T-Mobile and Orange shops are to be renamed and rejigged to Everything Everywhere -- but shops will continue to sell Orange and T-Mobile phones and deals separately. Which made us slap our forehead so hard we actually blacked out for a minute.
The newly crowned largest mobile operator in Britain has tried the Everything Everywhere brand in six shops, which went so well that more existing Orange and T-Mobile shops will get a new sign on the front. There'll be another 30 by the end of the year.
Everything Everywhere boss Simon Day told New Media Age the Orange and T-Mobile brands "will remain separate within the stores and in our communications".
That's such a staggeringly stupid idea we can't believe it's real. The only possible explanation is that the T-Mobile and Orange bosses still don't know each other that well and meetings are still a bit weird and someone suggested this to break an awkward silence, and everyone just nodded politely even though they all know it's a really, really awful idea.
Nobody knows what Everything Everywhere is. Nobody cares what Everything Everywhere is. The company's 27m customers know they're on T-Mobile or Orange, but now they're the same company, but they still have different names, and... wait, what?
The bods at Everything Everywhere want to be one company, but don't want to give up on the years of brand recognition built up by Orange and T-Mobile. But look, you didn't see Marathons and Snickers sold side by side in a shop called Everychocolate Everypeanut, did you? They just changed the name and made sure everyone knew about it. Everything Everywhere needs to bite the bullet and change the names completely.
Preferably to something other than Everything Everywhere, obviously.
Oh, and Everything Everywhere won't sell other operators' phones, such as Virgin Mobile. By selling two networks' phones under an apparently generic brand, Everything Everywhere could look to customers like a neutral shop, giving them a wide choice -- like Carphone Warehouse or Phones4U -- when in fact they're restricted to just the two networks.
Nor will the shops sell cutlery, pets, paperclips or anti-tank missiles -- so they don't sell Everything at all, do they? Gnnh.
The rebranding does mean that high streets currently blessed with both a T-Mobile and an Orange shop will find themselves with one less phone shop, as the merger of the two networks leads to swingeing cuts across the new company. Hey, one less phone shop on the high street -- if you're lucky you'll get another blinking Pret.
Are we being too harsh on Everything Everywhere? Are you an Orange or T-Mobile customer, and have you been kept abreast of the changes? Tell us everything everywhere in the comments section below or on our Facebook page.