Operators: new prices, old approaches

A lot of noise was formed from the next "action" of cellular operators to adjust prices on archival tariffs. Predictable, but for some reason it turned out to be unexpected for everyone. Even for the Minister of Communications, which is especially funny. We understand who raised it, how much and why it was raised. Also another rhetorical question “how long??”. The answer to which is obvious, but unpleasant for many.

The New Year period was "marked" by the transition to a new VAT of 20% and the friendly actions of operators in this regard. The actions are announced as a reaction to the VAT increase, but in most cases it looks more like an "excuse" to the public. A certain loss of income certainly takes place, but if you pick up a calculator and start counting, then the “reaction” of some participants in the cellular market looks asymmetric. Do they react, so to speak, “with a margin for the future”? Not certainly in that way. The relatively mild increase in prices for communication in our country has lagged far behind and continues to lag behind the growth in prices in other industries, and our public traditionally perceives the rise in prices for communication "on the forehead" extremely painfully. The need to adjust in connection with the increase in VAT is an excellent reason to explain the increase in prices, the consumer seems to have nothing to grumble about. In this sense, the increase in VAT can even be considered a boon for operators, according to the principle “war will write everything off”. Eldar just recently analyzed this topic in detail, you can read it here. As far as I understand, the main conclusion is that our communication is much better and at the same time much cheaper than in the "wild west". Moreover, it is cheaper not only in absolute terms, but even in terms of the spent percentage of the personal budget.

Generally speaking, a percentage, and even more so, a percentage for a percentage, is a tricky thing. Returning to our 20% VAT instead of the previous 18%. Everyone writes two percent, two percent. This is a trifle, some kind of nonsense, what is the conversation about ?? Only this is not 2% of the tax amount withdrawn, but 2% of the total revenue. Roughly speaking, the merchant earned 100 rubles, of which he gave the state 18 rubles. Now, having gained the same 100 rubles, instead of 18, he will give 20 rubles, that is, for a merchant, the amount of money given out increases by 11.12%. They explained to me that it was absurd to think so and that I was trying to compare the incomparable. Quite possible. Although, in my opinion, there is nothing absurd in money, it is quite a reality given to us in sensations. Or a reality taken from us with accompanying sensations, which is especially noticeable when visiting stores. In any case, consumers should not see more than 2% increase in price tags. More precisely, they can see something and see it perfectly, but this is no longer due to the increase in VAT, there are plenty of other reasons too.

What goes up and how

Beeline's news is published here, with a slightly intricate title "We are heading for the new, we keep the familiar." "Bukff" is not just a lot, there are a lot of them, but the only useful information is present in the last line in the form of a link to a page with links to files with lists of changes in archive rates.

It seems to be logical and fair that Beeline acted by adjusting the prices of archival tariffs by a factor of 1.016949 and sending warnings about this. And stating that prices without VAT remained the same. You can view the list (pdf-file) of postpaid tariffs here. Changes come into force on January 01, 2019. Changes in prepaid tariffs can be viewed here, in prepaid options - here. It should be understood that in many tariffs we are talking not only and not even so much about the monthly fee, but also about the cost of all communication services. You can evaluate the scale of this “tectonic shift” in the screenshot above, this is a list of new prices only in postpaid tariffs, which are many times less than prepaid ones. In general, I recommend bookmarking a link to the lists of changes in archived tariff plans (I already gave this link above), it may come in handy. This case is called the beautiful imported word "Updating".

Theoretically, and even practically, I completely admit that there are owners of package tariffs for whom everything in the packages is enough to satisfy their telecom needs. Such people will really pay, for example, only 508.47 instead of the previous 500 rubles. Some headache for sellers in stores with new price tags in non-circular rubles and kopecks, if they do so at current rates. Night (and day too) nightmare for those who like to strictly control the "thieving" operator by checking the balance after each call. Didn't you steal, Herod's cell, what is superfluous? With the new price of a minute 2.5423 rubles. (for example) such meticulous ones will go crazy after a couple of weeks of mathematical exercises. And vice versa, who does not go crazy, remembers all the numbers and learns to add, multiply and subtract them in his mind, he will reliably insure himself against all sorts of Alzheimers in old age. Still, after such a workout with a penny! So rejoice for your suspicious relatives with Beeline tariffs, they will enjoy an excellent memory until old age. Pennies are not so important, the main thing is customer care!

By the way, a penny saves the ruble and she squanders it. I'll tell you a secret: one very large bank pays one very large operator about 350 million rubles a year for SMS messages that this bank sends to its customers. And we have, for a minute, four major cellular operators. And banks in general are unmeasured, almost only the Central Bank knows their exact number. There are few “very large” banks, but still not one, and the cost of SMS should be comparable. It must be assumed that virtual "banking" telecom operators save on SMS to their subscribers, if not millions (there are incomparably fewer customers), but by no means "symbolic" money.

MegaFon also warned about the upcoming price increase due to the increase in the VAT rate from 18 to 20 percent. However, this event has been postponed until January 9, 2019. I have not seen centralized-generalizing information, but individually they already warn and the voice informant calls the exact numbers.

We showed on the forum an info page with information on the MegaFon tariff without a subscription fee in Astrakhan. To be honest, I thought that communications there are much cheaper than in Moscow. And in terms of numbers, it’s not very cheap. At package rates, judging by the reviews, a typical increase in the monthly fee will be about 6-7%. It must be admitted that MegaFon does not even try to claim that the increase in prices is solely due to the increase in VAT, a quote from the description:

“We are reviewing the parameters of tariffs and services, this is provided for by the terms of the contract for the provision of communication services. The changes are related to the increase in the VAT rate, inflation and the growth of the exchange rate.".

On the other hand, the increase in prices is not that significant, most customers will probably perceive the increase in prices as a direct reaction to the increase in VAT. You will also need to carefully look at package tariffs not only for the new monthly fee, but also for all prices for minutes/SMS/traffic in excess of packages. So far, I have seen changes in the price of additional Internet packages (35 instead of 30 rubles), and the price of SMS is 2.55 rubles. instead of 1.80 rubles. local and 3 rubles. across Russia. I hope that after January 9 everything will be decided and settled down at least for a while until the next price hike.

In MTS, for the time being, "the matter is clear that the matter is dark." Initially, they decided not to terrorize their customers and leave everything as it is, assuming additional burdens for paying additional amounts for the changed VAT. For subscribers, nothing should have changed: how much they paid, so much they would continue to pay. The only difference visible to us should have been in the detail figures, which are given without VAT. With the transition to 20% instead of 18%, all prices in the detail had to decrease slightly to maintain the same amount including VAT.

I don't know how it will be implemented now. It is quite possible that, having looked at the actions of colleagues in the shop on the market, MTS will decide not to miss a good reason to once again raise prices, referring to VAT. And they can do without a reason, if they deem it necessary. The people are already used to it. Let's not guess, we'll see.

This time Tele2 has corrected prices for archival tariffs. This correction will not affect the current tariffs, and where so often? Most recently, the line was updated in Moscow, our review is here. The news was published in a timely manner, you can read it here, quote:

“On January 1, 2019, there will be a change in the parameters for some of the archived tariff plans. You can find more information about the list of tariff plans for individuals and changes to them here, for corporate clients - here.

To find out your current tariff plan, dial *107# or use your Personal Account.

Parameters of tariff plans open for connection and transitions do not change.

Detailed information about the open line of tariff plans can be found in the "Tariffs" section.

No offense to colleagues, but this is how news about future price changes should look like. With links and clear information. We also took care of individual pages with changed parameters of archive rates. Accordingly, we see three options: the current tariff open for connection, the archival predecessor, valid until January 1, 2019, and the third version - the archival predecessor with changes starting from January 1. However, everything is not good, and where do we go without the traditional portion of misunderstandings? The client should not be bored, he should exercise the brain convolutions!

A little digging into the changed tariffs, I found not only changes in the monthly fee, sometimes reaching 10% (in November it was 200, from January 1, 220 rubles). The prices of minutes were also leveled, corrected upwards, in some places the price of a minute of intercity (not touched) turned out to be lower than the price of a local call. But that's okay. Published versions of archived tariffs with changes are made in the "old" style of the pages without important details. For example, there is no mention at all of the “social” unlimiteds connected on the tariffs, anlims for instant messengers, etc. The transfer of packages to the next month and the conversion of minutes into gigabytes are also not specified, as well as the possibility of giving gigabytes. I would like to believe that these parameters were simply considered unnecessary for familiarization with the changes. And if all these small and big joys from the listed tariffs quietly disappear? It will be original and nostalgic: the archival tariff will become more expensive and, at the same time, significantly worse in terms of parameters than its current analogue open for connection. At present, the situation is rare, long-standing statements about "continuously cheaper communications" have long been perceived with a smirk. It is unlikely that such a tariff show will be arranged for us, but anything can be expected from operators. “Did you see the description of the changed tariff on the website? Seen! And who prevented you from switching to the current one, eh??”.

No intrigue either. A headline appeared in the personal account - a notification that from January 1, the tariff parameters will be changed, commendable care. As far as I remember, the subscription fee is just written off at the end of the month. So which of these two significant events will happen first? The question is not idle.

Digging more in my personal account, I discovered that they threaten to write off the subscription fee on December 31, that is, "chairs in the evening - money in the morning." First, they must write off the subscriber, and the next day change the tariff, it turns out like this. Okay then, nothing to worry about. Let's take a break in January from the holidays and figure out how much money they decided to take from us under the "updated" tariff conditions.

And what if all of a sudden they change the tariff first, and then start charging off the monthly fee? Everything is very close in time, and even the great Personal Account can be wrong or slightly “confused in the testimony”. Just in case, I decided to clarify and fell, so to speak, to the source. In fact, the question is not trifling, technical, many keep the balance close to zero. You never know, they are afraid of unexpected expenses. They put in advance the amount of the monthly fee “back to back” and sleep peacefully. And the subscription fee has gone up! And what, the amount will turn out to be insufficient and everything will begin to be debited by retail past the packages, until the number is blocked and the person realizes that something went wrong with him? And if auto-replenishment of the balance works, and it is set to the same, smaller amount of the subscriber? Well, you never know, the cases are different. In the end, without timely replenishment, the remains of the packages burn out, and this is also a shame. Okay, let's hope that this whole event in billing goes smoothly and without surprises.

More on the topic, a recent tiny adjustment on the My Tele2 tariff. You can read the news of December 19, 2018 here, quote:

“From December 20, 2018, the possibility of connecting the services “100 SMS within Russia” and “300 SMS within Russia” is closed on the “My Tele2” tariff plan. The parameters of the listed services will not change.".

It would seem that this is not a rise in price. The same to me, they didn’t allow SMS packages to be connected, it’s business! In fact, the tariff "My Tele2" was initially very well "imprisoned" for modern non-verbal communication. Affordable price of 200 rubles / month, a decent 5 GB package and unlimited instant messengers with social networks. And unlimited inside Tele2 for those who are afraid to completely forget how to communicate in the old fashioned voice. Unless there was not enough SMS package at least for episodic "old school" correspondence, after all, not everyone has smartphones and messengers, too. Plus, SMS is somehow more reliable and versatile. And it was precisely at this tariff that the optional SMS package was very useful, as they say, to the point and “in profile” for those who need it.

Unfortunately, in November, unlimited instant messengers and social networks were cut off in the latest version of this tariff! But the 5 GB package remained. And now it is on this tariff and only on it that optional SMS packages have been banned. Typically, such “address-point” modifications are made based on the results of the analysis of service consumption statistics, and not “from the bullshit”. And, as I have written more than once, it is the cheapest and most popular tariffs that give the maximum economic effect from minor upgrades. Simply because of the size of the consumer audience. The main thing is to find the right points for "surgical intervention".

At the same time, I can't help but note the very professional timing. The news was published on December 19 in the afternoon, and on December 20, SMS packages could no longer be connected. After all, packages are periodic, with automatic renewal, and it was impossible to give people too much time to realize what was happening and urgently rush to connect the package. And this small event, as it were, confidently hints at the fact that SMS-correspondence is not quite “at death” yet, if it turned out to be economically more profitable for the operator to abandon the guaranteed income of 100 rubles. per month for a hundred SMS-messages and charge for SMS at retail prices. To be honest, I was surprised.


Well, what, in fact, can we expect prospects? To date, all tariff increases have not yet “worked out” the last depreciation of the ruble, and telecom is a very import-dependent industry, you can’t really work out fashionable now “import substitution” here. So price increases in one format or another are 90% likely to continue. The Ministry of Telecom and Mass Communications was a little worried about the upward trend and the minister promises to look and "understand the reasons", look at the note in Kommersant. Still, I am touched by the communication of the leadership of the Ministry of Telecom and Mass Communications with the press. The previous minister, in the midst of discussions on the issue of roaming, confused the concepts of intra-network and national roaming, the current one, at the end of December 2018, learned about the increase in prices by cellular operators and set out to find out the reasons for this strange phenomenon. Either they take us for idiots, or they live in a parallel universe, or journalists, as always, insanely distort and confuse everything.