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Guide to getting the best mobile phone contracts

There are over 80 million mobile phone contracts in the UK, and nine in 10 people own a mobile phone. However, with ever increasing options, such as the type of contract, the handset, and the tariff, it’s harder to choose the best one.

This guide will help make sure consumers know how to choose the best mobile phone contract for them.

Ask for a discount

The first and easiest step is simply to ask the provider for a discount. This is best done when the current contract is coming up for renewal, but there’s no harm in asking mid-term.

There are a couple of ways of going about requesting a cheaper deal; the first being to thoroughly research similar tariffs on other networks. This will give an idea of how much it should cost each month. For comprehensive research, check comparison sites, the network’s own site, and third party re-sellers, such as Carphone Warehouse.

The second is to just say it’s too expensive, and ask what they can do. If the provider looks at the previous usage and sees that not all of the call, text, and data allowance are being exhausted, they might offer a cheaper tariff in return for a smaller allowance.

Threaten to cancel

This next technique will only work when the contract is coming to an end, so make sure the date is noted in a diary.

Call the network and ask to be put through to the disconnections or cancellations department. It might be named cancellations, but this team of people is integral to retaining customers. Their job is to persuade customers to stay with the network, perhaps with a loyalty discount.

The networks don’t offer their very best tariffs to the open market, these are often reserved for existing customers, particularly those threatening to leave.

Before accepting the first ‘cheap’ deal, make sure it offers exactly what’s needed, as there will be no option to change is a few months down the line. Also, remember that this does mean locking into another contract, usually 24 months.

Work out what you need

Following on from the point above, the best mobile contract is only the best if it meets the needs of the user.

Most market-leading tariffs now offer ‘unlimited’ calls, texts and data, but they come with a hefty price tag. If the user only makes a few calls a month, and mainly uses their home WiFi connection to access the internet, they’ll be paying for more than they consume.