things to know before signing a cell phone contract
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Things to Know Before You Sign a Cell Phone Contract


You will have to sign a cell phone contract to purchase a shiny new phone. Therefore, you should know how phone contracts work before you decide to tie yourself down. 

You see, when it comes to signing a cell phone contract, there are many questions worth asking, like how long a cell phone contract lasts, what is the network coverage like in your area, and what cancellation options do you have? 

As you can see, there are many things to know before you sign a cell phone contract. Therefore, you should take some time out of your busy schedule to do research and find a cell phone deal that suits you the best. Otherwise, you may end up paying hundreds of pounds for a service that may not even cater to your needs. 

However, you need not worry much because this post is all about helping you find the best phone deal on the market. So, by the time you will finish reading it, you will know everything there is to know about signing a mobile phone contract. 

11 Things to Know Before You Sign a Cell Phone Contract with Any Cellular Service 

It will be best if you know the right answers to the following questions before signing any mobile phone contract, as they will help you understand how phone contracts work and get the best phone deal in the market. 

1. What’s the Network Coverage Like in My Area? 

Why is it essential to check network coverage? Let’s say you already have some preferred network service providers because they offer data plans at prices that won’t cost you an arm and a leg. But what good will those low-credit phone contracts do if those providers don’t have good coverage in areas where you live and work? This is why we have put checking network coverage on top of our list of things to know before you sign a cell phone contract. 

You can use the mobile network coverage map to check whether your preferred network service providers offer good coverage in your areas or not. 

2. Will There Be Any Roaming Charges? 

Again, this is one of the most important things to know before you sign a cell phone contract because many network service providers in the UK are planning to charge their users extra for using their cell phone plans outside of the UK and Ireland. 

Three, EE, and Vodafone already charge their users an extra £2 per day for using their bundles outside of Ireland and the UK. 

However, you can skip these roaming charges if you pen a slightly expensive contract. For example, some Vodafone’s Xtra plans don’t charge users anything for roaming in some locations like Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. 

3. Will Buying the Mobile Phone Outright Save Me Some Money? 

One thing you need to understand is that network service providers not only make money by selling handsets. They make most of their profits from the services they offer via their networks. So, the answer is ‘Yes’. You can save loads of your hard-earned money if you opt to purchase a phone outright. 

Read the reasons listed below to see how you can save money by opting not to sign a cell phone contract to get a new phone: 

  • You can purchase a tailored plan to your needs and not get overcharged. 
  • You can pay as you go and save money if you sign the best SIM only deals. 
  • You can get heavy discounts if you purchase a second-hand or refurbished phone.

4. How Much Mobile Data Do I Need? 

Some people may not realise this, but knowing which data plan suits you the best is one of the most crucial things to know before you sign a cell phone contract, as providers charge a hefty sum of money for every Megabyte of data you download or upload outside your plan. Therefore, you must select a data plan tailored to your needs. Otherwise, your bank account will have to bear the brunt of it by the end of the month. 

5. Can I Change My Network Service Provider After the Contract Ends? 

The mobile network service providers can no longer sell phones that are bound to their networks forever. Once your contract is over, it’s up to you to decide whether you want to continue with the same network or not. However, many people start looking for new network service providers as soon as they receive notifications for contract renewals. People change their networks for one of the following reasons in most cases: 

  • The current provider is overcharging for its services. 
  • The coverage isn’t as good as claimed by the provider. 
  • The rival networks are offering more lucrative deals. 

Changing a network service provider doesn’t mean you have to change your number as well. You can keep your old number even after switching to a new network by contacting your old service provider and asking them to give you your PAC code.  

Once you get your PAC code, all you have to do is give it to your new provider, and they will take care of the rest. 

6. Can I Leave the Contract Early? 

You can cancel your mobile phone contract anytime you want, but you will have to pay a cancellation fee if you want to back out of the deal. However, there are some cases when your provider cannot force you to pay the cancellation fee. 

Read the cases given below to learn how to cancel a phone contract without paying a dime: 

a) There’s a Hike in Prices 

The law obligates all network service providers to inform their users 30 days in advance if they want to raise their prices.  

In such cases, the users will have a window of 30 days to leave their contracts. 

So, if your provider has taken its prices up a couple of notches, you will be within your rights to cancel your contract without paying any cancellation fee. However, if they did inform you about the possible price increase in advance, you won’t be able to get out of your contract for free. 

b) Your Contract is about to End 

If you have less than a month left on your phone contract, you can cancel it without having to pay any fee. 

c) You’re Still in the Cooling Period 

You may not know this, but the length of the cooling period is one of the most important things to know before you sign a cell phone contract. The cooling period gives the users a space of 14 days from the start of the agreement to make an escape without paying a single dime.  

According to the law, you can cancel any mobile phone contract during the first 14 days without giving any reason if you have ordered by post, phone, or online. But this doesn’t apply to contracts signed in stores. 

7. Can I Upgrade My Phone Early? 

Even though you will enjoy the look and feel of your shiny new phone earlier on but once the new models roll out, you may get a sudden urge to change it. In such cases, you should know what your options are. 

In device upgrade cases, the network service providers require the users to pay the remaining amount of the current phone.  

Even if the contract caters to two different costs, namely device, and tariff, the users will have to pay the remaining amount on account of the device. 

However, you will have to pay upfront for the new phone if the contract doesn’t cater to the costs separately. 

8. Are there any Hidden Clauses? 

One mistake we all make at the time of signing a contract is ignoring the small details printed on the contract. It is crucial to read all the terms of the agreement and ask questions about any clause you don’t quite understand. 

Make sure there aren’t any clauses about price increases or hidden costs within your contract before you sign it. In case there are some clauses about the price hikes and you don’t want to give your consent, make sure that you let the network know about this.  

9. How Long Will My Cell Phone Contract Last? 

One of the most crucial things to know before you sign a cell phone contract is its length because knowing it can help you save money. While most phone contracts usually last 2 years, some can extend to 36 months. 

The low monthly fee on 36-month contracts may look appealing at first, but you will end up paying a lot more in the end. 

It would be best if you also keep a close eye on the end date of your contract as it will help you escape the price hikes. 

10. Can the Length of Cell Phone Contracts be Reduced? 

You may not like what we have to say about this, but once you sign a contract with any network service provider, it is impossible to change the terms. However, you can opt to leave the contract during the cooling period. But once it’s over, you will have to comply with the terms and conditions of the agreement. 

All networks are very stern when it comes to renegotiating the length and fee of their contracts because they plan their profits around them. So don’t expect to find any luck once the cooling period is over. 

11. Should I Purchase a Locked or Unlocked Phone? 

It is crucial for you to know that purchasing a phone that is locked to any particular network means you won’t be able to switch to any other network as long as you’re using that phone, even after your contract ends. 

On the other hand, if you purchase an unlocked phone, you will have the freedom to switch to any other network at the end of your contract. 

These are pretty much all the things to know before you sign a cell phone contract. By now, you should have a good understanding of how phone contracts work and be able to use this information to your advantage to get the best phone deal in the market. 

But before we wrap up this topic, let’s look at some other factors, which you should also consider when signing a cell phone deal. 

Price is Not the Only Factor When It Comes to a Good Cell Phone Contract 

Most people are only on the lookout for low credit phone contracts. They tend to forget that the network service providers’ reliability and customer satisfaction rates are also essential to consider. You need to understand that the cheaper option is not always the best option. 

Finding the right cell phone deal is tricky, especially if it’s your first time. So, you should consider everything from service charges, reliability, coverage, to user satisfaction scores of the service providers before you decide to sign on the dotted line. 

We hope you enjoyed reading this blog on 11 Things to Know Before You Sign a Cell Phone Contract. Please leave a comment in the section below if you have any thoughts on the topic. Furthermore, if you’re planning to purchase a phone upfront and looking for the best SIM only deals in the UK, you can get in touch with our customer support centre anytime during regular business hours and get all the information you need. 

Interested in reading more informative posts like this one? Visit our blog frequently, as you will find tons of posts that are laser-focused on giving the readers a new perspective. 



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