A popular but expensive way to communicate
Not only has the use of mobile phones to communicate increased manifold over the past decade, but so has the number of ways in which people communicate over these devices. People send each other photographs via smartphone and businesspeople use them to share company documents stored on the cloud with their colleagues.
With all these uses for smartphones in existence, it is easy to forget just how much these services can cost. Frequently owners find themselves having to pay so much for their mobile services that they have precious little money left over to pay their other expenses. Part of this problem is that mobile contracts tend to be quite confusing and providers often take advantage of failure on the part of their customers to take the time to “shop around” until they find a mobile contract that is just right for them. Here are some signs that you may in fact be paying too much for your mobile services.
1) Termination charges
Termination charges are the fees that are charged by mobile service providers for having calls routed through their networks by other operators. The problem with this type of charge is that it is not subject to the kind of competitive pressure that other areas of the mobile market, and other markets in general, face. In Great Britain, in 2002, the Competition Commissioner called to have termination charges reduced by 12 percent less than the rate of inflation over the next four years, that is, until 2006.
2) Contract overspending
Saying how much could be saved on mobile charges is a bit like asking, “How long is a piece of string?” All too often mobile users not only pay for contracts of which they do not make full use, but they are also charged for going “over their caps.” To avoid this, it is essential that you figure out the number of minutes and texts and the amount of data that you will probably be using before you sign the contract. The thing to do is to work out just what you need from a mobile service and then find a deal that will suit those needs.
Not everyone who has a smartphone uses it for the same purposes. Some use theirs mainly for making calls, while for others they are more of a way of surfing the Web while on the go. Still others prize them for the multitude of apps that they can use for a multitude of activities. Hold on to each smartphone bill as it comes so that you can see how much time you spend using your phone from month to month. You can even download apps that can help you to track your phone usage and how much you spend thereon. For many phone users, a large portion of their bills is taken up by Internet usage.
Using “pay as you go” services
Many phone users opt for these as being preferable to contracts. You should take this approach with caution, however. Although you can indeed control your expenditures this way, it is not the cheapest way of using your phone; it generally costs more per minute, text or megabyte than you would have to pay by contract. You should instead go for making separate purchases for your phone and your SIM card, an option whose value more and more people are realizing. Another great thing to know about SIM cards is that a majority of operators offer month-to-month deals at reasonably low prices and with a good deal of flexibility. Many people shy away from contracts.
One last word
If you have to pay too much for your mobile services, it might be a sign that somebody has hacked into your phone and has been making calls for which you will then have to foot the bill. Smartphones, as users are just now starting to realize, are just as vulnerable to outside interference as larger computers are. To solve that problem, you can download various security apps for your phone. That, however, is a different topic for a different article.