If your phone contract is about to expire, you can easily save money in a few ways.
For starters, if the contract has run over the minimum term, you need to consider switching without delay. You are paying for a handset that you own already thus effectively filling your provider’s pockets. It is exactly what they want, so don’t overpay.
Consider a SIM-Only Deal
Going for a traditional mobile phone contract is usually not the cheapest way to own a phone. The cost of the handset and that of the service are bundled into the contracts, which means you are essentially overpaying for the handset.
If you wish to buy a new phone, consider whether a contract is the most suitable option for you or whether you can afford to pay for it upfront. Work out the actual cost of the device by adding up the price per month over the course of the contract, which is usually 18 or 24 months.
Compare this with what the device ought to cost outright. The process might be painful, but it helps you see the amount that you are overpaying by. The idea of paying a large down payment is sometimes impossible and off-putting for a lot of people, but if you are able to afford it this can save you paying the exaggerated monthly cost of the device.
Think about whether or not you actually need a new device. If your contract is about to end and you are thinking about buying a new device, ask yourself whether upgrading is your best option. You can save a hefty sum every month by sticking with your current handset and getting a SIM-only deal.
Did you know…?
It is still possible to get a better deal with your network provider, so negotiate. Think about your needs. When you are either switching contracts or taking out a new contract, think about your current mobile phone usage patterns.
In 2016, Citizens Advice conducted a mystery shopping investigation that found that sellers of mobile phone were found to be recommending tariffs to “average” mobile phone users that actually cost more than twice the amount they could be paying.
The average cost of the tariffs recommended per month was 130 percent higher than the average cost of the most suitable tariffs identified via customer research – a difference of over $300 over the course of a 2-year contract.
The tariffs that sales staff recommended included call, text, and data allowances that were far greater than the mystery shoppers’ needs – Tariffs with an allowance of at least 1,000 minutes if not higher were recommended to 40 percent of the mystery shoppers.
You probably don’t require too much data unless you love watching your favorite YouTuber’s most recent vlog or are addicted to sending Snapchats on the go.
The vast majority of mobile phone users manage 2GB of data or less every month, but if you typically consume a lot of media via 4G you may require anywhere from 3 to 5 GB of data.
If you choose a contract that offers 8 to 10 GB od data every month will probably mean paying extra, which is okay if you use that much every month.
Take a look at your usage of data and see how much you are using currently. You can find numerous free websites for this.
Similarly, you should not get less data than you need since you will find yourself paying a lot of data when you run out before month end.
If you regularly use your phone abroad, you should consider finding a contract that includes roaming abroad or where you can add roaming data for when you travel.
Don’t Allow Yourself to be Upsold
Your provider will try as hard as possible to get you to upgrade to a handset, and lock you into a contract that you have to pay for.
The deal offered might seem amazing and staying with the provider might seem like a hassle, but you will probably find yourself paying extra than you would if you did not shop around or upgrade.
The report by Citizens Advice shows that sellers of mobile phones are focused on the handset consistently when it comes to selling. The popular practice of combining the handset with the tariff distorted the offer, which makes it hard for buyers to identify the best deal.
If you are happy with your current handset and don’t wish to upgrade, you are in a powerful position. The mobile provider you are currently using will want to keep your custom, so contact them and ask for the best possible deal.
First, you should shop around and compare, tell them what you are able to get elsewhere and find out whether they are able to match it.
If they are not willing to match the deal offered by their competitors ask to be put through to the disconnection department. Keeping your business is their job and they are usually happy to provide all the assistance you need.
If not, vote with your feet and switch.
Citizens Advice might not have found any evidence of hard upselling or pressure selling in their investigation, but it did recommend that customers be provided with a complete breakdown of the tariff in store.
The best way to ensure that you get the best deal is to shop around online until this recommendation is followed.
The best way to make sure that you get the best deal and not be stung with hefty monthly charges for features that you don’t want or need.