What is best for the consumer - PAYG or Contract phones?
PAYG versus Contract
Once you have found the phone you want you need to choose whether you pay as you go or opt for a monthly contract. The choice is up to you, you should never feel pressured into buying a contract phone.
The advantages of PAYG are as follows:
- You pay for what you use
- you can control your spending
- Network providers are able to offer you bundles or packages such as top up by £20 and you can receive unlimited texts for the month.
- You can track how much you use and what you use more of. EG texts or calls, this way you can be certain you aren't wasting money on added benefits such as the internet which you rarely use.
Disadvantages of PAYG:
- Brand new phones such as the IPhone tend to be expensive; opting for these models on PAYG could see you paying a fortune for the handset.
- If you are in an emergency and you have no credit left on your phone, you may not be able to top up and make that important call.
- You may be using your phone excessively, constantly having to top up; this could cost you more on a monthly basis than the contract would.
Advantages of Contract phones:
- One way of avoiding the huge upfront fee of the handset. Many network providers will offer the phone at a reduced rate when you opt for contract, often £300 less.
- Unlimited calls and texts are often included in the tariff you chose, ensuring you never run out of minutes when you need to make that emergency call.
- Credit is never a problem with contract phones and you can cap it so you don't go over your tariff – eliminating the hassle of topping up.
Disadvantages of Contract Phones:
- There are no reminders that you are reaching the limit on your internet or data usage
- When you go abroad, you must ensure to turn off your data roaming otherwise you could face a huge bill.
- You are bound to the contract for 12, 18 or 24 months; you are unable to change providers in this time.
- You may get a surprise when you open your bill, often it is difficult to stick to the tariff, 0845 numbers are very expensive to call and you must check your tariff is cross network so that you aren’t paying extra to call other mobile network providers.
So which is best I hear you ask?
There is no right or wrong answer, if you just need your phone to make the odd call or to ensure you are reachable when you’re out and about, then PAYG would be best for you. If you are constantly on your phone and it is attached to your hand, then contractis the way forward to ensure you don't get a huge bill, consider capping your tariff so you can't go over the minutes allocated.