The digital world is rapidly changing, with tech innovations and app developments emerging in fast succession. Without a doubt, now is the best time to get a mobile plan. You do not want to be left out by how smartphones today can make your life a lot easier, whether you are a homeowner, an entrepreneur, a traveller or a student.
With the right phone and cellular service plan, you can get access to everything you need to make your daily life more convenient and less stressful. And this can happen for you after signing a postpaid contract with a reliable carrier.
But before agreeing to pay a certain amount of money each month for the next 24 months or so, you must figure out which phone plan will suit you best. Here are crucial things you should know before signing the contract.
1. Check if there is a trial period
There are carriers that offer a trial period, which usually lasts for 30 days or less. This means that you have less than a month to test the plan.
During the trial period, consider using your phone in places you often go to, such as in your home, in the office, on your commuter routes, and in public hubs. This way, you will know if the service works well in places where you may need it the most.
And if you believe that this is not the right plan for you, you have the option to cancel the contract without paying any penalty. But remember that you can only do so within the trial period – canceling it beyond this period may be difficult and costly.
2. Figure out how you can get out of the contract
Most consumers neglect to determine how exactly they can get out of the contract, should they decide to, without paying hefty charges. Terminating a contract early will often involve fines so it’s important to clarify this matter with the service provider.
The termination fee is usually determined according to the number of months you have already consumed. In most cases, the fee is lower if you cancel just a few months before the end of the contract as compared to requesting for termination earlier or just right after signing the contract.
3. Determine the overage fees
Paying only for what you need is the best way to enjoy cost savings from a cellular plan. Choosing the cheapest plan is not the best option because overage fees can be too high. On the other hand, choosing a plan with lots of extras that you don’t need or use up in a month is also a waste of money.
Thus, determining how many call minutes, SMS messages and data you are consuming on a monthly basis is crucial for choosing which plan to sign up for.
In some cases though, you may end up consuming more minutes or data. With that said, it is important for you to know what the rate is for each additional minute or MB you use. Better yet, take steps to avoid paying it.
For instance, you can download apps that will help you monitor your daily or monthly usage. Use this as your guide so you won’t pay overage fees.
4. Know what you‘re paying for
It is important for you to know the products or services included in the amount you will be paying each month. Although the cost of the device is generally included in the plan, don’t assume! You still need to ask the phone plan provider to be sure (this is also true for prepaid plans). Also, clarify the consumable amount of data, SMS and minutes each month.
5. Ask about roaming options
You can incur roaming charges, which can be too hefty if you go outside the service area of your carrier. This is true if you frequently travel overseas. Be aware that your service may not be compatible with the technologies used in the countries you want to visit. Even if it does, you may find that making calls or sending SMS abroad is expensive.
So before your flight, you should ask your carrier about the most affordable yet reliable Zain roaming packages.
6. Study your migrating options
You may be satisfied with your phone plan today but this may change as months pass by. Thus, you should know your options for either upgrading or downgrading your plan, along with the fees involved.
Basically, you have two migrating options to choose from – upward and downward.
- For upward migration, this allows you to migrate to a phone plan that offers more minutes, SMS and/or data. Of course, this will increase your monthly fee.
- For downward migration, you will shift from a high-cost plan to a lower subscription. Though you’ll have a lower monthly fee, there is a migration fee involved.
The bottom line is to understand the contract before signing it. This is the only way you won’t end up paying a lot. You can ask a mobile-savvy relative or a lawyer to help you understand the contract if you need to. Never sign the contract until you fully understand it!
Al-moottil P Antony is a C-Suite Executive Support Professional for Zain, a leading mobile and data services operator with a commercial footprint in 8 Middle Eastern and African countries.