Today you will be hard pushed to find someone who doesn’t own a mobile phone, from children to pensioners, everyone has caught onto the craze. The good news is that amidst this huge increase in popularity the mobile phone market has become more competitive than ever. Free handsets, free gifts and even cash back are all on offer for the savvy phone shopper. However, for the average consumer, hunting down the best phone deal can sometimes prove to be a daunting task.
It is well worth taking the time and effort to shop around for the best mobile phone deal possible. Switching provider or haggling with your existing network can potentially save you hundreds of pounds a year. Here are a few simple steps to help you find the best deal.
Firstly, consider what you really need from a mobile phone. Before you start shopping for a new deal it is crucial to work out exactly how many minutes and texts you will require each month, you can do this by looking back at your previous bills. A lot of people get convinced into buying the flashiest new phone with unlimited texts and a high set of minutes included; often paying for far more than they really need.
It is also worth considering if you actually need a new handset, and if you do, whether you need an expensive one with all the latest mod cons, or if you could get by with a simpler model. Most phone providers will offer packages with set texts, minutes and data allowance for a fixed monthly fee. If you don’t need a new handset you should be able to negotiate extra minutes, texts and data allowance, or a discount on your bills. It is important to remember, however, if you do decide to stay with your existing handset that you may not be given another chance to upgrade for 12 or 18 months, with new phones often being costly.
Don’t be afraid to haggle with your existing mobile phone provider. Although most of them will try to tie you down to a longer contract, you can usually start negotiating a new contract around two months before you current one comes to an end. While often you will receive the best deals by switching to another provider, it is always worth putting some pressure on your existing network to see what you can squeeze out of them. Many providers now offer ‘loyalty points’; the longer you stay with a provider the more loyalty points you earn, which you can swap for a discount on your line rental. The more valuable a customer you are to them, the more your network will fight to keep you by offering you large discounts.
Whatever you plan to do always put time aside to shop around for the best deals, even after you have an idea of what your own network will offer you to stay with them. Comparison sites such as uswitch.com and moneysupermarket.com are a great way to get an idea of the best offers out there – especially if you are after a specific new phone. For instance uswitch.com currently have a wide variety of iPhone 5 deals as it is the latest ‘must have’ phone; including all the main providers such as Orange, 02, Vodafone, T-Mobile and Three, as well as packages ranging from $20 to &80 per month. These sites will help you to find the best contracts for your specific needs, as well as helping you to find the best free gifts and cash-back deals.