It’s understandable if you find getting through all the guff surrounding SIM only contracts a bit of a chore. I don’t know about you; but I find sales speak mixed with telephone jargon such a drag that it’s enough to put me off the potential savings to be had with SIM only contracts.
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If you’re teetering on the brink of indifference about the whole affair then you’ve come to the right place.
Why are combination deals more expensive than SIM only contracts?
You’d be forgiven for thinking that when a network provider offers you a combination contract (that’s a handset plus use of their network), that they buy in bulk and probably get a cut price deal. The truth is that over the length of a contract of 12 – 24 months you’ll actually end up buying the often so called “free” handset, paying for line rental and then forking out at least and extra £200. For more info on the monetary benefits of SIM only check out this site.
How long are SIM only contracts?
30 day SIM only contracts renew automatically if you don’t call up to cancel them. So the answer is, as long as you need them to be. The options range from 30 days, 90s to a year. The longer you sign up the better value you’re likely to get.
If longer SIM only contracts offer better value why would someone want the 30 day option?
Common reasons for people going for shorter term SIM only contracts range from wanting to check out what a network’s coverage is like – try before you buy, to it being a bridging option for when your existing package expires and you’re waiting for a new release. Others just like to have the flexibility to end a deal should they spot a better one later on.
Where can I check out the best deals?
Your best bet is to go online and visit one of the many great comparison sites. For UK users Comparisim is a great choice because they host a complete range of SIM only deals for everything from mobile phones to tablets across all the UK’s networks. Alternatively each of the network providers will have a SIM only contracts subsection, but using a comparison site just saves time and cuts out the hassle.
I get confused by all the options, help!
This is just the opportunity I was looking for to drop in my favourite line from ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ – “Don’t panic.” Most of the time you’re presented with 3 options which are:
- data (internet)
Each category is pretty much self-explanatory. But seeing as this is a guide for dummies, we’ll go through it in a bit more detail. The ‘minutes’ option refers to how much talk time you can use at no extra charge each month.
Texts can either be a predefined amount but with SIM only plans they are more typically ‘unlimited’. If you’re going low on the talk time you may want more texts so that you can still communicate with your thumbs.
The data or as its sometimes called ‘mobile internet’ usage figure works in the same way as texts and minutes. It is a total sum of the downloadable data that you use each month, measured in MB. It can be somewhat tricky to predict but to make it simple we recommend a package with at least 500MB for anyone with a smartphone connected to the web. If you’re a moderate to heavy user go for a 1GB.
Whatever, deal you choose you should know that you can go above the set amount of minutes, texts or data but it will result in an additional cost is added to your bill at the end of each billing cycle. The rates charged for out of bundle usage are extortionate to say the least so it’s best to play it safe by getting a deal that offers a little more than you’ll typically use.
Lastly minutes texts and data allowance refer to nationwide usage to UK mobiles and landlines. Calling foreign numbers will incur extra costs, as will making or accepting calls while you are abroad. Similarly UK calls to 0800, 0845 or any other non-conventional numbers will also result in additional costs. You can find mobile phone friendly alternate numbers to most big companies using www.saynoto0870.com
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