A recent Australian survey from comparison site WhatPhone.com.au revealed that only 7% of people are sure they will compare and choose a new phone plan in 2018. The consequences of not taking the time and trouble to make yourself aware of your options, whatever country you live in, are well known. We explain the key problems, here.
What are the effects of not comparing and upgrading your phone plan?
- You’ll get less data per $: The key thing most people want in their phone plan is data. Phones are used less for calling now, than they are as mobile internet connections. It’s data that connects us to the social media, communication, news and entertainment services we all want when we’re mobile. Some providers (generally smaller phone companies) offer literally twice the data inclusions of their nearest competitors, at the same price.
- You’ll miss out on optional extras that might be important to you: An increasing number of phone plans include ‘value added’ extras like free sports videos. They’re often delivered to you ‘data free’ which can save users money as well as improving the entertainment value of their commute!
- You’ll pay more, overall, than someone who does compare: The most expensive time for people is often when they come to the end of their 2 year contract. At that time, they own the phone and have paid it off entirely. If they want, they can leave their current provider and move to a SIM Only plan which does not include phone repayments. Those who don’t end up paying a great deal more than they need to.
Why don’t people compare?
Around 40% of people surveyed were unsure if they would have the time and inclination to shop around. Ultimately, the reason people don’t compare is decision fatigue, a name used to describe the increasingly common feeling we all get that we’ve used our brain enough today and that further decisions will just have to wait.
In reality, it takes less than 15 minutes to thoroughly compare phone plans, pick an alternative and move to it. Everything can be done online and it’s as simple as filling a form in.
So, what are the key things you can do to shop around?
Nearly 70% of people are now on some form of SIM only plan. WhatPhone’s handy guide explains in simple terms, often using pictures, everything you need to know about how to shop around.
- Make yourself aware of the plan options which are in market: The 3 key types of plan available in most countries are prepaid plans, SIM Only Plans and PAYG (Pay As You Go) plans. They are all similar but have small differences. Prepaid plans, for example, need to be consciously recharged every month, whereas SIM Only plans are postpaid and charges, including additional charges you incur during the month (for example, using data on top of that which was allocated to you in your plan) are automatically charged to your account, without.
- Know the basics: The most commonly asked question, when people are about to change their plan (which often involves changing phone companies) is ‘Can I keep my phone number. The answer, of course, is yes. However, people ask because they genuinely don’t know.WhatPhone’s guide provides the 5 key facts, including some more detail on the phone number ‘porting’ process, to shortcut the time it takes you to make your decision.
- Do the math: Perhaps the most offputting aspect of comparing the option which are available to you is working out the costs of the alternatives available to you. WhatPhone’s guide contains simple, step by step procedures to make the process as easy as possible. Simply follow the directions and insert the costs you encounter and at the bottom of the page, your total cost of ownership is easily determined.
Of course, in telco comparisons, as in any slightly technical field, there is a plethora of confusing terms. WhatPhone’s free guide contains a glossary which explains every term you might encounter in non technical ways.
The average household spends around 5% of their entire family budget on telecommunications costs. With savings of up to 32% per year available to those who do compare vs those who don’t, the 15 minute time investment WhatPhone is proposing is well worth allocating. Just like car insurance, comparing your phone bill should be something you revisit every year to keep.
How to compare phone plans.