Data, timing & loyalty - Our guide to saving money on your mobile phone contract. Part 3

Updated: Aug 3, 2018


In our continuing series to explore how you can save money on your mobile phone contract we look at how you can save by timing your purchase right, why it sometimes pays to be loyal and we ask, do you really need all that data?


You can read parts one, two and four by following the links: Part 1, Part 2, Part 4


Tip 5: Do you really need all that data?


Data is great but unless you tear through it, many allowances are getting absurdly large. There are 4G tariffs now with 50GB of data. Offers such as double, triple, quadruple data look great but aren’t that valuable if you don’t use enough of that data. Hardly anyone can actually use 50GB in a month.


Giving extra data away as part of your contract is almost cost free to the network. Only take it if you really need it otherwise stick to a lower allowance plan. Most people we come across use less than 4GB, high users at up to 15GB. You’d be hard pressed to use 50GB unless you didn’t bother with WiFi at home.


Tip 6: Even if you don’t need a new handset, call to switch tariff anyway


Many people hold on to their tariff longer than its end date. This is something that the networks love because often the monthly fee you pay for your mobile phone contract is mostly made up of the amount you pay for the handset itself, not what’s called the “airtime” element. As a result the bulk of two or three months payment after your contract has come to and end is profit for the network.


Notwithstanding Tip 2, if possible, as soon as your contract expires, you should move to a new contract. If you want to keep your phone for a bit longer move to a sim only as most sim only contracts are for 30 days or 12 months, this gives you more flexibility than a new 24 month agreement. If you do want to keep your phone it pays to shop around for sim only contracts across all networks. Even though you don’t get a phone there are often some nice incentives to look out for - all the networks have data promotions running at the moment (but be wary of these, see Tip 5), O2 and Vodafone have entertainment offers too (see Tip 4).


Tip 7: If you must be loyal push for a fantastic deal to stay that way


You’ll probably start to get a flurry of calls from your network one month or so before your contract comes to an end. All the networks know that it’s much cheaper to keep you as a customer than to persuade someone to move over from another network. They will be desperate to get you to sign with them for another 12 or 24 months. You just need to know how far you can push them.


You should use this to your advantage. Always shop around and if necessary put off speaking to your network until you’ve had a change to shop around. Take some time to think about what you need and then use a service like ours to work out the best price for what you need. Even if you do want to stay with your network, it’s good to be prepared with a good run down of what’s on the market. You’ll be in a much stronger position to negotiate a bit of a discount if you need to.


Read part four here

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