Updated on October 15, 2015
Mobile Phone Contract Hunting Tips
When it comes to mobile phone contracts, you should approach the topic like you would a romantic relationship. In a relationship, you take the time to know somebody before taking the plunge because you know you’re going to spend a long time, if not forever, with that somebody. Mobile phone contracts are the same – since you are locking yourself to a contact that lasts 2 years give or take, you should at least get to know the provider of said phone contract, as well as the handset you’re getting.
Sadly, a lot of people don’t follow this mindset. Most people unwittingly sign a contract only because the handset is the latest in the market, or because it looks cool. Some sign contracts because the terms look good on paper. If you enter mobile phone contracts this way, you may find your relationship with your contract provider turning sour once the reality of payment terms set in. To avoid this pitfall, we’ve compiled some handy tips you should follow when shopping for a mobile phone contract.
Research Before You Look
When it comes to relationships, you already know what you are looking for before you start your search. The same applies to mobile phone contracts – never set foot in a phone store or apply for a contract online if you have no clue what you want. First, think of your lifestyle, budget constraints and phone usage. Is your financial status good enough to sustain contracts featuring the latest handsets? How many texts and calls do you make per month? What other services do you want besides the basics (e.g. mobile Internet, cameras, organiser apps, music)?
Let the Internet be your best bud. If you have your eye on some particular models, at least have an idea on all the features they offer. Of course, mobile phone companies will always highlight the good stuff, so it’s up to you to check the facts. A handset might look glamorous and have tons of applications, but it might also have lousy battery efficiency.
Sales representatives have a sixth sense, and can detect customers who have no idea what they’re doing. This is why you should do your research and take charge. Make sure the sales crew know that you won’t be taken in by idle sales talk If you possess an aura of authority and knowledge, you won’t get badgered into buying something that’s more than what you need.
Don’t be afraid to take a closer look at all the phones in the shop. Ask questions to clarify what you already know from your research. If you play your cards right, they will see that you are well-informed and will treat you accordingly. Take charge and stick to the phone plan that you want. Kindly decline any attempts to get you to upgrade, add goodies or basically spend more money for something you don’t need. If you must, drop names of competitors and their offers. Who knows, they might even sweeten the deal if they feel like they might lose you to the competition.
The same concept applies to online shops. Negotiate as much as possible until you get the terms you want. If you tread carefully and analyse all aspects of the deal when buying a house or car, why not apply the same caution when it comes to mobile phone contracts? Sure, the money invested in mobile phone contracts is nothing compared to houses or cars, but it’s still your money, and you have to make sure you spend it wisely.