31
30 January 2016
Jags

TPO is a big time scam company. Give you good deal to 1st time customer then within 3 to 5 months cut your tariff to 1gb and 1000 mins to 300mins for same price. Even charged after cancellation. Dreadful staff and worst ever service.

32
26 January 2016
James

Just so you know, this Mobile network (MVNO) called The People's Operator or TPO which uses EE backbone, have changed everyone's Pay Monthly contracts, December 1st 2015, without telling them, and then charging them £50 for 1GB of data.

Customers are only getting the bills now, and complaining!!

Anyone affected needs to complain to Ofcom asap, treating customers unfairly etc . Links below:

<a href="https://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/te...-phone-company" rel="nofollow noopener">https://stakeholders.ofcom.org...</a>

<a href="http://consumers.ofcom.org.uk/compla...nts/contracts/" rel="nofollow noopener">http://consumers.ofcom.org.uk/...</a>

<a href="http://www.ombudsman-services.org/co...nications.html" rel="nofollow noopener">http://www.ombudsman-services....</a>

<a href="http://www.which.co.uk/consumer-righ...mer-rights-act" rel="nofollow noopener">http://www.which.co.uk/consume...</a> (Consumer Rights Action 2015)

3 September 2016
Guppy

I've had this awful company steal money from my bank account and refuse to pay back until they "produce another bill a month later" - this is basically a scam and this company are thieves. @OFCOM need to urgently investigate this sham company and shut them down.
Everyone who is with them should leave and MUST contact their bank to disconnect their direct debit - that way around they can't actually steal the money from your account in the first place

28 November 2016
E Tang

In Oct 2016, I raised an upgrade request from its 3G to 4G (they only offered 3G through EE at the beginning). It involved a new sim card, PAC code and an overly convoluted process. They charged me straight away (SIM and the direct debit). I have not got the SIM and later on I changed to another carrier. 2 months later, I still haven't got the refund of the SIM that I haven't got, and worse still, they started to charge me with the direct debit for the service they haven't provided.
I have an outstanding case with them and 2 months on, I still haven't got the &pound;30 they now owe me.

33
22 January 2016
Burt Stammers

AVOID! They changed my terms and conditions midway through the month regarding data being frozen until the next month. I got an email on the 10th which had the subject "changes to overuse charges", which I didn't look at as I thought didn't relate to me as my data just stops when I run out. I was wrong and shocked when I was charged an extra &pound;40 for 300mb of data. When questioning TPO I got a very snotty email telling me "Please understand that TPO has no control over what emails you decide to read and which you do not".

Changed to BT as they have app to view usage, unlike TPO were you have to set a very confusing notification system setting what % to be texted when used.

Oh and waited 50mins to get through to customer care on the phone and then 2 days to get a reply from email service.

Poor experience

34
12 January 2016
Michelle Gallacher

They are a terrible firm. They reduced my data allowance from 6GB to 1GB and only notified me by sending an email a few weeks below. I was on holiday and wasn't checking emails so missed it (yes that's my fault) but I still think to move a customer to a 6th of their data plan (for the same price) giving just a few weeks notice is a disgrace. I only discovered they'd make the change when I tried to used my phone and found my sim was barred because I'd used 1.5 GB out of bundle data and owed them &pound;130.

28 January 2016
Mima Albiston

Literally exactly the same just happened to me. What did you do? This is causing me incredible distress as I am already in a vulnerable position and I need advice. I can't get a reply from them and I called them and they said it's all legal and they can take that money from me, otherwise it'll ruin my credit rating and I won't be able to sign up for phone contracts in the future.

27 January 2016
James

Same thing has literally just happened to me! Just had to pay &pound;140 advanced payment. Did you manage to sort anything out? I'm fuming!!

31 January 2016
Michelle Gallacher

Unfortunately I ended up using a credit card to pay &pound;130. I complained via their official channels and was sent back a two line email stating they wouldn't waive the charge. I have complained to OFCOM as while they might not be acting illegally, it's certainly very poor practice.

Mima if you can't find a way to pay it all, it might be worth emailing their customer service team and seeing if they'll agree to a payment plan. They're not great but are marginally less awful than the people who answer the phones.

35
30 December 2015
Michael

Complete scam. Try leaving this company, they will continue to charge you for months for phantom usage. I left at the end of November but because my new operator didn't port my number until the 1st of December, tpo charged me &pound;40 for data usage for that one day off bundle. Phone support is awful, takes 30 mins for them to answer the phone.

23 February 2016
Lynsey Cochrane

Oh yep, they charged me a full January rental charge because number didn't port until 3rd Jan. Pathetic company.

36
23 December 2015
Anoushka Gamage

They are fly-by-night cow boys!, You have been warned!!

37
16 December 2015
James fawcett

Absolutely disgusting company. Charged me &pound;50 to set up roaming on my phone which didn't include any minutes or texts. Changed my allowance from 500 minutes and unlimited texts 3gb data to 100 mins 100 texts and 2 gb of Data for the same price. Fair enough they are allowed to do this but beware! Customer service have absolutely no idea what they're on about. One agent says one thing and the next says another. Anything technical they have to call you back. Clueless and useless!

38
10 December 2015
Jason

I joined TPO a couple of months ago from O2. After seeing some negative feedback, I can only go on my own experience, which was excellent. My number was ported within 48hrs and after my having an issue with data settings, my five minute wait for customer services alleviated my problem. So far so good, well done TPO.

39
8 December 2015
Dani El

I was using TPO for couple of months and I can't recommend it to anyone.
You do get a good value for your money, but you can get similar deals in a few other places. As for the charity bit, it looks like it would work out better, if you donated the money on your own.
The big downside is network coverage. It only looks good on paper, as my phone struggles to maintain HSDPA connection once in any type of building. If you don't need a data connection, then you should be OK, as their 2G signal is great.
The other downside is their customer service. It's really hard to get connected to their helpline. I have tried three times and the quickest I got connected was after 15 minutes of waiting (the longest was 30 minutes). Telephone manner of people on the line is lacking as well, I'd say it's completely rude. Some people often complain about any call-centres based in India, but after my adventure with the people from TPO, I wonder if that's really a bad thing. At least you get treated like a customer, not a nuisance, like those people from TPO seem to treat you and from what I can see here, I'm not alone here.
Another bad thing is their somehow fishy connection to politics, which they fail to mention.

I'd advise anyone to avoid this network at all costs, unless you're a fan of dreadful customer service. You'll easily find a similar, or even better deal and charity donation would work way better if you'd do it yourself. It's easily done nowadays.

40
5 December 2015
Trevor Plowman

Had no trouble porting at all. Sensible email discussion beforehand, then arranged the date via their helpline. Had to wait a long time to connect, but finally spoke to a knowledgable and pleasant chap... porting happened exactly when they said it would, to the hour. So far, so good.

41
17 November 2015
Steve Everett

This is a disgusting and dreadful company. Frequent dropouts, staff who are aggressive and rude on the phone to you. They do not follow Ofcom rules. Have to threaten ombudsman every time you want something basic done.
They frequently overcharge then when you challenge them over the overcharge based on what their own website states, they come back with that the website is wrong.
The customer 'service' is worse than every other company I have had to deal with!!!

42
29 October 2015
Brll End

Dreadful company. Been trying to port for a week, phone service still not working properly. Contact customer services everyday, it's clear that they don't care and as another poster commented they just fob you off. I emailled a complaint about the problems that I was having with customer services and I got the reply I should contact customer services if I were having problems. Nobody cares at all really really dreadful company.

43
27 October 2015
Lisa Vee

They suck. Period.

3 September 2016
Guppy

They're nothing short of a criminal enterprise - I would say to anyone, DONT deal with this company under any circumstances.
I even have concerns about their financial stability

44
25 October 2015
LB

Would never recommend TPO. I have been waiting almost 1 month for them to port my old phone number over. They keep fobbing me off each time I ring up and each time they assure me somebody will call me to update me with what is going on. No one has contacted me. I have no faith in this company and wish I had stuck with T-Mobile.

31 October 2015
LD

I am experiencing the same problem. My number was due to be ported across on 5th October and I'm still waiting. Nobody calls back and I have stopped my direct debit. Wish I had stayed with O2!

45
11 September 2015
Paul

Ordered a SIM a fortnight ago and it has not arrived. They quote 3-5 working days, I contacted them twice, once enquiring if the SIM would work on a 2G phone and once to enquire where my SIM card was. They quote 72 hours response time. I've never heard from them. Have now given up and shall look elsewhere. A total let down so all I can advise is do not bother with this company.

46
28 August 2015
Ann-Marie

Lets just say you get what you pay for - sim card I can't use - I'm taking them to court.

47
21 August 2015
dola

Very disappointed I cannot dial certain numbers all down to The People's Operator network. One example is the UK police non emergency number 101 and also 08444 numbers... call will not connect in either case.
It has cost me &pound;35 as I was unable to cancel a repair slot and cannot re book until payment has been received therefore no washing machine repair!!
Angry and frustrated and I will be changing provider

48
7 August 2015
Mitch G

Overall very cheap, &pound;20 for pretty much unlimited everything is great... however, such a terrible reception with internet &amp; phonecalls. Texts regularly don't send &amp; need re-sent several times (resulting in communication confusion &amp; argument with someone after a text was delivered 2 days later). Phonecalls sometimes cut out in the middle of a conversation &amp; I get pretty much NO reception at all in my house. I'll stick to it now, but might change again.

49
22 June 2015
Philip Quinton

I signed up for one of their pay monthly deals but they have instead set me up with a pointlessly poor value pay as you go account. Fortunately they are so incompetent that they have not charged a penny to my debit card nor followed my direct debit instruction. Cheap for a reason.

50
8 June 2015
Katelynn Diggles

Had many problems with TPO from topping up &pound;10 and them taking &pound;20. Signal is never any good. Cannot connect to mobile data no matter how many times I type in the info for apn. And finally waiting over an hour for someone to help me via phone and online chat. Cannot change network now as I've got &pound;30 credit.

51
6 June 2015
Scott

Just signed up with TPO - needed support to get going because of "a reported fault with SIM Activation online". I wouldn't mind except it took a total of 90 minutes waiting on hold over 3 different phone calls and no response after 2 hours waiting in the chat room. Now working but woeful response time.

52
4 June 2015
Bill Saunders

I applied for a SIM from TPO on 12th May, after a week called TPO (on hold for nearly 20 minutes) &pound;3.96 for first reduced payment taken from account, to say I have not received said SIM card, now 4th June and still no SIM received. I just called TPO again and gave up after holding for 15 minutes, will now cancel direct debit and write off initial &pound;3.96 payment. This Peoples Operator should clearly not be trying to operate... be warned! Bill Saunders.

53
28 May 2015
Kirsty

TPO have the worst customer service of any company I've ever experienced.
3 weeks ago I took out a new contract and was charged my first months payment within 24 hours.

3 weeks and still no SIM card!

I have spent 2 hours on the phone to various members of customer services who tell me they are unable to help as they are 'front line' only and the correct team will call me as a matter of urgency to resolve my problems. I've had absolutely no correspondence.

Please don't be tempted by the cheap prices as you might be paying for literally nothing.

54
26 May 2015
nad

I think the TPO may be doing some scam as last 6 weeks I've been trying to contact them on 0333 313 7760 but they never pickup. My mobile internet services never work and I've tried all recommended App and Data settings. I've tried to contact them via online chat but they don't respond. I think this company is bankrupt and I will now try to cancel the direct debit as I'm using there monthly plan.
I would never recommend this company now to others at all as they don't have any kind of customer service at all just using charity trick to get customers in.

55
25 May 2015
Tickets

The People's Operator are fine when everything is Ok but heaven help you when you have a problem! It's now May 25th and since April the 30th I've been phoning their customer help line. Customer help is an oxymoron, they have done nothing whatsoever to sort my problem. I've sent two emails. They haven't even acknowledged them let alone answered them.

Would I recommend TPO? Only if I disliked the person. My advice is stay well clear till they sort out their problems because at the moment they can't sort mine! Avoid them!

56
21 May 2015
Jonny Wood

I'm having real issues getting someone to a) answer the phone and b) deal with my issue. If I don't hear from them by close of business tonight I'm leaving them, only been using them for about a month or so but already showing their lack of on the ball ness. I'll go straight to EE shop where I can talk to someone and get things done straight away.

57
7 April 2015
Adam

EE are terrible in my area, they told me that there was a signal blackhole and I wasn't eligible for a signal booster because I was a sim-only customer. I would not consider TPO because they use EE.

58
24 February 2015
bfc9999

I live in a poor signal area and recently when carrying out trials found that EE gave me generally better coverage than my current provider, Vodafone. Discovering TPO use EE I signed up for one of their sim only deals. I have a dual sim phone and to my disappointment discovered the signal using TPO is not as good as my EE sim. In fact the TPO signal strength was not as good as Vodafone. I spoke to TPO but did not get a satisfactory answer. I have now cancelled TPO and gone directly to EE.

25 April 2015
Adam

TPO is an MVNO, running off of EE, this means that TPO uses EE's network; This means that TPO does not have a seperate signal, but in fact runs off of EE, meaning they would be exactly the same (because there is no difference in network). Your bad signal may depend on what part of the house you were in or if you were in a black spot.

20 April 2015
Luke English

This is rather off putting. I thought if they used the same network, network coverage and speed would be the same! Obviously not...

59
11 February 2015
Phlopped

If data is your thing then TPO looks like the better deal.

17 February 2016
Aayush Ganesh

+1
Unlimited Mins and Texts, and 6GB of Data for &pound;12.49 a month! Jeez! Not even a half price discount. All their other plans are half price discount but not this one. Probably because they can't afford to half price it. Cheapest deal I've ever seen. No 12 month contract either! All I hope is Customer service is decent when I port my number, because EE is crappily expensive (2000 mins, AYCE Texts, and 2GB) &pound;14/month. And my phone is locked. So no buying a local sim instead of paying EE &pound;1.50/min to call the UK. I'm a lost customer. Thankfully never been through their customer services myself. I hope TPO is better, but doesn't look like it.

12 September 2016
ahmad

Very poor customer service, rude, tech support useless. If you don't have LTE service, the regular 4G doesn't work at all. Nonrefundable plans, if you even used 1 minute of service they won't give you a refund. Do not recommend at any price - it's very bad.

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