Most people that grew up without mobile phones must wonder how on earth they managed without them and young people would be lost without their phones and could not imagine life without that small little piece of technology in their pocket.
When you buy a contract phone you are often sold a phone and a service for a monthly fee. That’s right, you get some of the latest mobile smartphones for nothing. Well, it’s not actually totally free as there is of course that £32 per month fee you have to pay. Some contracts are much lower at around £20 per month but you don’t get the latest piece of amazing smartphone technology and you may not get that many free minutes, texts and mobile data thrown in with your package. The researchers at wonga.co.za have examined some of the facts for you below and offered some advice in the hope that you can make the best informed decision about where and how your money is spent.
If you look at a typical £25 per month contract over a two year period, it would cost £600. You may well get in that package the free smartphone which would have cost you £200. So your so-called “free” phone actually has set you back £400. But if you purchased a SIM only contract (no free phone) for an average £10 per month and then buy yourself a cheap mobile for about £30 on an online trading site like eBay your two year costs would have been reduced to £270. That’s a saving of £130.
If you really wanted your smartphone and you were not prepared to fork out the £200-£300 cost of an iPhone or a Samsung Galaxy S3 then consider buying one through a bank loan. To get the best deal through a mobile phone company you should make use of price comparison websites. Ofcom provides a list of mobile phone (and landline) lists but you need to check if your existing provider will charge you an exit fee first.
Many have made a call to their mobile phone provider and threatened to leave because they are unhappy with the service charges and monthly fees. To your surprise you will find rather than the mobile phone companies shrugging its shoulders and saying “tough luck” they are prepared to negotiate a better deal for you. They would rather keep your custom than see it disappear altogether.
All the major mobile phone providers in the UK have a disconnections department; this is separate from the main call centre helpline team. This department is specifically tasked with keeping customers on board, even if it means reducing your monthly fee or changing your contract. This is particularly true for those customers that have been with a mobile phone company for several years.
However, if you do not ask, you do not get, so it is worth contacting your provider and explaining how unhappy you are with your current contract and see what manifests from the customer disconnections department. I recently had a call from Virgin Mobile, who I had been with for six years, and I told them I felt that I was paying too much. They reduced my monthly contract from £15.53 to £10 and threw in a £2 discount for loyalty without reducing my 300 minutes and 3000 free texts.