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I’ve had a mobile phone for just over five years now. I bought one when I worked in a mobile phone shop – luckily I got quite a good deal! I have always had Nokia phones and I’ve always been on Vodafone (the shop sold all phones and all tariffs) I felt as I worked in a mobile phone shop I could make an informed decision, with all the information I had seen I felt I made a good choice.
For the first five years I have been on contract, the first three years I was with Martin Dawes (same as Carphone Warehouse) and the last two with Phones 4U. My bills varied greatly, never being below £30 at least. I have never been a big user either, mainly text messages.
The tariff I was most recently on was costing me £12.50 per month line rental and that included 50 free text messages, somehow, I always managed to spend much more!
I was sick of the service I was receiving of Phones 4U (that's another op!) the customer service was terrible and the payments were too expensive. Calls were costing me 20p on peak and 2p off peak (to other Vodafone users and landlines) and 40p to all other networks.
I have had my current phone for over a year and decided pay as you go was ‘the way to go’! So I called up Phones 4U and asked what I had to do. I had to send in my months notice first, as you would with the cancellation of any contract and call back to gain a number to transfer me over to pay as you go. They then gave me an authorisation number to use and the contact number for Vodafone, I called them straight up and they said it would take about a week, they told me what day the transfer would occur. The day it cancelled I would have to either make or receive a call, which I did.
The next time I used my phone I had a lady telling me I had no credit! Great I thought, I’ll go and buy my first top up card, this was all new to me and I was slightly concerned that it wasn’t as easy as it sounds (even though my mother and my 11 year old sister have no problems with them!)
I bought a £10 top up card and scratched the panel and followed the very simple instructions on the card. There we go, the phone had credit and was ready to use. My last bill came in from Phones 4U at a nice £38. I thought I’d write the date down I transferred over just to see what amount of money I was spending.
The tariff I’m on with pay as you go is 25p for the first 3 minutes then reduced to 12p (Vodafone and landline only) 25p for all other calls. Messages are 12p for the first three then 9p thereafter. The calls and messages were more expensive than contract but I thought it would be worth it. I was right! It was worth it, in the first month I only spend £10 (less than that actually!) What a bargain, that is a saving of around £20 per month, that’s £240 a year!
I must say on pay as you go, you do tend to be much more careful and aware of your usage. To find out your balance is very straightforward too. You just dial *#1345# and then call, it shows you your balance and how many minutes and texts to the cheaper rate.
I have just bought a £15 top up card and with this you receive a free £2.50 as you have bought a larger amount, a £20 voucher would have given another £5 – well worth it when you look at the savings. The phone didn’t cost me anything as the contract was up, the same SIM card was used and I still got to keep my number and the transfer over was also FREE! It really couldn’t have been any easier.
The only bad thing about this was the guy I spoke to at Vodafone said that the phone would be credited with £2.50 to get me started was either lying or forgot me!! There was no credit there at all!
Never mind, I couldn’t give anyone any better advice than to change to Pay as you go (unless of course you are a business user!)
I have also recently found that you can purchase top ups online. You can register at the vodafone website, give them your details and credit/debit card details. They validate these with your bank before being set up for instant top ups from then on. This is great for me as I can do this any time of day or night!