Mobile Phone Contract FAQ

Thinking of signing up for a new mobile phone contract? We’ve got all the answers to your questions right here. Getting a new mobile contract can be a tricky business, so today we’re answering all those questions that you have to try and make the process a little easier for you…

Which Operator Should I Choose?
The question of which operator to go with is really a pretty difficult one. The first thing you’ll need to do is to check who has coverage in your area. Not all operators have good coverage in all areas, so you do need to find out which is best for your neighbourhood. If you sign a contract with an operator that has poor coverage then you’ll find that either your phone doesn’t work at all or that you get bad service, with slow mobile internet speeds and bad call quality. You can check coverage on each operator’s web page by simply looking at a coverage map. Once you know who has coverage, then you can look for the operator that offers the calling plan that you want for the best price.
How Do I Choose a Calling Plan?

You do need to be careful choosing a calling plan, since the wrong plan is going to end up costing you a lot of money. A calling plan will have limits for the amount of calling minutes, text messages and mobile data that you can use per month, and you want those limits to be as close as possible to the amount of minutes, texts and data that you actually use. If you’ve got some older mobile bills lying around you can take a look at them to see what your general monthly usage is like. If you don’t, then you should really think about getting a pay as you go plan for a month. This will let you analyse your monthly usage so that you can choose the right calling plan.

Should I Get an Incentive Contract or a SIM Only Contract?
Both kinds of contract will give you a calling plan. But an incentive contract also comes with a free or low cost mobile phone. The monthly cost on an incentive contract will be higher than on a SIM only contract, which is how the operator finances the cost of the phone that you get, and this is true even when both contracts have exactly the same calling plan. Which one you go for is really up to you. In the long term it’s generally cheaper to get a SIM only contract and pay for a phone up front. But if you don’t have the cash for a phone right now and you need one, then an incentive contract might be a good idea.

What’s the Best Phone to Get with an Incentive Contract?
The monthly price of an incentive contract will really depend on what kind of phone you choose to go with. The best plans are usually for mid-range phone, the best iPhone 4 deals, for example, will get you a good quality phone for a fairly low price. In fact, the iPhone 4 is probably the best choice for an incentive contract phone right now. High end phones tend to have prohibitively high monthly costs, whilst budget phones usually are not worth buying on contract, since you end up paying a lot more than the actual cost of the phone over the course of the contract.

So Who Has the Best iPhone 4 Deals?
As we said, the best iPhone 4 deals are probably going to give you the best value for money right now. And the best deals are probably through Vodafone. You can get a free iPhone 4 and pay as little as ten pounds per month for service.

How Long Should My Contract Be?
You will be offered a choice as to the length of your mobile contract. Most companies offer both twelve month and twenty four month contracts, with some also having eighteen month contracts. If you’re looking for a SIM only contract you might also have the option of signing a monthly contract that runs for thirty days and then automatically renews until you tell the operator to stop service. Generally, the longer your contract is the cheaper your monthly payment will be. However, a longer contract ties you to one provider for a longer period of time. This means that you can’t switch operators to get better deals, you can’t upgrade your phone on an incentive contract, and even changing your calling plan may be difficult.

Can I Cancel a Mobile Contract?
You can cancel a mobile contract, but it’s probably going to cost you a fair amount of money. Most operators will charge you a fixed fee for each month that’s left in your contract when you cancel. These charges are expensive and add up fast. If you signed an incentive contract you may also find that you have to pay the remaining balance on the phone before you can leave a contract. There are situations where you can cancel your contract for free, which include moving to an area that does not have coverage with your operator, if the operator does not provide you with the service that they promised, or if the operator wants to change their fees. But these situations can be hard to prove and lengthy, so it’s best to think hard before signing a contract and to be sure that it’s what you want.

What Do I Need to Sign a Contract?
In order to sign a mobile contract you’ll have to be legally able to sign contracts. In the UK this means that you need to be eighteen or older, and you also need to be a legal UK resident, though you don’t need to be a citizen. You will also probably be required to pass a credit check. Should you sign a contract and then fail the credit check, the operator will be allowed to rescind your contract.

 

uSwitch.com was really helpful when Sam Jones was looking to upgrade his handset. He found the best iPhone4 deals simply by logging on and doing a quick search.

 

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