title:Contract Phones and the Great Network Swindle author:Michael Hanna source_url:http://www.articlecity.com/articles/gadgets_and_gizmos/article_435.shtml date_saved:2007-07-25 12:30:10 category:gadgets_and_gizmos article:

It?s familiar conversation amongst friends gathered in the pub on a Friday night. Someone got a new mobile phone which does this that and the other, but what a trauma they had to go through to get it. Their mobile phone contract was up for renewal and they were offered a package with 100 free minutes and 200 text messages per month. All well and good, but why is the same contract on offer to new customers with 200 free minutes for 6 months? Why am I, an existing network customer any different to a new customer? Why does my mobile phone contract have different rules and features than a new customer? Heads nod in agreement ? we?ve all been there.
The major mobile phone networks appear so desperate to compete with their rivals for the affections of new customers that they seem to neglect their existing customers. What the networks fail to realise is that once your mobile phone contract is up then you become a new customer yourself and suddenly the networks are all salivating over the potential of your custom. Phone contract offers pour from newspapers, billboards, online adverts ? 200 free minutes, unlimited text messaging, the latest handsets all for ?15 per month. All well and good, but how do you cut through the network propaganda and ensure that you get the best deal available?
Well, it?s not as difficult as it might seem. The answer, as with most comparison shopping, lies online. Whilst the networks exert an obvious bias, resellers and aggregators online have no such standpoint. Resellers covering a number of major networks allow you to search and compare contract phones to find the cheapest rate, best handset or contract features to suit your budget. These aggregator sites (http://www.dialaphone.co.uk/contractphones.html) let you browse and select the best deal for you regardless of the contract provider and regardless of whether you are a new customer.
Online resources are useful ? we have all had a dodgy handset at one time or another and the networks are not going to tell you that your new contract phone is a lemon. Handset reviews are readily available online (http://www.reviewcentre.com) to allow you to get an unbiased view on what you are getting for your money.
When your phone contract is up for renewal and you feel that maybe the network is taking you for granted don?t just accept the offer. Vote with your feet and compare mobile phone contracts online to get the best deal. If your current mobile phone network does not value your custom ? another one will, at least for a year!
Copyright 2006 Michael Hanna

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