Contract Mobile Phones
Contract mobile phones are the ideal solution for people who need to stay in touch with family and friends all the time.
While pay-as-you-go phones are fine for people who are quite independent, needing them only for the occasion call, or for high school children who essentially have the phones so that their parents can call them, a mobile phone on contract can be a liberating asset to everyone else!
Contracts fall into three categories and which will suit you is a very personal decision.
First of all there is the pure pay to use contract, where you sign up to a company and pay a set amount of line rental each month. Each and every call, text, multi-media message or piece of data access will be billed the following month and paid in full, usually by direct debit. This contract works for someone who uses their phone sparingly, but needs to have constant communication available at all times. The second type of contract is one where you pay in a certain amount each month, for certain levels of text, call or data. Once that limit is exhausted you can 'top-up' the phone to continue using it, with any remaining 'top-up' funds remaining until next needed once the monthly payment has been made. This is perfect for people who use lots of minutes and texts, but want to occasionally send multi-media messages, for example.
Multi-media messages are generally separate from a standard text allowance, and will incur a fee. Finally, the third type of contract comes with a set number of minutes, data and texts for a set sum each month. Any instances of overusing these allowances can trigger extra charges on the following month's bill. Some of the mobile phone companies allow you to cap the contract, preventing any over-charging by blocking access after the limit has been reached. Generally this is not a complete disconnection from all services, especially if the contract includes, as so many of them do, these day, unlimited text messages.
- O2 has a good number of contracts available, offering the top ten mobile phones free with contracts ranging from £17 to £25.00 per month. These offer basic amounts of talk, text and data, and many customers may prefer to upgrade to the next level for a few pounds more, to qualify for unlimited talk and texts with generous data allowances.
- Virgin Media's deal seem, on the surface to be more tempting, offering generous packages for anywhere from £14 per month, but the phones – which apparently do not include any of Apple's iPhones – may not be free. They have a range of top Samsung products available on their contracts for around £20.00, which is still a good deal – as is their completely unlimited tariff (unlimited texts, talk and data) with a Samsung Galaxy 4 for £19.00 for the phone and £44.00 per month – excellent for someone like a travelling salesperson, who needs to be constantly on their phone.
- EE, the new result of a merger between T-Mobile and Orange, still operates the websites for T-Mobile and Orange respectively. On the T-Mobile site they had a recent promotion which offered a free iPhone 4 with a £15 monthly tariff – an excellent deal for a budget conscious Apple fan! They also offer a good range of reasonable quality phones for relatively low monthly prices, starting at around £10 per month. Worried bill-payers can apply usage caps if they prefer to lose a service, rather than pay more than expected each month. Overall, a flexible service that can be tailored to the needs of the individual.
- 3 (Three) offers a good, comprehensive range of packages, including one that provides the iPhone 5 for about £30.00, unlimited data, 5000 texts and 500 minutes for only £29.00 per month. They offer all of the phones currently to be seen on the 'top ten smartphone' lists for similar prices, all with generous allowances.
While being tied to a contract is not for everyone, and it is advisable to check out some comparisons before you commit to any one company for 12, 18 or 24 months, they can provide you with the freedom to communicate with friends and family as you desire, without having to think about saving some money in order to be able to afford the call. Most companies want to get or keep your custom, and most can be fairly flexible in the contracts that they can offer. Do not be afraid to tell them what you want from them in order to get the best possible deal.