Mobile phones are a great communication tool, but the contracts for mobile phone plans are binding and can be tricky to say the least. In order to get the best possible contract and to avoid consumer traps, it is best to prepare yourself before you sign on the dotted line. It is also good to know what you can do if you end up with a problematic contract.
Prevention is a lot better than cure, so before we look at what to do in case of a problem, let’s concentrate on how you can get a mobile phone contract that will give you the service you need at a price that you can afford.
The first thing to remember is that a mobile phone contract is binding. If you sign it then you are legally bound by its provisions for the term of the contract. It is up to you know what you are signing up for.
Before you select any mobile phone contract or plan, make an estimate of how many calls you will make and who you will make them to. Are you calling landlines, mobile phones, locally, interstate or internationally? The most important tip for getting the right mobile phone contract is to match your calling patterns with the rates that are offered by the mobile carriers and service providers.
Once you have an idea of how you will use your phone, take a look at the rates and conditions offered by the various companies.
In Particular, Pay Attention To The Following Factors:
1. Find out what the rates are for calling other mobiles, landlines and for long distance.
2. Find out how the charges are calculated. Will you be billed per second or by 30 second intervals?
3. Find out if there is a connection fee or “flag fall” cost in addition to the per second call rate.
4. Read the fine-print carefully, so that you will not be surprised later on by conditions that will not be favorable to you. If you are not sure what you are signing, then delay your decision. Don’t sign under pressure or threat.
5. Consult with your friends, colleagues and do research on the web to find out if your would-be service provider is reliable and ethical.
In addition to this there are some other tips that can help you to reduce your mobile phone expenditures:
1. Consider buying your own handset. If you buy an economical handset then it may be cheaper than the expensive models that are included in many contracts. Remember, if you get a phone as part of a contract it is not normally free. The cost of the phone is usually incorporated somehow in your bill.
2. Get text alerts that let you know how much you are spending. Many providers will let you opt-in to this service.
3. Join the network or service where most of your friends, relatives and business contacts are already members. It is usually cheaper to call to phones that are on the same network.
4. Ask your service provider if you can opt-out of making calls to expensive services. If you go this route, then your phone will be blocked from making these expensive calls.
If you follow all of these tips then you will probably get a phone contract that will not be a problem, however many people wonder what can be done in case of difficulties.
A Common Question Is: “Is It Possible To Get Out Of A Mobile Phone Contract?”
Normally you are obligated to remain in the contract for its duration. That’s why before you sign up find out if there is a penalty fee for breaking the contract and how much that will be. Also you should check to see if your provider offers any insurance in case the phone that comes with the contract is lost or damaged.
Another common problem is a rate rise while you are under contract. Look at the fine print of your contact before signing up to see if your provider is allowed to make any rate rises while you are under contract. If you rates go up, check your contract or ask your provider to show which part of the contract has allowed them to make the rate rise. If they can’t justify the rate rise, then they are violating the terms of the contract.
Finally, if you think that you have signed up for a contract due to false or misleading advertising then you can take action to have your contract terminated, using the consumer protection services of your country. In Australia the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman may be used to resolve contract disputes, but you first have to try to work out the problem with your service provider.
If you prepare yourself with proper information and select your mobile phone contract carefully, you will not run into many problems later on down the line. So, when you are getting ready to enter into any mobile phone contracts available on the market, just remember to “look before you leap.”