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Co-operative Mobile - The Good and The Bad

Co-operative Mobile is a company that offers mobile, broadband, home phone, as well as business telecoms services. This company is entirely owned by its customers which include individuals, businesses, other co-operatives, as well as local authorities. Could this company compete in today's competition in mobile services market dominated by big names in the industry? To get the answer for that question, lets review the positives and negatives of Co-operative Mobile.

The Positives

When choosing a broadband service, we sometimes feel that many companies are trying to make us to buy their products and tying us with contracts full of hidden fees and ridiculous penalty clauses that usually are explained in small print. Co-operative Mobile is known for their transparency and clear pricing policy, so the consumers won't have to worry about hidden charges and the fairness of the company.

Co-operative Mobile is adopting the Rochdale Principles in running their business, so that means their customers will become stakeholders who own the company and have the right to vote for the board of directors. As stakeholders, they also receive dividends. In 2011-2012 financial year, members of Co-operative Mobile received a £66,641 share.

Another great thing about this company is that Co-operative Mobile always channel some of their profits to support good causes, this includes supporting the community projects and non-profit institutions. The company also invests in green causes and they keep their operation environmental friendly. They limit their carbon footprint and only use electricity from renewable sources.

The Negatives

Using Co-operative Mobile network, you only have a limited choice of phones. For example, you cannot use the latest iPhones even though you can still use some pretty nice smartphones like Nokia Lumia 920 or Samsung Galaxy S4. Also you can forget about using cheap, basic phone models because it's not possible.

Co-operative Mobile doesn't have 4G coverage yet, so meanwhile you will have to satisfy with the 3G network which is slower.

The Co-operative rates are not cheap either for broadband or mobile. On broadband you can actually find lots of other providers that can offer better deals. On mobile, Co-operative offers monthly deals starting from £22 that will get you unlimited data and texts but only 100 inclusive minutes. They charge £12 for SIM-only plan, however, you'll find that other providers like Three or Virgin Media can offer a better deal.

Co-operative Mobile offers the options to get unlimited downloads or 40 GB usage allowance. But still there's a usage cap for customers who exceed 100 GB data usage in a month, and traffic management policy that controls heavy users, they will slow down certain activity that alerts them for heavy usage, so it's not actually unlimited.

So by using Co-operative network, you won't likely get the best deals on broadband or mobile services, but they certainly offer a nice business deal by giving you a chance to become a stakeholder, and you will have a piece of mind knowing that they manage the company by thinking about the environment and they channel your money to support good causes.

London, WC1N 4MF