Choosing a cell phone is a difficult process in itself, but choosing the right tariff can be even more complicated. With 6, 12, 18, and even 24-month contracts tying customers to one plan for that set period of time, it can be a daunting prospect putting pen to paper on the agreement, but there is an alternative.
The majority of prepaid cell phones allow customers to make calls and send messages at will, giving them the freedom to communicate with their friends and family at all times, with complete control over how much they spend. This option means that the customer is not tied in to any long-term contract, and they only pay for what they use, with charges being incurred once they go over that ‘limit’ in terms of calling minutes and message allowance.
(Image courtesy of Flickr)
There are five reasons why investing in a prepaid cell phone makes more sense than taking out a long-term contract:
(1) Parents looking after their children – as a parent, you can make sure that your child has a method of staying in touch when they’re out at school or with friends, and while giving them their sense of independence you can monitor just how much they use their phone as once the credit runs out, that’s it. Then if they want any more minutes or messages, they pay for it out of their allowance.
(2) Occasional/emergency users – if you only use your phone to speak to your family or to have a way of contacting the emergency services, then there is no point getting involved in a long-term contract full of hours worth of calls and thousands of messages.
(3) Back-up/temporary phone – if you ever break your main cell phone and it needs sending away for repair, then a prepaid temporary phone is the best option. As a short-term solution, it makes financial sense to buy a cheap phone and put as little money into it as possible while you wait for yours to return.
(4) The financially restricted – if you’re not particularly well-off financially, then prepaid cell phones give you the ability to own a phone that you can use wherever whenever, and only pay what you can as opposed to paying a certain amount per month.
(5) Gauging potential use – if you’ve just bought a phone and aren’t sure whether it’s going to be the right one for you, ie it has features that could be too complicated or it’s missing something that you need in a cell phone, then it makes sense to avoid getting tied down contractually, as if you went to return it you would be unable to do so.