15 Mobile Phone Contract Tips To Get The Best Deal

15 Simple tips to get best mobile phone contract

Many moons ago, when mobile phones were a new idea, we would buy one the size of a brick and simply ‘top it up’ when we needed more credit. For the younger audience, you may be a little confused by this process but it was a simpler time.

Today, pay-as-you-go, although still in existence, has been largely replaced by contracts where you pay a certain amount per month and receive a certain number of texts, calls, and ‘data’ for the internet.

While this sounds great on the outside, it soon becomes confusing once you look into the dozens of carriers and hundreds of different contracts available.

Suddenly, you don’t know which has the best value for money, which suits your needs the best, and which you should avoid completely.

For this reason, we’ve decided to compile the ultimate collection of tips for finding the best mobile phone contract for you!

Tip #1: Consider Your Needs

Consider Your mobile phone Needs

For us, this is the most important piece of advice you could ever receive regarding best mobile phone contracts and it applies to insurance, paint for redecorating, and most other items we purchase in life.

How can you possibly assess the many deals online when you don’t know exactly what you need? Often, too many people get swayed by a TV advert or a package their friend has but this is completely useless because it might not meet your own needs.

Before you even pick up your laptop to do some research, grab a notepad and pen to write down everything you need from your contract.

• Do you text dozens of people per day?
• Are you always speaking to somebody on the phone?
• Do you need to have unlimited access to the internet while on-the-go for your job?
• How long do you need the contract to last?
• Is there a maximum amount you’re willing to pay each month?
• Do you need a device that allows for apps, gaming, and emails?

Once you’ve answered these questions, then you can start scanning the market because you know which packages fit the mould and which just wouldn’t work.

For example, you don’t want to have a limit on data if you use mobile internet at work every day otherwise you’ll end up paying hundreds extra.

Tip #2: Forget the Price

Before you get frustrated and click away, we don’t mean you should forget the price completely because you’re likely to have some form of budget.

If your limit is £35 per month, don’t assume that the contracts closest to this mark will be the best.

Going back to your needs, you might find a contract for £26 that gets closer to the mark than a £35 contract and this is important to remember.

Once you’ve worked out your budget, stick within this but don’t judge contracts based on price alone.

Nowadays, there are some great price comparison sites where you can insert a price range as well as the features you need so feel free to use these.

If you set the limit on the website to £35, you know all results are within this budget and you can assess each contract based on merit as opposed to the monthly charge.

Tip #3: Buy Mobile Insurance

mobile phone insurance

Over the years, we’ve grown accustomed to rejecting the offers of insurance automatically.

However, these offers were for £20 toasters or £15 irons; nowadays, were talking about smartphones worth £500+ which makes insurance one of the most attractive services we’ve ever seen.

With a device of this value sitting in our pockets (and constantly slipping out of our hands!), it’s nice to know there’s a free replacement waiting if the worst does happen.

At first, you might rue the decision to pay a few pounds per month for something you’re ‘not likely to use’ but it immediately becomes valuable when you drop it into the toilet or crack the screen on a hardwood floor.

For the most part, mobile phone carriers will allow some form of comprehensive insurance for under £15 per month.

Warning – Before adding insurance to your monthly bills, we highly recommend reading the small print no matter how little your motivation is for this particular task.

Why? As we all know, insurance companies are masters at dodging responsibility so you need to make sure you’re covered for every eventuality.

Rather than being disappointed because your claim was rejected, read the small print and you can be confident moving forward.

Tip #4: Check the Contract

Of course, we aren’t saying you need to read every single clause of the phone contract because you’d be reading for weeks and most of it is to protect their own backs in certain eventualities.

However, we recommend double checking the most important details before you sign anything or place the order online and this includes the length of your contract.

Nowadays, contracts will typically be found between one and two years and this allows a balance between security for the company and not paying for a phone that gets too old for ourselves.

With this being said, you do need to be careful because you might have a need to replace your phone every single year.If you get tied into a two-year contract, you’re going to pay a large amount to upgrade or you’ll have to wait until the two-year period is up.

With some mobile phone providers, they even offer three-year contracts so this is another reason to check the contract.

If you don’t change your needs often and you’re happy with the contract, three years might be great but it won’t be useful if you like to change devices once a year.

Along with the contract length, check the price, the features of the contract, and all other important details.

Tip #5: Compare the Market

Compare mobile phone Market

As we saw at the beginning, there are now hundreds of different contracts available and most people panic when they see the sheer amount of choice on best mobile phone contract.

For us, we believe it’s a blessing because it means you can find the contract that meets your needs precisely rather than sacrificing certain criteria because the ‘perfect’ contract ‘doesn’t exist’.

Although we touched on it earlier, we should mention the comparison websites online these days because these are superb for finding the best contracts.

In years gone by, we would have to look through the carriers one by one whilst making notes as to the best contracts available.

Now, these comparison websites allow you to enter your criteria before then showing every contract that fits what you’re looking for.

As long as you use the right comparison tool ,you can adjust your results by choosing specific filters and these include price, texts, minutes, data, provider, etc.

With this, you can really hone in on the contract you need and everything is in one place. If you’re thinking the comparison process takes hours, you’re now wrong because the comparison services have made everything easier.

Tip #6: Assess Overseas Tariffs

Overseas mobile phone Tariffs

Are you looking for a device that’ll allow you to phone home when on a business trip without requiring a loan (perhaps a slight exaggeration!)? If so, you need to look at the overseas tariffs because data roaming can cost.

If you stay within Europe for your business trips, you should be just fine with any carrier these days because new regulations have been installed within the EU.

While the UK remains inside the EU, you can benefit from more affordable calls and data which is also great if you need to get in contact with the office while you’re away.

Whatever your reason or need, check the overseas tariffs and make sure they provide a service you can appreciate in the time ahead.

Tip #7: Compare the Providers

compare mobile phone providers

Nowadays, the billions of pounds of investment made by the carriers in the industry has allowed somewhat of a level playing field in terms of signal and customer service.

Despite this, there are still some carriers that perform well in some locations while struggling in others.

For this reason, we highly recommend researching the different providers and how they perform in certain areas.If you visit the Ofcom website, you can actually view a map of the UK and this will show what networks excel in certain locations.

During your research phase, this can be important because there’s nothing worse than buying a contract for two years only to find out you’re in the middle of a coverage blindspot.

After this, you should also talk to your friends, family members, colleagues, and random people in shops (perhaps not this last one!) how their coverage is in your community.

If you have three friends all with EE and they all struggle to get signal in your area, this suggests you should probably avoid EE.

Tip #8: Shop Online

shop mobile phone online

Not only is shopping online for best your mobile contract convenient, it also comes with several other benefits.

For example, did you know the people who work in mobile phone shops actually earn commission.

Although it isn’t true for all stores, the majority earn more money when they get you on the more expensive contracts so we actually recommend staying away from them.

Unfortunately, you don’t know whether you’re getting real advice or words from somebody dreaming of their next summer holiday.

Since you know your needs and you know the type of contract you need, we recommend doing it all online.

These days, you can scan the market, find the contract, and order the contract from the comfort of your own home so why not try doing it this way?

Without pressure, you can take your time and make the best decision for your mobile needs in the coming weeks, months, and years.

If you, for whatever reason, can’t do it online, remember that these ‘technicians’, ‘helpers’, and ‘advisors’ will often get paid commission.

Therefore, bring your list of needs and be sure to stick with them rather than being swayed in a different direction.

Tip #9: Choose an Older Model

Older mobile phone Model

If you really want to save some money and stick to a modest budget, you can actually do this by choosing an older device.If you go for the latest smartphones, the providers can charge extortionate amounts because they’re the ‘trend’ and the devices everybody wants.

Therefore, you can save some money by choosing an older model; by ‘older’, we mean one that was released last year instead of this year.

We aren’t saying you should choose a traditional Nokia and play ‘Snake’ all day rather than using apps; instead, be willing to look at the previous model.

The minute a new handset comes out, the one before it becomes cheaper even if it’s only been a few days so bear this in mind.

Tip #10: Check the Pricing Terms

Pricing Terms

According to regulations, mobile phone carriers are allowed to increase tariff prices each year as long as it falls in line with the rate of inflation.

Assuming they place this little caveat in the terms and conditions and you sign the contract, your bill may be subject to price increases each year so this is important to remember.

Apart from Tesco Mobile, the majority of large companies are included within this regulation such as Vodafone, EE, O2, Virgin Mobile, and Three.

Every March (at the very latest), the mobile phone industry uses a measure of inflation for these increases; the Retail Price Index (RPI).

While some providers choose to ignore this right and keep your prices stable, it only takes one company to increase prices and others will soon follow suit.

As a solution, we refer back to our earlier tip of checking your contract before signing anything because you can take a quick scan through the terms and conditions.

If you don’t want to risk missing it, just ask the provider and they should talk you through how it works.

Tip #11: Remember Your Expiry Date

Remember Your Expiry Date

If you’re looking for a brand-new contract, this won’t help right now but it’s something to remember as you come towards the end of your contract.

With around three months to go, you’ll start to receive emails from the carrier letting you know the contract is coming to an end.

At this point, you’ll have three different choices; ignore the warnings and the contract is automatically renewed, get in contact and haggle a better offer for an upgrade, or tell them you don’t want to renew the contract.

Before you make a decision, research the market and see what sort of deals are around.

Then, pick up the phone and contact your existing provider to see what they’re willing to offer.

If they go above everything you’ve researched, you can pull out examples of what you’ve been offered elsewhere and they’ll soon change their tune.

Suddenly, £45 with no leeway will become £40 with a few extra minutes thrown in.

As with any business, it’s much easier (and cheaper!) to keep hold of an existing customer than to bring in a new one so they won’t want to lose your custom.If you’re happy to switch and they’re not budging on an expensive contract, you can allow the contract to expire before switching.

On this note, don’t forget to check the terms of your contract because it may be set to renew automatically.

Tip #12: Take a Calculated Risk

Calculated Risk

During your research, you’re likely to come across some networks you don’t recognize but don’t dismiss them without the time of day.If they’re on reputable comparison sites and you keep seeing their name crop up on different websites, they’re probably a legitimate provider and they’ve probably got some offers to show you.

If we look at GiffGaff, this is a much smaller provider than the likes of EE and O2 but they’re gradually becoming more popular because they offer some genuinely good mobile phone contracts.

As long as you read the reviews of previous customers as well as reading reviews from industry experts and impartial companies, you should get a good overview of how the provider can help.

Sometimes, the lesser-known mobile phone contract providers can be the very best and it takes a small leap of faith to find out.

Tip #13: Utilize Apps

Utilize Apps

Although this tip won’t help you to find the best mobile contract, it will help you utilize your monthly allowance once a contract is in place so we urge you to try it.

Nowadays, there are apps for everything and there just so happens to be apps that connect you to free hotspots wherever you are in the world and this reduces your need for mobile data.

Considering there are now more free hotspots around the world than ever before, this is a fantastic way to save your mobile data for the times when it’s really needed.

Currently, O2 WiFi is the most popular option and you don’t even need to be with O2 to take advantage.

Similarly, BT WiFi will help in the same way so long as you have BT WiFi at home. Elsewhere, a platform called Onavo claim to compress all data which allows you to save up to 80% on your plan so this could come in handy.

With other apps, you could also use WhatsApp and similar messaging services so you’re sending fewer text messages.

Tip #14: Research SIM-Only Options

compare sim only deals

Have you ever thought the process of replacing a handset every couple of years as a rather wasteful way of operating? If so, it sounds like you would benefit from a SIM-only contract.

As the name suggests, the provider will give you a SIM to place into an existing mobile device. Once installed, you’ll have a contract as per normal but you won’t have to pay for the new device as well as the contract.

Alternatively, if you like this idea but don’t have a handset to spare, take a look on eBay because you might just be surprised at the amount of people selling near-new handsets.

If you time it correctly so you search just as a new model gets released, there’ll be thousands of people trying to sell their now ‘old’ models.

With every seller trying to undercut every other, you can pick up a handset for an affordable price before then investing in a SIM-only contract.

Tips #15: Be Careful with Cashback Offers

With contract resellers, you’ll find they offer cashback deals and this sounds like great news to start.

However, actually obtaining the cashback might not be as easy as you think. Although we wouldn’t consider them a scam, because they always seem to deliver on their original promise, they’ll have you sending monthly bills to them just to claim the cashback and this is a little inconvenient for most.

If you actually want to receive cashback from your mobile contract, we recommend choosing real cashback websites as you’ll receive the money as a lump-sum and you won’t have to mess around with sending your bill to the company.

For the most popular phones, you can earn anything up to £100 which, if you bought the handset second-hand, can almost recover your cost.

Summary

There we have it, your ultimate guide to searching for and buying the best mobile phone contract.

As long as you pay close attention to these tips and consider YOUR needs above all else, it won’t be long before you’ll be set up with the right amount of texts, minutes, and mobile data.

If you need help, feel free to browse our website and look at the other guides we’ve produced.

Also, read the reviews of previous customers so you can feel confident in your chosen provider rather than feeling nervous.

Thanks for reading and happy hunting; we hope you find the right mobile phone contract for you!

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By | 2017-11-28T21:36:32+00:00 September 30th, 2017|Mobile Phone Guides|0 Comments