7 essentials to finding the best mobile phone deal
It's easy to get carried away with the deals being advertised and the fantastic phones available for upgrade, that's why a lot of us end up paying too much for services we don't make the most of. If you're considering changing your mobile phone, or moving to a new provider, it's worth taking a step back and asking yourself a few searching questions. With all the providers in fierce competition with one another, they all have great offers; it's just a matter of how well they suit you.
We recommend you ask yourself these questions.
How often do you text, really?
A lot of monthly packages include generous SMS/text allowances - up to and exceeding 1,000 texts to be sent in a month. This sounds like a great offer, but will you really make the most of an allowance like that? Many of us have now replaced texting with Tweeting, or communicating with friends and family on Facebook. Unless you seriously think you will send around 30 texts a day (that's around two for every waking hour), this isn't going to be the deal for you. Re-negotiate with the service provider for the text allowance to be replaced with added data downloads. The same applies to call times, take a good look at your last bill and work out how long you spent texting or calling in the last month.
Have you made the most of your friends and family lists?
The friends and family lists are often offered as part of mobile phone packages, bundled in with landline offers. They can be real cost-savers if you have a set of contacts that you have regular, long calls with - getting these calls for free, or at local instead of long-distance rates might be the "deal maker" for you.
For many of us though, these long, regular calls tend only to be with our mothers - and often these mothers have been canny enough to get free call deals from their landline providers already. So would you really make the most of a deal like this?
Are your friends using the same provider?
A popular strategy for mobile phone providers to encourage loyalty from their customers is to offer free calls between users on the same network. If your significant other is with the same provider, this might be the ideal plan.
"Which mobile provider are you with?" doesn't tend to be a question that comes up in conversation with our friends though, and if you have asked them, you've probably found that there is a real mix.
Getting landline and mobile together as a 2-4-1 deal - is it worth it?
So many of us have now neglected to bother with a landline number. Mobiles follow you when you move without unnecessary admin, with the mobile phone to hand wherever you are, what's the point in having a landline, everyone calls the mobile anyway?
If this sounds familiar, then a deal that offers you a great rate on a landline installation isn't going to cut any mustard with you. However, it's worth considering properly whether you would make use of a landline number, as these deals can be very attractive. As a rule of thumb, if you've done fine without a landline for 6 months or more, you're not going to use one much when you have one.
Do you need your mobile for business?
If you have a genuine need to use a phone for business, and you have some business credentials (such as a registered company, or registration as a sole trader) then you need to talk to a completely different set of customer service advisors at the mobile operators.
Business users get treated differently, they generally get treated very well! A whole new set of mobile packages will be offered to you, often incorporating broadband (which may or may not be of use to you) and preferential deals for multiple users registered to one business address.
Phone upgrades are often very attractive too, with the latest hi-tech smartphones made available on reasonable upgrade plans. Another bonus is putting your mobile phone expenses through your company accounts; depending on your incomings/outgoings you could make some big tax savings.
Have you read the small print about the "unlimited data" package?
So many people have been caught out with this, no matter how savvy you are, it's worth putting some extra effort into establishing exactly how much data you can download each month - you won't get a warning on your phone when you exceed it.
A good customer services representative should be able to answer your queries clearly, but if (like most of us) you want to make the best use of the fantastic apps and anytime, everywhere web access your new phone brings you, do check your limit before you hit the app store.
Do you really need those features?
Every month brings news of a fantastic new phone on the market. One minute you're perfectly happy with your mobile which you've customised and stored your favourite games, photos and music on - then a new advert catches your eye, or a friend is boasting about the functionality of their new toy and you feel that you simply must have one too.
Take a deep breath. Talk to yourself in the voice of your mum when you asked for the pair of trainers "that everyone at school has got" and think - do you really, really need this particular phone?
Being attracted by a massive music storage space is fine, but if you've already got an iPod or MP3 player, would you use it? So what if a new mobile allows you to create Powerpoint presentations, in what reality are you ever going to do that?
OK. we don't want to talk you out of upgrading your phone, but please don't be so tempted by the shiny new object on the horizon that you rush into the first deal you see...
Guest post provided by Envirofone who pay cash for phones you no longer need
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