Buying a mobile phone is a big investment, since you’re probably going to be spending a few hundred pounds on your new device. Fortunately, there are lots of great deals out there to help you get what you want. Unfortunately, not all deals are as great as they sound. In the quest to save some cash it can be easy to get drawn into signing something that isn’t quite what you think it’s going to be, which is why today we’re talking about some of the commonest mobile deals around, and whether or not they’re worth taking. So, before you jump at the chance of a seemingly great mobile deal read this and find out whether or not you’re going to regret your choice…
Phones with Free Gifts
Every now and again you see a great mobile deal that offers you something cool to go along with that phone that you’re buying. Phones with free gifts can be anything from TVs or gaming consoles to tablets and even lap tops. Generally, the gifts are something electronic. Phones with free gifts offered from mobile operators tend to be a great deal, and if the gift is something that you want and you’re going to use, then you should certainly take it. However, many of these free gift deals are offered by third parties, and you always need to be a little wary of deals offered by parties other than operators or manufacturers. There’s a simple rule that will tell you whether or not these deals are good: if you know exactly what you’re getting, it’s fine, if not, it’s not. For example, if you’re offered a seven inch Nexus tablet, then that’s great. You can do your research, find out a little more about the model, and if it’s something that you want, then go for it. More usually though, you’ll be offered something general, like a flat screen TV. In this case, the deal is best avoided. What generally happens is that when your flat screen TV arrives it’s a generic, low end and out of date product that you have no use for. Many companies use these deals as a way of getting rid of electronics that they can no longer sell. And it’s not going to be a deal if you’re not going to use the product, even if it is free.
Phones with Free Services
Many operators offer free services with a mobile phone, generally either free calling minutes or free text messages, but occasionally free data too. You’ll have to sign a contract with the operator to take advantage of these free services, but you were probably thinking about signing a contract anyway, which is why you’re looking at the operator in the first place. This means that free services can be a great deal. And if free services are offered on a pay as you go contract, then they’re a fantastic deal and you should absolutely take them. Free services on contracts though are a slightly different matter. These are only a good deal if you’re going to use them, and if you’re not, then what’s the point? A mobile contract comes with a calling plan that gives you a monthly limit for the amount of calling minutes, text messages and mobile data that you can use for a fixed monthly price. Say that the calling plan offered on the contract deal with this operator contains five hundred calling minutes a month. Do you really need an extra hundred free minutes every month? Operators offer these deals as incentives for two reasons. Firstly, it costs the operator very little to give you free minutes and texts, though data costs them a little more. Secondly, the operator knows full well that most people aren’t going to use the free services anyway, since the calling plan being offered is so big. If the price is right and the contract is right, you should take the deal, regardless of the free services. But don’t sign up for the wrong contract just because you’re being offered something for free.
Phones with Free Cash
Cash rebate deals are pretty common. Sometimes phone manufacturers offer rebates, and occasionally even operators offer them. These rebates usually aren’t for a lot of money, but they’re always worth taking. Just remember to fill in the paperwork and send it, then wait for your cash to arrive. However, most rebate deals are offered by third parties, usually web sites. These deals will involve you paying full price for a mobile phone and signing a certain contract with one of many mobile operators, and then the third party web site promises you a certain amount of the purchase price back. These web sites work on a commission basis, and the get money for every phone and contract deal that they sell.
But the catch is that the site is not allowed to change the price of the deal, since the price has been set by the operator concerned. That means that there’s no incentive for people to shop with the site. Given a choice between buying contracts and phones for exactly the same price from a mobile operator or from a third party, the majority of customers are going to go with the operator. So the site offers you cash back as an incentive; so far, not a bad deal. The site can afford your cash-back because they know that a lot of people just won’t bother to claim the rebate. But more than that, they know that most people won’t qualify for the rebate even if they do claim it. The terms and conditions for claiming your money back are strict and incredibly complicated. Fail to comply to the letter, and you’ll forfeit some or all of your money. Should you actually qualify for the whole amount, you won’t get it in one sum, it will be paid out in installments over months. These rebate deals are just not worth taking. They’re too much time and trouble and you’ll be better off finding deals elsewhere.
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