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How to Choose the Right Mobile Tariff for Your Needs

By Edited Sep 23, 2016 0 0

 

Choosing the right mobile tariff is important for a lot of people. The costs of running a mobile phone, whilst less expensive than they used to be, still aren't cheap. And choosing the right tariff can make sure that you don't needlessly spend money. Many people tend to go for the biggest calling packages that they can afford, which is generally a mistake. Big packages have big limits for calling, texting and data, which is great if you're a big user, but if you're not, you're going to be paying for services that you're not using. On the other hand, if your package is too small, then you're going to consistently go over your limits for calling, texting and data. The problem with this is that the added charges for going over the limits of your package are often high, and can quickly add up. Getting the right tariff doesn't have to be complicated, it just requires a little fore thought.

Considering Your Needs...

The most important step in this process by far is considering your needs. It's easy to over or under estimate what you need in a calling plan, so simple guessing probably isn't the best way to do this. A good way of getting a general idea of what you need is to go through a few of your old mobile bills and see what your average use is like. How many minutes do you usually call? How many messages do you generally send? What's your data usage like? If you can't do this, consider using your phone to track your use. Most phones nowadays have counters for calling minutes, messages and data hidden in the settings menu. Just reset these counters to zero and use your phone for a month, before going back to check what your usage looks like. If you have neither of these options, maybe because this is your first mobile, consider getting a cheap pay as you go plan for a couple of months to see how you're going to use your phone, and then you can sign up for a plan.

Compare Pay as You Go Tariffs...

The advantage when you compare pay as you go tariffs is that you're going to be getting services that you're definitely going to use. Because you only pay for what you use, pay as you go tariffs are great for small users. Monthly contract plans tend to have high limits for calling, texting and data, and if you're a light user then you're simply not going to use that much. Whilst pay as you go tariffs usually have higher prices you do end up saving because you're only paying when you use your phone. When you compare pay as you go tariffs you definitely need to look at prices, but also look at special rewards that networks offer. From free minutes to money back on top ups, there are a lot of reward programmes out there. Pay as you go deals aren't generally good for high users though, since they spend a lot of money.

Look at Monthly Tariffs...

If you're a moderate to heavy user, you're going to want to go for a monthly contract bill, since you'll end up paying less with a fixed bill than you would with pay as you go. Monthly contracts come with a variety of different limits for calling, texting and data, so it's important that you look at all the options available to you and choose the one that comes closest to matching your needs. A good way to do this is to simply go on line and find a tariff comparison site. These sites will let you enter the number of minutes and texts as well as the amount of data that you're looking for, and will show you plans that meet your needs. It's a good idea to go for something just a little bigger than your normal use, just to make sure that you can stay within the limits of your contract.

Unlimited Monthly Contracts...

For real heavy users, there are unlimited monthly contracts available. Whilst it's common nowadays, even on mid-range tariffs, that networks offer unlimited text messaging, there are also plans that come with unlimited calling and unlimited data. These plans tend to be extremely expensive, so make sure that you really need them before signing up. Also, you might want to watch out for unlimited data. While many companies offer unlimited mobile data plans, the fact is that these plans aren't quite as unlimited as you might think. Many companies employ fair usage policies, meaning that if they think you're using too much data they reserve the right to cut off your service or slow down your internet speeds. If you really want unlimited data you need to look for a package that's marked “truly unlimited,” meaning that the network doesn't employ a fair usage policy.

Alternatives to Unlimited...

As we said, those completely unlimited plans do get expensive. But there are a couple of options for making them cheaper. Firstly, consider that you might not really need calling, texting and data to be unlimited. Rarely do people use all three of these services a lot. You might be able to compromise and get a plan with unlimited texting and data, but with a calling limit. Or get unlimited calling and texting, but a data limit. There are also a lot of mobile companies that have add-ons. An add-on is an extra service that you tack on to your normal contract. So, for example, you could have a regular calling plan with unlimited text messaging and calling, and with a data limit of, say, 1 GB. This plan is an average plan and won't cost you as much as a completely unlimited plan. You can then use one of the network's add-ons to get an extra 1 GB of data a month, doubling your data allowance, and still giving you a cheaper monthly bill than if you went with a completely unlimited package. It's worth having a look at the add on services that your network offers, since these can make packages a little more flexible, giving you the opportunity to design a package to meet your needs.

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