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Pay less for your mobile phone

Your mobile phone is most likely a huge part of your life; many of us rely on them to store our entire lives and would be lost without them. Because of the importance we place on our phones, many of us also pay far more than we need to for what we get. Be sure that you’re not falling into this category and follow a few simple tips to the most from your mobile contract without overspending. 

Are you coming up to the end of your contract? If so, you’re in a strong position to haggle your phone costs down, as most mobile networks will be desperate to keep you on board. If you can find a better deal elsewhere, tell your network and threaten to leave if they don’t offer to match or beat it. They should then put you through to ‘customer retentions’, a separate department full of people who are paid to keep your loyalty. Be sure you’re getting the best deal possible before agreeing to stay.

Although, in the past, it was common for contracts to be the cheaper option if you use your phone frequently, pay as you go can now sometimes be the better choice. If you’re not desperate for a shiny new handset, the main attraction with most contract offers, then consider pay as you go instead. You’ll pay only for what you use rather than sitting on thousands of unused minutes and texts, and you won’t run the risk of getting stuck into a contract you can’t afford. Pay as you go is a far better option if you’re trying to budget more carefully, or if you’re not fussed about having the latest smart phone. 

If it’s a contract that you need, then first work out exactly what you use your phone for each month. You can figure this out pretty easily by looking at your most recent bills, or contact your provider for a summary. Work out how many minutes of call time you use, how many texts you send and how much data you get through on average. You can then find the perfect tariff to suit your needs, instead of paying for the most expensive choice and never coming close to the maximum allowances. You can save more money if you choose to keep the handset you already have, as you can go for a Sim-only tariff rather than a more expensive contract bundled with a new phone. Use comparison sites to check the prices of tariffs across a wide variety of networks; these sites filter what type of handset you’re after and how much you need from your tariff and give you the best prices available. Remember to filter for Sim-only if you don’t want to go in for a new handset. 

This is something many people forget and then regret: before you sign anything, check the network coverage in your area. Unless the salesperson lied outright and guaranteed coverage where there wasn’t any, you wont be able to return your phone and start over if you get home and find you have no signal. Each provider should have a map available that shows their 2G signal and some should also show 3G and 4G so that you can be sure your mobile is going to be of use to you when you need it. These maps may not always be entirely accurate, so to double-check you could always ask a friend who is on that network to come over and try and use their phone in your home, or take a free Sim from the provider to put in your phone to test it out before signing. 

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