Switching mobile phone providers and tariffs is important to ensure that you are getting the best deal, unfortunately it’s never as simple as just starting a new contract with a different supplier. The whole point of switching is to get a better deal than the one you are currently on – so you need to compare the mobile phones and tariffs that are available from providers all around the UK [if you think Pay-as-You-Talk might be better for you, check our our previous blog].
Why do I need to switch?
The improvements in technology mean that new handsets are being launched every few days, and as a consequence the way in which we use our mobiles is also changing. A combination of these factors means that network operators are bringing out new deals and tariffs on a regular basis. When coming to the end of your contract it is important that you scour the entire market for the best deal, rather than just renewing with your current provider.
Finding the best deals
In order to find a mobile phone contract offering you the best value for money you need to know and understand your personal requirements, and then compare what is available. Consider some of the following things:
- What do you use your phone for the most? Calls, texts, or internet?
- When do you make the most calls?
- What network are your friends and family on?
- Do you require a new handset?
- Are you on a contract or pay-as-you-go?
- How many calling minutes do you use each month?
The answers to all these questions will create your own personal profile, and help you to find the perfect mobile phone tariff.
If you’d rather not go through all the hassle of doing this yourself, you could use services to help you out. The Ofcom approved billmonitor is one of the most popular tools online for finding the perfect mobile phone contract, you simply tell billmonitor how you use your phone by allowing it to analyse your bills, it will use this information to compare it with millions of contract available and match you with the right one.
Billmonitor tells you exactly how much money the new contract could save you on a monthly and annual basis. Mobilife.com has a similar bill analysis system which can also help you save money.
Keep your phone number
Keeping the same phone number is important to many people, as having to remember a new number, updating everyone with your new contact details, and amending business cards and so on can be a real pain. It is very simple to take your existing mobile phone number with you whichever provider you choose to go with, so don’t let that put you off switching.
Switching before contract end
When you sign up for a mobile phone contract you are signing a legally binding document so you can’t just decide to up sticks and change provider. If you still have time left on your contract you will either be required to pay the remaining monthly charges or a cancellation fee. However, you can cancel most contracts without paying any charge at the end of the minimum term, this will vary but can be as much as three months before the end of the contract.
How to switch
Once you have selected the price plan or tariff you want to go for, simply contact your current provider to cancel your contract (don’t forget about penalties for early cancellation). If you want to keep the same phone number, mention this to the network so that they keep it active and provide you with a PAC code. This code needs to be given to your new provider within 30 days so that they can switch your number to the new phone.
Once you have signed up to your new contract, you will be sent all the information in a letter or via email. You will have to go through a credit check, so before applying, ensure that you are aware of your current credit score. If you are successful, your new handset and tariff should commence within the next few working days.
If you are nearing the end of a lengthy contract start looking at which tariffs and networks could save you money. You can either compare manually by using comparison websites or checking each provider’s deal, or you can use services such as billmonitor.com and mobilife.com. Whichever way you want to switch mobile phone tariff, make sure you’re ‘ringing’ in the Savings!
|Written by :|
|Jemma is a news & research reporter for compareandsave.com.
Having worked as a journalist on a number of personal finance websites; she now spends time researching and commenting on UK personal finance stories and investigating new ways to help our readers save money.
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