Few people ever think about the finer details of their phone plans. So long as they are able to scroll through Twitter, read Reddit and receive one-word texts, people don’t seem to care about much else. Every so often though, comes a time when people need to think about the contract they are on and whether it serves them well. It is highly likely they will want to change a thing or two. Here are a few things to look for when shopping for a new phone contract.
The most obvious thing to consider is the length of the contract. Most contracts are either for 12 or 24 months. Shorter plans tend to be more expensive, particularly when a device is part of the deal. Another thing to be on the lookout for is what it costs to cancel the plan early. Some plans require consumers to pay the remaining value of the contract out, whilst others simply require consumers to pay the balance left on the purchase of the handset. Ideally a plan should be on a month-to-month basis, and doesn’t lock in the customer, freeing them up to change every month.
Everyone is now travelling more often than ever before and this means roaming charges should be an area consumers should focus on. Obviously one option is purchasing a prepaid SIM when travelling, but that is not always entirely convenient. Depending on the plan and where the destination is, the costs can vary quite significantly when going abroad. It is important to be aware how much data one uses on a regular basis and how quickly costs will add up.
Today data is almighty and that is not an understatement. Everyone wants to be online all the time. Previously it used to be people only cared about how many minutes they got, now they are more interested in their data allowance. Whenever signing up to a new contract or upgrading from an old one, consumers should make sure they pick a plan with enough data that suits their needs. Consumers should also check with their provider allows them to bank unused data.
Many providers allow their customers the option of upgrading their handset. There are three options typically provided, leasing, SIM-only and handset included. If you wish to BYO, the best option is a SIM-only plan. Consumers needing a new handset need to either purchase a new or pre-owned phone from a retailer, or make monthly repayments in conjunction with their plan. A new model can add anywhere between $50 to $60 to the bill.
Consumers should be aware of the level of coverage offered by their provider when starting a new plan and make sure the coverage in their immediate area is strong enough to handle phone usage. This means doing a bit of research city-wide before signing up. Most service providers do have maps of 3G and 4G blackout spots.
Inclusions and extras
If a standardised plan isn’t working, then consumers should ask about what extras and inclusions can be added and customise their plan. Some plans offer discounted data rates for streaming sites like Netflix and Stan. It is even possible to get streaming from Spotify without using up data allowance. There are plans on the market that provide some free international calling minutes to specific countries or toll numbers. Regardless of whether one is a social media warrior or they send the occasional text, it is important to know whether the phone plan one is on is the best one for their needs.