Guides & Checklists

Mobile Phone Buyer’s Checklist

If you are going to purchase a new mobile phone contract, you can take our Handy Buyer’s Checklist with you to help you get a deal which is right for you!

It will let you know the right questions to ask to make sure you’re getting what you need and that you won’t won’t be surprised later on by the small print. If the adviser can’t give you a clear answer to any of these questions, we advise thinking very hard before agreeing to a contract.

  • Is the coverage good in my area?
  • How long is the contract term?
  • Will the contract price change after an initial period?
  • Is there a cancellation period and what are the conditions?
  • Do the ‘inclusive’ text messages include overseas messages or are they only national?
  • What is the price per minute if ‘inclusive’ minutes are exceeded?
  • What is the price per minute of 0800, 0845 etc. numbers on this network*?
  • If there is a promise by the trader to cancel your previous phone contract how will this take place?
  • If the contract includes internet browsing what are the time and download limits? (Beware of the word ‘free’ – this does not mean ‘unlimited’)
  • What are the conditions for any ‘cash back’ or free gift claim?
  • Network and contract start date?
  • Phone Number and IMEI number?

You can find the checklist here in pdf form so you can print it out and take it along to the shops with you.

*’Free to call’ phone lines, such as 0800, 0500 and 0808 numbers, are currently only free to call on landlines, not on most mobiles. They may not even be allowed as part of your inclusive minutes on a pay monthly mobile contract and you could even be charged more per minute than your usual landline call rate. Therefore, calling a ‘free’ number on a mobile can be very expensive. The same is true of other ‘non-geographic’ numbers, such as ‘0845’ numbers, which are generally local rate on landlines but may be much more on a mobile.

Ofcom is currently working to change things and has drafted proposals that by June 26th, 2015, mobile phone providers will have to make all numbers starting ‘080’ free to call, while also making sure customers know exactly what they will be charged for other non-geographic numbers. At the moment though, you could be charged up to 21p a minute to phone a ‘free’ number on a mobile, so be careful and check with your network operator on their exact charges for non-geographic numbers.

Note: 999 emergency calls are already are always free from any mobile (even if you don’t have any credit).