before contract

Useful Tips Before You Buy a Mobile Phone

Choosing Where & How To Buy A Phone Contract

With mobile phone contracts, you get the best deals online. It doesn’t matter if the High Street phone shop is owned and run directly by your preferred network or run by an agent under a franchise agreement, phone networks make more money from online customers. A high online customer base means less shops to rent, less equipment to install, and less staff on the payroll for the networks, so almost all the networks will incentivise customers to buy online with discounts. Discounts vary, but on average all phone networks online price plans are about 10 per cent cheaper than what the High Street outlets quote. Some networks like T-Mobile, O2, Orange and Vodafone make it conspicuous – they give you clear online exclusive offers and discounts. Other operators like 3 Network and Virgin Mobile may keep quiet about it, but the policy is the same across all the networks.

Now that you have decided to take advantage of the online offers, the next is choosing a plan and a phone that is best for you, a topic dealt with below.

Choosing A Mobile Phone And A Calling Plan

When you sign a mobile phone contract you are in most cases buying two items, the handset you choose and the network voice and/or data allowance you get with it. The best way to start is to avoid bowing to ‘societal’ pressures. Let your personality and needs guide you to choosing the right combination, as any wrong mix will cost you hugely at the long run. Societal pressures may come in the form of a salesman chatting you up on the phone network website, or the one in the stores on commission pushing a particular handset at you. It can also come in the form of a friend, colleague or family member who has a handset and with a good intent, feels the same is the best for you.

Results from recent research we carried out show that 79 per cent of people polled under-utilize their mobile phones. 82 per cent more at some point went over their monthly allowance plan and paid out of bundle fees as a result. Predominant chain of reasons behind this result was because respondents admit to choosing phones with high functionality – which they rarely used, and got very low calling plans to keep the contracted monthly fees down – a plan which often was never enough. It was therefore almost impossible not to use ‘out-of-bundle’ minutes at some point which eventually cost much more.

Letting your personality and needs guide your decision requires considering what you do, what and how you communicate, and what phone fits in. There is no need choosing a high speed internet browsing phone with touch screen technology, push email functionality, Satnav,huge GB of memory, etc – you may not need the functions you are paying for, and may compromise on the calling plan you really need to communicate better. Where finance is an issue as with many of us, you will be better off with an adequate calling plan that suits how and what you communicate for a monthly fee closest to what you are comfortable to pay today.

Finally, don’t let latest phones be your number one guide. Remember, the latest phones of today won’t be the latest phones 3 months down the line – the technology now changes daily. However, the right and good plan [like 1000 minutes anytime any network + 200 texts + unlimited landline + unlimited internet, etc] will remain a great deal even up to 24 months down the line.

Contracts To Rebuild Your Credit Rating

If you know you have a poor credit rating and perhaps have been refused by a particular network, don’t think you can easily go to the next network and get a contract. In very rare circumstances you may succeed, but while networks are in competition with each other, they also file in reports of refused applications with credit rating agencies to help alert other networks if a reason of refusal is credit related. We’ve spoken with a lot of Mobile Phone networks on this matter and in this circumstance, the networks are willing to help people rebuild their creditworthiness if the risk to the network is low.

All the mobile phone networks now have short term contracts, some in the form of a one-month rolling contracts usually SIM only, – no phones involved. With SIM only contracts the network’s risk is limited to the minutes you use and they don’t have to hand you any mobile phone. Some networks may risk signing you up on a 12 or 18 months contract with a phone, so long as the Mobile phone set involved is not worth more than £100. An application with high calling plan which enables the phone network to recoup cost of the handset within your first 3 to 6 months on the plan also stand a chance if your credit rating situation is not too poor.

If you are in doubt of what your credit rating is, you can check for free with Experian CreditExperts .

Choosing A Mobile Broadband

With mobile broadband, it’s quite simple because you are looking at only 3 straightforward issues, coverage, monthly allowance and cost.


Though Mobile Broadband signals can be received in over 90 per cent of UK populated areas at the moment, signal levels vary between the networks. All mobile broadband service providers in the UK have online coverage checker, we strongly advise that you use the online coverage checker of your preferred network before you buy, to check against the signal strength of their service at your home, office and areas you are likely to use the service

Monthly Allowance

Depending on how much time you spend online and what you do while on the go. If you intend to use the internet just for emails, and especially if you have a fixed broadband at home, you may go for 1GB monthly allowance, otherwise we advise you not to settle for a 1GB data allowance – it’s rarely enough, even the daily updates of the anti-virus software running on your system and other activities rarely under your user control will almost use up your 1GB allowance by the end of the month. A manageable level of data usage will be at least 3GB – an average of 3 hours surfing per day, and the relative cost of the extra 2GB is narrow across all the networks compared to the 1GB monthly cost. Except for Mobile Broadband contracts with Free Laptops on offer which generally require a 24 months contract, it is advisable to go for 12 months contract if no laptop offer is included. This is because the sector is very competitive and might yet record lower prices in the near future.

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