Selecting the right mobile plan
Guidance on what consumers should consider before choosing a mobile phone plan.
Selecting a mobile plan takes time and consideration. It is risky to quickly select a provider and plan before knowing certain details. How you intend to use your phone will influence the plan that is right for you.
There are a few aspects to consider, follow the guidance below when choosing a mobile phone plan:
The types of mobile plans:
How and when you want to pay for your phone plan is a deciding factor for a Prepaid or Postpaid plan. A Prepaid plan is a bill-less option that allows you to pay upfront and top-up at the end of the plan’s duration. For Postpaid, payment is due at the end of each month. The monthly bill is based on your chosen plan and any usage overages. Prepaid plans can be a cheaper option with less perks or flexibility.
If you need a phone for only calls, then a Prepaid voice plan may be best. If you don’t want a set prepaid plan that expires after a certain time, there are options to ‘pay-as-you-go’ and ‘top-up’ when call minutes are needed.
If you are purchasing a new phone, then a Postpaid plan is good choice because most providers offer for you to buy the phone at a discounted price based on the plan chosen and how much pay upfront. Postpaid plans tend to bundle more inclusions and can be a higher overall monthly value. Sim-card only plans are also available if you already have a phone.
Measure your data usage:
Think about how much data you’ll need every month. Smartphones will track how long you are on certain apps and knowing this can help you decide the data allowance you’ll need. It’s hard to know the exact bytes consumed when video calling, streaming music, or uploading to social media – luckily you do not have to get that granular.
Track your usage by reviewing your monthly data consumption. Most providers apps can show how much data you’ve used and how much you have remaining. If you are close to going over your data allowance or consistently have overages then it’s best to choose a plan with more data.
Think about the Provider:
Choose a provider that you are confident in pleased with. While providers on the island offer plans that are close in price, their network performance and quality reception are factors to think about. As a small island, network coverage isn’t a big problem. Look at the provider’s website and read through their plans or go into their retail stores to speak with a customer representative. Read reviews online, or ask family and friends about their providers pricing, quality, and customer service.
Think about the extras that are essential to you in a mobile plan. Most Postpaid plans include unlimited calls, rollover data, international calling minutes, or unlimited texting. A lot of plans have data allotted for specific social or messaging apps; thus, you are not using your actual monthly data when on these apps. If you travel often, then getting a plan that includes data roaming may be the most convenient.
Read the contract:
Being cautious about the fine print is the most important aspect selecting a mobile plan. Read the terms of the agreement carefully to be sure of what you are signing. Under the Principles of Consumer Protection (2020), all service providers must offer a fourteen day “cooling-off” period – thus look for this in the contract. If you want to switch or cancel the service know there can be penalties for terminating early.
Doing some research on the different plans available and knowing what you need in a mobile phone service before signing a contract is beneficial to choosing a plan that is right for you. If you experience any issues with your service providers, read more on how to submit a complaint here.