11 Nov Things to Ask Yourself before Signing up for a Mobile Phone Contract
Unfortunately, deciding between a contract phone and PAYG is not the end of it all. If you decided to go with a mobile phone contract, there are still a lot more questions to ask yourself before choosing your provider.
How good is the coverage?
Surely, you wouldn’t want to sign up for a 24-month contract only to regret having poor coverage later on. You need to know that the reception varies from network to network depending on where you live. This is why you need to know the extent of coverage, especially when you travel a lot.
How much exactly will I have to pay for the whole contract?
When you’re calculating the costs of your contract, don’t just look at your monthly payments. Compute for the overall cost, which include the monthly bills, any buffers, and the retail cost of the device itself. Furthermore, consider what you’re getting at a specific package. Not just because a plan only costs £5 per month does it mean that it can save you money, especially if this plan is low on credits and you’ll find yourself exceeding your allowance.
Are there any rewards programs that I can take part in?
If you’re willing to sign up for a long, two-year contract, might as well inquire what you are getting out of it during and after the term. For instance, some companies may offer freebies to their customers after making a specific amount of usage, while some may reward their users with free minutes every weekend or all throughout the plan when calling people under the same network. Additionally, at the end of your contract you should expect to get something, such as a free phone upgrade, cash back, and other kinds of rewards. While your decision in choosing a provider shouldn’t be based on the rewards system alone, it’s an added motivation to stick to your contract.
Is there a Fair Usage Policy?
This is one of the most common mistakes consumers oversee when shopping for a phone deal. Sometimes, you may be tempted with the promise of an unlimited data that comes with your plan, but before getting excited, you need to know if the network applies a Fair Usage Policy. With FUP, your connection will be throttled upon reaching a certain amount of data, so basically your “unlimited” plan is useless. If connecting to internet on the go is extremely important to you, do find a network that offers a truly unlimited service, where your connection will not be limited.
What are the roaming charges?
If you have any plans of travelling abroad or if you already do, it’s also necessary to know how much will it cost you to send texts and calls while out of the country. Furthermore, if you’re always travelling, might as well reconsider your plans of getting a contract and stick to PAYG instead.
What are the fees if I terminate the contract early?
No one can be 100% sure that they’re going to finish their contract term up to the very end, so it may be worth knowing how much the early termination costs will be just in case. If you are terribly unsure you are going to make it until the very end, consider choosing a 12-month contract, but be prepared to shell out higher monthly fees for them.
Will my phone be unlocked after my contract expires?
Now it’s good if you are able to keep up with your contract payments until the end of your term, but you must know what to expect after that. Consider that you might want to switch to a different network after two years, so make sure that the process will be entirely easy for you. Most providers these days will unlock your phone if you request it after your contract expires, but ask them just to be sure. Also, inquire if there will be a fee associated with unlocking your phone, or if they are going to assist you in porting your number to a new SIM card.
How good is my credit?
While you may still qualify for a phone contract even with bad credit rating, you need to be aware that the prices offered to you are often more expensive than those given to people with decent credit. While credit repair is not an overnight task, think about if you really, really need the contract right now, and if you can wait a while for your credit to improve before jumping into an expensive deal.