> Mobile - UK Guide
Since the late 1980s, the humble cell phone has steadily increased in popularity and evolved beyond our wildest dreams. What was once a brick-sized gadget that could do little else other than make and take phone calls has become a tiny device that can do almost everything short of clean the house and cook your lunch! The mobile phone has become a household device used by everyone from young kids to the elderly. You can select from pay as you go and contract mobile phones, and over recent years we have seen a great increase in the number of mobile phone service providers.
How do I find out who serves my area?
Most mobile phone service providers service a vast area, which means that you will enjoy an even bigger choice without as many limitations as other utilities. The Internet is a fast and efficient way to find out which service providers are available, and what sort of packages they can offer on your mobile phone service.
What to look out for
When looking for a contract mobile phone service provider, it is important to consider the price per call/text, and any offers on off-peak calls. Some providers will offer free phones calls and text messages, which can be very useful for those that use their phones a lot. You should also look into payment methods, any special offers or rates for new mobile telephone customers, and any package deals that could save you more money (such as a free phone with your mobile contract).
How do I pay?
Most mobile phone providers now offer a wide range of payment options, which means a higher level of convenience and choice for consumers. Most telecom providers enable you to pay via a bank or post office, or by calling the provider and making a credit card or debit card payment. You can also send a cheque for your monthly bill. Most providers now encourage people to pay on a monthly basis via direct debit, although there is no obligation to do so.
Money Saving Tips
There are a number of ways in which you can save money on the cost of your mobile phone bills. These include:
Limit the use of your mobile during peak times. Try and stick to off peak times or during times when you have free calls (subject to deal offered by provider)
Paying by direct debit may get you a discount with many mobile service providers, and this can help to keep down unnecessary costs.
Look out for packages that offer free calls or texts each month
How do I switch accounts?
Although many people think that switching must be a long winded and complicated process, hundreds of people switch every week. All you have to do is decide which company you want to switch to, and contact the company to advise them. Then you simply let your old provider know that you are switching, or the new company may do this for you. This is the general procedure, but may change from one provider to another. However, look out for any penalties or notice periods that may apply with your current provider before you switch.
You can find out more about the mobile phone service industry at the official regulatory board, the Office of Communications: www.ofcom.org.uk