Posted on October 18, 2015 at 9:43 am by Nigel Brokenshire
5 ways to secure a better mobile phone contract
Whether you have just received a reminder that it’s time for an upgrade or realised that your contract has expired, then knowing how to drive out the best deal is key before you commit yourself into a (potential) lengthy and costly mobile phone contract.
As mentioned in my previous blog ‘May the Force Be With You‘ we nearly all have smart phones and are more reliant on them more and more. So when it comes to getting a new contract here are my 5 top tips to getting a better phone contract deal.
Top five Tips
1. Do you need a contract?
Stupid question, but many just assume “I need to get onto a new contract”. However you might be better off going for pay-as-you-go or maybe a SIM-only, which are cheaper. If you choose PAYG then keep a track of your calls and texts as you might be continuously topping-up. While SIM-only can provide you the some features as a contract however you need to have your own phone. The other bonus of SIM-only is you’re not locked into a long-term contract, usually 12 months, with potentially only a 30 days’ notice period.
2. What is the best duration for your contract?
The longer the contract the lower the price. Companies offer contracts from 12 to 36 months, so give carefully consideration on the length you need and think about if your future circumstances might change. The majority of people select a 24 month contract and if it comes with the latest smart phone then chances are its still current when the contract comes to an end.
3. What does your contract need to include?
Texts, mins and data… what do you use and what do you need? Some might need only 500mb of data, others higher. Do use WhatsApp etc then why have unlimited text. Think about the roaming charges as well, if a frequent traveller determine how you are affected. See if you can start on a smaller bundle of features and increase as you understand your usage.
4. Where to buy it from?
Before we all had to shop on the high street and we tended to stick to one supplier as it was difficult to swap networks. However, the market has changed and as well as strong competition on the high street many people are choosing online providers like giffgaff etc. Look at sites like mobile phone checker from the comfort of your home and be more informed on deals, offers, and packages and then you’re not being pressured by the instore sales staff.
If you don’t ask, you don’t get! You are not there to make friends so make sure you haggle with them to drive out the best deals. If a new client, they want your new business and if a returning client they don’t want to lose you. Take your research information from point 4 above and get in there! If unsure how to haggle here are some ways to do it successfully moneysavingexpert and savethestudent.org .
- Check your coverage in your area. Find out if your preferred provider has excellent coverage where you live, work or travel to – use this site http://infrastructure.ofcom.org.uk/ else you might have the best deal, but no phone signal to use it!
- You need phone insurance. So either:
- check your home / contents insurance
- get it thrown in as part of your contract or
- use sites like gadgetbuddy.com
In summary, I hope you found these tips useful. I recently had to renewal my contact and moved from paying nearly £1,800 over two years for two smart phones, to a 12 month SIM-only contract for the phones (with same functionality) for £22 /month (working out to £1,056 for two years)… a £744 saving. From just not agreeing to a new contract.
BeeMyMinder gives you the time to research the market and make an informed decision. Save your contract securely and set a reminder for next time. Don’t forget our page offering tips, helpful links, news items, and a jargon buster. I’d be pleased to hear of your mobile phone renewal stories.