Choosing Your First Contract: a Buyer’s Guide

So you’ve decided to go for a phone contract and perhaps you have your eye on a new phone with all sorts of special features, or you’re tired of using the same old standard handset with no extra perks. Choosing your first contract could seem confusing at first, but finding the deals that will benefit you the most doesn’t have to be complicated.

Lets think minutes, pay as you go phones can be a more expensive with less call time and you may find yourself limiting calls to take account of this. On a fixed monthly fee, minutes can range between 100 to unlimited depending on which deals you go for. Consider the amount you’ll actually need and don’t make the mistake of paying for more minutes then you will ever need. Even worse is paying less, an adding to a costly bill.

Now on to text messaging. You could be sending more texts than you’re used to as most network providers will be fairly generous with the amount of free messages they offer. Work out how many texts you usually send in a month, and use that as a guide to help choose the right phone package.

Bear in mind when operators provide ‘unlimited’ minutes or texts there could be a fair usage policy. Unlimited used to be limited to a certain amount such as 3000. There can be repercussions if the network feels like you are abusing their services by making too many calls or sending too many messages.

With new Smartphones coming out left, right and centre many modern handsets now come with the ability to connect to the Internet. Phones may feature either Wi-Fi or 3G. Wi-Fi allows you to connect to your home network, or others Wi-Fi networks without incurring any charges.

There won’t always be a Wi-Fi network to connect to so in such events you can connect to the net via 3G. It is with 3G connections that you will be charged extra. Phones are becoming a regular way to search the web and most contracts now come with data allowance, which range from 100mb to 1gb.

Also, don’t forget contracts have a set length of time, from 12 months, 18 months and 24 months. Think about how long you want to be tied down for. Shorter contracts such as 12 months usually mean you’ll have to pay for a handset up front rather than 24 months, which may provide the handset for free due to the longer monthly payments.

However if you already have your desired handset, SIM only deals are available from most operators. This usually means a 30-day rolling contract, so you could cancel with only a months’ notice.

Don’t forget to have a good browse of all the handsets around to find your perfect one! Considering the dozens out there, look at all the features of each phone because if you’re in a contract for one or two years you’ll want a mobile that will remain a useful tool!