Mobile phone contracts can be tricky especially for first timers. But the temptation’s simply too great especially if you want the latest iPhone, HTC, Sony, or Samsung Galaxy you could get your hands on. Having a mobile contract allows you to have these for a minimal fee outright, and in many cases, upfront fees are nonexistent.


So before you get too excited and start scanning all the networks to sign up for, it’s best if you  first understand the nitty gritty details of the mobile phone contract you are getting yourself into.


So Exactly What Is a Contract Mobile Phone?


When you sign up for a contract phone you have to pay a monthly fee for a fixed period. Some contracts can last 6-12 months while others take longer and can stretch up to 24 months. In the process customers who sign up usually get the latest handset and a certain allowance for calls, texts, and mobile data.


The network provider will offer you packages of texts, calls and data that will best suit your budget. The important thing about a contract mobile phone is that you don’t have to think about ever running out of credit. Even if you’ve already maxed out the allotted minutes in your contract, you are still capable of using your phone but of course you will be billed for these at month’s end.


On Trial Periods


Don’t forget to ask your network providers if they offer a trial period so you have the freedom of cancelling without having to pay any penalty. Trial offers usually run for thirty days, if ever they offer any. When you’re on your trial period, test your phone to it’s limits. Use it in your usual routes, not just at home or in the office. Use it while in transit, at the malls or other places you go to so you have an idea how efficient the service is whenever you need it. If it doesn’t deliver, then you can switch to a better carrier- hassle free.


Can You Cancel?


Before getting into the contract, find out how you can get out of it without a glitch. What cancellation options do you have? Many companies will charge a fine if you choose an early termination of your signed contract. This can cause you several hundred pounds a pop!


Should You Go for Unlimited Plans?


The term unlimited is so tempting because it’s music to the ears of frequent callers. But if you’re not a frequent caller, there’s really no point of getting unlimited plans. You just have to make sure that you’re paying for the estimated number of minutes you intend to use in a month’s time. Remember, going beyond your allotted rate can put a hole in your pocket. Per-minute rates can cost a lot. So find out their rates and be mindful of your consumption so you won’t have to pay for them.


Roaming Charges


Although not as prevalent as before, roaming charges can still be incurred by users if they venture outside their carrier’s regular service area. So better find out how much you will be charged in case you need to venture outside of it. Also, don’t forget to ask about your international calling options if you’re a frequent traveller outside your country. Granted that your mobile phone can work overseas, bear in mind that these calls tend to be very expensive.


Upgrading your Phone


You may be in love with your mobile phone right now, but if you’re the type to be attracted to the newest cellphone trends or models to date, you might feel a bit disappointed if you find out you don’t have the option for an upgrade. Thus, find out what options your service carrier can give you for replacement or upgrade. More importantly, how much you’re gonna have to pay for when the situation arises.


On Unlocked Smartphones


Some prefer having an unlocked smartphone. But you may have to pay the full amount of the phone as well as get a separate cellular plan. Be sure to do your homework and check out your chosen manufacturer’s website first before you go ahead and purchase one.


The Usual Credit Checks


Whether you like it or not, your service carriers will always check your credit score before approving your application to make sure you have the capability to pay up during the duration of your contract. But don’t lose hope if you’ve been turned down a couple of times. You can research online what you can do to improve your credit score. Perhaps you can settle for a low-end handset (for the meantime until your credit score improves) since service carriers find this as a lower risk even if you can’t always pay on time. SIM- only contracts could also be another option if you’re still happy with your handset and just need the service of your carrier.


No matter what you choose, always remember that you are signing a contract. A legal document that you simply can’t ignore. So if you want to end up happy- choose wisely.


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