After discussing the availability of the Lumia 950 XL or lack of... it got me thinking, has Virgin Mobile ever thought of asking existing customers what phone they would prefer next when it comes to upgrading...
You could for example, for the 2017 line up, select 50 or more potential models/devices... and then let us customers vote for our 1st, 2nd, 3rd preferred phone, and the top 10 become part of Virgin Mobiles new 2017 line up.
Also, you know how on some phones, you have upfront costs... take £50 deposit from customers who vote for their phone, which will go towards the new phone, but with a discount on the tariff, but refundable if Virgin Mobile does not get the intended phone. You could refund £20 for their 2nd choice & £40 for the 3rd choice.
If Virgin had approached my last year, to inform me they were considering adding the Lumia 950 XL to their line-up, and I could place £50 pound deposit on a unit, with a possible reduced tariff, and deposit refund, if they decided against the device, I would probably taken up the offer.
These are good ideas but from a company standpoint, this woukd not be beneficial or cost effective to us. To start with, this would require our customers to know about the choice of preferred handsets. Other than sending letters, there's no guaranteed way that all customers will see this because not all customers use their online account or open emails from us. Answers from other customers may not necessarily reflect the opinion of the overall customer base which could lead us to offer phones that a majority of customers have no intention of buying. An example of this would be us only offering Windows phones where they only typically take up less than 3% of the market share.
As a company, Virgin would not be prepared to take a deposit for a device we may not necessarily have any intention of providing. This would also waste any potential customers time if none of their preferred phones are available.
This is a very interesting theory and the market may yet evolve into a place where the customer has more control over their providers offerings. We would certainly be open to it if it helped to benefit the customer in a way that's also beneficial to the business.