Choosing a mobile phone is really exciting, however, mobile phones can also be a real financial trap! Mobile phone debt is actually one of the most common types of financial difficulty today.
Mobile phone contracts come in three main types: fixed-term, monthly and prepaid. But with dozens of handsets, plans and features on offer, it can be hard to compare all the options. Phone companies compete hotly for mobile customers so there are lots of ‘cap’ plans around, both pre-paid and on contracts, which include generous call and SMS credits.
- Fixed-term contracts often have the lowest call charges, but usually lock you in for 12 to 36 months. On top of call charges you’re likely also to pay a connection fee and the cost of your handset over the term of the contract. If you cancel a fixed-term contract early, you will usually have to pay out the remainder of the contract term, even though you are no longer using it.
- A monthly (or casual) contract is more flexible, especially if you own your handset and are not locked in to a contract. This type of plan can still get you low call rates depending on the monthly call time you choose to buy.
- A pre-paid contract is often the best option if you’re on a tight budget because you can decide in advance how much you want to spend. If you use your phone wisely and a bit sparingly, your pre-paid credit can last a long time.
Above all, when choosing the most suitable plan, always read the small print before signing any paperwork, in case you have missed some important information regarding your contract. Take the time to carefully read all the documents and be sure you are aware of everything before you sign the papers.
Once you are aware of all the information regarding your mobile plan and feel comfortable using it, you have agreed to be apart of that plan. Do not let a sales assistant pressure you into signing up on the spot.
E.g. Renata Hoeun is a retail worker and university student who has had a friend experience terrible phone contracts.
“I had a friend who left her phone in public and of course it got stolen. This was a brand new Iphone 4 that she had just purchased. She was devastated because not only does she not have a phone, but she has to keep paying for it because of her contract. So you really have to read through the contract carefully and know what your signing!”
Make sure all receipts regarding your mobile plan are kept as proof of purchase or if it is faulty and not fit for purpose, exchanges and refunds can be made.
Without receipts, they will not accept any refunds of exchange as there is no proof of it…