How to get the best mobile phone deal
With a myriad of mobile phone contracts to choose from it's not surprising we're all confused. Moneywise TV shows you how to find the best one.
Mobile phone technology has come a long way, but the millions of different deals on offer can make choosing one bewildering – here’s how to navigate the maze.
First of all - how do you use your mobile? Do you regularly exceed your monthly text and call allowance? Are you always chasing the latest handset? Or are you one of the unlucky who always manage to break or lose their phone?
If you use more than your inclusive calls and texts each month, you could save money by moving to a more expensive mobile tariff.
If you’re good at sticking to your limits, check whether another mobile phone provider offers the same allowance for a lower monthly fee.
In both situations the easiest way to browse tariffs is to use comparison sites. Remember; it rarely pays to remain loyal.
For light mobile phone users, consider moving to a Pay As You Go tariff. This way you’ll only pay for what you use. However, the downside is that you don’t usually get a phone included.
If your contract is up for renewal and you’re happy to keep the same phone, ask your provider if it will give you a discount on your monthly bill instead of a new handset. Choosing a basic handset will also reduce the cost of your bill.
Many of us, however, like to have the latest handset. When getting an upgrade you should think about how long you want to be locked into your contract – usually the longer you’re happy to be locked in the less you’ll have to pay.
12-month contracts have become a rarity, with most providers now pushing 18 and 24-month contracts.
If you opt for a longer contract, watch out for termination charges and consider the fact that many mobile phones are not built to last for long.
Many people get hit by 'hidden costs' such as charges for accessing voicemail, itemised paper bills, or for special rate numbers, such as 0800 and 0845.
To avoid constantly going over your monthly tariff, always check the smallprint, and think about when you use your phone most frequently.
Finally, don’t settle for the packages you see online or in phone shops. Always haggle.
Phone your current provider and threaten to switch to a competitor. You should then be put through to the customer retentions department where you can start negotiating a better deal.
Don’t take no for an answer, and you’ll be amazed how much you can get for your money.