Trend, or Trendy Greenwash? Orange Paying French Customers to Keep Using Old Cell Phones

Average cell phone lifetime: between 14 and 18 months. Main reason for getting a new phone (in addition to iPhone lust) is: having a new phone foisted upon you by your cellular provider for a ridiculously low monthly fee. That's why it's a brilliant potential idea that Orange in France decided to pay its current customers 40 Euros (U.S.$54) if they sign up to extend their current service plan but keep their old phones. Plus Orange will donate 5 Euros to WWF for each customer that takes the bait. So why would Orange do something so earth-friendly (and what do the cellular makers think about it?). Read on.Claiming the green 'card'
Well, Orange has said that the deal is a great way for customers to reduce their environmental footprint, but in truth the company is probably bowing to competitive pressures and the recession rather than genuine geo-love. What Orange is offering is for the smaller number of French customers who have already earned 1,500 of the company's 'loyalty points' the ability to sign on for an extended contract, get 40 Euros, and keep the headset they currently have.

This is called a "SIM-only," deal because customers keep their headset and exchange only their SIM card, and it has become very popular in the U.K., but for economic rather than environmental reasons. Still, the fact that providers are forced by economy to let users extend the life of cell phones is still a plus for the planet, if not for Nokia and Sony Ericsson. And WWF won't be rejecting the cash, either. While the SIM-only phenomenon hasn't hit the U.S, research is showing that stateside cell phone users are switching to pay-as-you-go as a way to save money. Via: Miljö Aktuellt
Photo credit Ned Richards @ flickr.
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Tags: Cell Phones | France | World Wildlife Fund

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