According to the Virgin Mobile Phones, the average British consumer spends £439 a year on a mobile phone contract. However, it is believed that some customers could be overpaying by up to £200 a year in handsets and services they do not really need. What are the best ways of paying less for a mobile phone contract?
1. Know what you need
According to recent research, 75 per cent of mobile phone users believe that they are not on the best price plan possible, or that other providers might offer better deals. Only 23 per cent of users claim to have a tariff that suits them, while the remaining 77 per cent either exceed their monthly free-minutes allowance or leave it unused.
Due to this reason, it is essential to have an accurate idea of your mobile phone usage. Find some time to calculate exactly how many minutes, messages, data use, and downloads you use every month. Doing this will give you a better idea of what type of contract you should be looking for, and will stop you from paying for services that you do not require.
2. Go online
Although brick and mortar stores are a good place to examine the different mobile phones available, the best contract offers are usually found online. The Internet is also the place to compare price plans, providers, offers, and even to purchase a mobile phone contract, as some deals are exclusively available online. After all, and according to Oxford mathematicians, there are over 8 million contract combinations available to British consumers, so doing some research is likely to help you find the best deal for your circumstances.
3. Consider the handset
It is only natural to be curious about the latest mobile phone, but do you really need to own one? For instance, the cheapest iPhone 4S contracts range between £52 and £69 per month. However, the standard contract on an iPhone 3GS has an average monthly cost of £40. Multiply that price difference by 12 months (the shortest contract term) and you will see how quickly the savings add up.
Also, it is important not to go for the latest model just because everyone is talking about it until you get a chance to see first-hand if you feel comfortable handling the phone. Otherwise, you may end up stuck with an expensive phone you don’t like for the next year or so.
4. Beware of long contracts
Providers tend to offer cheaper monthly rates for longer (up to 24 months) contracts. Unless you are absolutely sure that your requirements will not change, it is wiser to go for a shorter contract term, as other providers might undercut prices and offer a better deal after a while.