Top things to consider when taking out a phone contract

Thomas Wellburn
May 22, 2017

Taking out a smartphone contract is always a headache. You want the new phone and the store clerk wants that signature on the dotted line. In the heat of the moment, it’s quite easy to miss out on key details that could lock you in for longer periods or charge extortionate fees in certain conditions. As such, here’s our top 4 points to consider when taking out a phone contract.

1. Watch for hidden fees

Phone companies love to hide things in the small print and contract prices are prime territory for hidden small print. Ensure that the contract is a fixed price and doesn’t change after a set period (these are known as Tiered plans).

2. Check the data policies

Going over your data allowance is easy to do on smaller contracts, so it’s worth knowing what happens if you’re reaching the limit. Most phone networks now put a data ‘cap’ in place which stops you from using any online services and prompts you to buy a rescue pack for the remainder of the month, but you should always make sure just to be on the safe side.

3. Don’t forget that cooling period

The Consumer Credit Act gives everyone in the United Kingdom a right to cancel their contracts within the first 14 days and incur no penalty for doing so. This is a great time to ponder on your signing and make sure that you haven’t just made a big mistake. If you change your mind at any point over those days, simply send a letter in writing (and preferably an email as backup) confirming your withdrawal. Waiting longer than this will incur nasty cancellation fees, which can be hefty.

4. Know your cancellation rights

It’s easy for networks to pull you into their webs for the long-haul, so you need to know where you stand in the event that the monthly costs start getting a bit too much. Many phone networks will charge you the remainder of the contract in one up-front fee if you decide to pull out early, while others will offer a trade-in scheme after a certain period where it’s possible to take out a different deal so long as you stick with the network.

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