Staying Within Budget - How Contract Phones Can Often Be Costly

Posted by Bhavesh Joshi On Sunday, February 17, 2013 0 comments
Staying Within Budget - How Contract Phones Can Often Be Costly
Mobile phones have become an integral part of our lives. Everyday various network operators come up with innovative mobile phone deals and offers. Most of the network operators generate substantial revenue from their contract base.  An appropriate voice and data plan from a wide range of competitive tariffs and services is sometimes confusing to choose from. Now customers have to make a choice among 2G, 3G and 4G networks also.

Decide What You NEED
Customers need to have a clear understanding about their needs before selecting a mobile phone deal. Otherwise they may end up paying more. Flexible and creative plans offer better choices to the customers. Sometimes contract deals look very attractive when you get a high end device totally free with the contract. But before signing up any contract, we must ask ourselves, is the contract mobile phone really worth it?

Lock In Period
Generally contract deals offer locked mobile phones with a particular network operator for 12 to 18 months. Some added benefits may include free minute and texts or free accessories. However, contract phone can be costly if you do not choose a plan wisely.

Sometimes people select contract plans to get the latest and hottest handset available in the market for free. They do not look in to the details about how much talk time, text and data are offered monthly for the contract amount. There are possibilities monthly minutes, data and texts allocated for the contract are not suitable for your needs. It is possible that your usage for calls exceeds the allocated minutes in a plan and may be you do not use data at all. In this case you end up paying extra for voice and also pay for data which you do not use at all.

So, ultimately the contract phone would be costly for you. Contract phones give you instant access to a high-end handset but are you actually taking the most expensive option in the long-term? You may end up paying substantial amount extra for the entire contract period. It is advisable to evaluate the usage and select a plan accordingly.

Poor Customer Service Levels
Sometimes you may have to cancel your contract early due to poor coverage, poor connectivity, terrible customer service or abrupt policy changes by the network operator. Sometimes networks increase monthly tariffs or slash the data allowances even for the existing contracts. In this case either you end up paying more every month or you may consider terminating the contract.

Termination Fees

How Contract Phones Can Often Be Costly

If you wish to terminate the contract you may have to pay hefty terminations fees as a lump sum. At present there are no rules that allow you to terminate contract due to poor network coverage. Sometimes when you buy a mobile contract from a third party retailers such as Phones4U or online retailers and do not receive it as per description, it is difficult to cancel the contract. Mobile mis-selling can take place with online or brick and mortar retailers or even with direct service providers and mis-sold contracts are a big hassle to deal with.

Think Long and Hard
Before signing a contract it is advisable to calculate your approximate monthly usage and choose a plan accordingly. Read the fine print and understand the contract properly before signing it. Do not get lured by the free minutes, cash-back or fancy handsets.


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