How Do I Go About Choosing a Mobile Phone Contract?

There are tons of different mobile contracts to choose from on the UK market. From completely unlimited contracts that cost a fortune, to simple ones that come in at budget prices, there are certainly plenty of options. So how do you know that you’re choosing the right contract? Today we’re talking about how you should choose a mobile service contract so that you know that you’re getting the best deal. So, if you want to sign up for a new mobile service then read on and find out how to go about it…

Check Your Local Coverage First…
Before you begin, it’s a good idea to see which operators have the best coverage in your local area. Not all networks get the same coverage in all areas, and you’ll want to make sure that you’re going to get good reception with your chosen operator. If you don’t have good coverage then there’s no point in signing a contract with that provider, since you’ll end up with bad service, poor call quality, slow mobile internet and maybe even no service at all. You can easily check out which operators get the best coverage in your area by going to the OFCOM web site and looking at their comparative coverage map.

Incentive or SIM Only Contracts…
You’ll have two contract options with most mobile operators, incentive or SIM only. Both of these contracts are going to give you a SIM card and a calling plan, but an incentive contract is also going to give you a free or low cost mobile phone. Which kind of contract you sign really depends on whether or not you need a new phone and if you have the money to pay for it or not. The monthly fee for an incentive contract will be higher than that for a SIM only contract, since this is how the operator covers the cost of your phone. You will probably end up paying more than the retail cost of the phone that you’re given over the course of an incentive contract as well. If possible, sign a SIM only plan and get the phone yourself. Only sign an incentive contract if you really can’t afford to pay full price for a phone immediately.

A Good Calling Plan…
Your contract will also need to have a calling plan that suits your needs. A calling plan has monthly limits on how many text messages you can send, and on how many calling minutes and how much mobile data you can use. You pay a fixed monthly fee for these limits, and it doesn’t matter if you use everything in your plan or nothing in your plan, the fee is the same. This means that if the limits on your plan are too high then you’re just going to pay for services that you don’t use. Calling plans that are too small aren’t a great idea either though. This is because if you go over the limits on a calling plan you will have to pay expensive extra fees for all the extra services that you use. Think carefully about your mobile phone use before signing up for a calling plan so that you get a plan that’s right for you.

The Length of the Contract…
When you sign a mobile contract you can decide how long you want to sign up for. Most companies offer you the choice between signing up for twelve months or signing up for twenty four months. Some operators will give you an eighteen month option too. The longer your contract is the lower your monthly payments are liable to be. However, remember that when you sign a longer contract you’re tying yourself to that operator for a longer period of time. That means that it will be difficult and expensive to switch operators if you find a better deal elsewhere. It also means that if you have an incentive contract you’ll have to wait longer to get a free upgrade on your mobile phone. You’ll need to decide how long you’re willing to sign a contract for.

Compare Phone Contracts…
When you know who has good coverage in your area, what kind of calling plan you want and how long you want your contract to be you can begin to compare phone contracts. The simplest way to compare phone contracts is to go online and look for a mobile tariff comparison site. These sites let you put in the calling plan limits that you’re looking for and then give you a list of contracts with different operators that meet your requirements. You can then see who offers the best prices on what you’re looking for. You should be aware that these sites generally show the cheapest available price for a contract, and this price is usually for internet shoppers. Most mobile operators give discounts to people who shop online that they don’t give to those who shop at retail stores. This is because the overheads on online retail are lower than those for physical retail. If you don’t want to buy online then you might find that prices are a little more expensive.

Can You Sign a Contract?
You will need to make sure that you’re eligible to sign a contract before you get your heart set on your mobile service. Obviously this means that you’ll need to be at least eighteen and a legal UK resident. However, many companies will also require you to pass a credit check to make sure that you’re not a financial risk. If you can’t pass a credit check then the chances are that you won’t be able to sign a contract. Some operators will let you leave a deposit on a contract if you don’t pass credit checks. These deposits are usually quite a large amount of money, but they will be refunded either after a few months of regular bill paying or at the end of your contract. You’ll have to check with your operator to see what their requirements are.

Sam Jones was looking to compare phone contracts.  A few minutes spent using the search facilities of uSwitch and other comparison sites and he was able to find exactly what he was looking for.

 

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