Expected on the subsidized mobile market against Orange, SFR and Bouygues Telecom, Free is taking another path with a clearer and more transparent offer: Free Flex. The emphasis is on transparency, freedom and flexibility.
“After launching 5G at no additional cost on the largest network in France, Free is launching an innovative offer to give as many people as possible access to smartphones on the market at the right price. With Free Flex, it becomes possible to acquire a telephone by spreading its price at no cost, thanks to rental with an option to buy ”, presents this morning with great pomp the troublemaker. After a long time fought against the subsidized mobile offers of its rivals and having won a victory in 2018 before the Court of Cassation, Free does not budge, this system akin to a disguised consumer credit, is harmful to ‘an ecological point of view and pushes to change mobile more often. It was necessary to invent an alternative surfing on transparency by distinguishing the price of the terminal and the price of the package, without hidden costs while leaving a certain freedom of action to the subscriber. This is how the Free Plex offer was born.
But what is Free Flex?
It’s very simple, this solution takes the form of an improved version of the rental offer offered by Free Mobile. New subscribers can now subscribe to a Free mobile plan at € 19.99 / month or Free Series without obligation and choose a smartphone from among 50 models to choose from. “It becomes possible for them to acquire a telephone by spreading its price without any cost, thanks to the rental with option to buy”, announces the operator. No subsidization therefore, but a spread of monthly payments over 24 months, period during which the subscriber can at any time buy his mobile. At the end of the 2 years, he can return it or become its owner, the freedom is thus given. If Xavier Niel brilliantly assured in a teaser video yesterday that this offer rhymes with transparency, it is because with “Free Flex, the Free mobile plans remain at the same price and the monthly payments of the plan are distinct from those of the mobile”, in contrast to the subsidized offers of its rivals.
A difference that Free largely feeds in its communication: “In the event of a purchase, you don’t pay more for your mobile than its real price”. The operator also allows the subscriber to cancel his package to join another operator, without being increased, and thus continue to pay his smartphone, the distinction is indeed total.
Another positive point, all returned mobiles are recycled and will then be offered in refurbished in the Free Mobile store. “The offer does not encourage early renewal of the terminal because the subscriber benefits from an attractive rate for his package at a Free price which is the same with or without a telephone”, specifies the operator. On the smartphone side, the operator assures us, it offers many references at more attractive prices than its competitors, “With an effort on popular mobiles”.
All smartphones offered as part of this new offer have after-sales service for 24 months. The operator also takes the opportunity to simplify its means of payment. Cash purchase and Free Flex are now preferred. Payment in 4 installments free of charge and rental are less emphasized but still available. The 24 times free of charge no longer has any reason to subsist. New and old subscribers, even benefiting from the Freebox advantage, can now access this offer online or in store. However, the mobile revolution announced by Xavier Niel three years ago is timidly emerging. If eSIM for old customers and VoLte for all are still absent subscribers, an evolution in the operator’s mobile offers is still expected to be firm.