What to Look Out for in a Monthly Phone Contract

Signing a new monthly phone contract is an important step. You want to make sure that you get the right plan for you, not only so that you’re satisfied with your service, but also so that you’re not paying too much money. And once your contract is signed, you’re going to be locked into using one the same network, and often the same calling plan, for the length of that contract, which can be as long as twenty four months. Today we’re talking all about mobile phone contracts, everything that you need to know before you sign. So if you’re shopping around for a new phone contract, then read this first so you know what you’re getting into.

Pay Monthly Phone Deals…
Signing up for pay monthly phone deals may or may not be a good idea, depending on what you’re getting and your financial situation. Pay monthly phone deals are also known as incentive plans, and they’re the kind of contract that gives you both a calling plan and a free or discounted mobile phone. If you don’t have the money to pay for a phone up front, then a pay monthly phone deal might be you only choice. However, for low to mid end mobile phones they tend not to be such a great idea, since you’ll end up paying far more than the retail cost of the phone over the course of the contract. For high end phones, these plans can be a better deal, since newly released top of the range models sell for big prices. But always make sure you know what you’re getting and what you’re paying for.

The Calling Plan…
One of the first things that you’re going to look at in a monthly phone contract is the calling plan that it includes. The calling plan will be made up of three parts, the number of calling minutes you can use, the number of text messages that you can send and the amount of data that you have. You need to make sure that the calling plan you’re offered accurately matches your needs as a phone user. A plan that’s too big means that you’re going to be paying for services that you’re not using, since you pay the same monthly fee whether or not you use your plans limits. However, a plan that’s too small will mean that you pay extra fees for going over the limits of your plan, and these extra fees add up quickly. Ensure that the calling plan is right for you by going over some of your old mobile phone plans to see what your average usage is like.

Contract Termination…
You’ll want to look at the terms for contract termination in your new contract too. Generally, should you want to end your contract early, you’ll need to pay a flat fee for each month remaining in your contract. This flat fee varies by provider, so make sure you check it out. In some cases you’ll also be required to pay extra charges for any mobile phones that you may have been given at the beginning of the plan. There are legal ways that you can get out of contracts such as these, but they tend to be complicated and long processes. Once you’ve signed a contract it’s generally best to stick with it, so make sure you’re signing something good.

The Term of Your Contract…
The standard contract length with most major mobile providers is twenty four months, though legally all companies have to also offer twelve month contracts, and some companies additionally offer eighteen month contracts. Usually, the longer your contract is the cheaper your payments will be. It’s important that you check the term of your contract so you know exactly when it ends. Unlike a lot of contracts, a mobile contract will not automatically expire. That is to say, once your contract has finished, your company will not cut off service, nor will they contact you to sign a new contract. They’ll simply continue providing the same service at the same price until you tell them to stop or you sign a new contract. Signing new contracts, either with your current provider or with a new one, means that you’ll be able to take advantage of special deals, new phones and new calling plans, so it’s a good idea to keep an eye on when your current contract is finishing.

Special Deals, Offers and Add-Ons…
As we mentioned above many providers give special deals to customers when they sign a contract. These deals vary, sometimes they include a free amount of minutes; sometimes it’s a discounted service for several months. It’s quite common amongst mobile service providers to offer the first three months of a contract at half price, for example. On top of that, depending on which provider you choose, you may be offered the option of tacking add-ons onto your plan. These add-ons are often low priced extra services, such as more data, more calling minutes, or even roaming packages that let you call from abroad more cheaply. You can choose to take advantage of any of these things, but should you opt to go for one, or many, of them, make sure that it’s noted in your contract, so you’ll definitely receive the services that you’ve asked for.

Read the Small Print…
Reading the small print should just be a general rule for signing contracts for anything. You never know what you’re agreeing to until you read it. It’s not a good idea to sign a contract without reading it first, even with a reputable mobile phone operator. Be aware that many providers nowadays will simply refer you to their web page for detailed terms and conditions, rather than listing them all in the contract itself. For this reason it’s a good idea to check out the terms and conditions page on the provider’s web site before you go in to sign a contract, that way you’ll know exactly what you’re getting in to.

Sam Jones looked at several pay monthly phone deals and felt a little spoilt for choice. By using online price comparison sites like uSwitch, he managed to find the best deal to perfectly suit his need and budget.

 

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