When my mobile rings at the moment there is a roughly 50/50 chance that it is some poor sales guy offering me a ‘fantastic’ deal on a new mobile phone. This annual ritual of advances and declines that takes place every July can mean only one thing. My mobile phone contract is due for renewal. In recent weeks I’ve had numerous calls, direct mail and e-mail marketing from various companies trying to win me over as a new contract mobile phone customer. To be honest, I would have been tempted just to roll over my current contract and stick with my mobile network provider had they themselves not shoved a deluge of frankly confusing ‘great deals’ through my letter box. I read through these and found myself without any clue as to which of the contract mobile deals would suit me best.
Perhaps I am becoming less intelligent by the day or is it just that the mobile network providers are vying for customers so hard that they end up confusing us with an ever increasing array of complicated payment structures? At around that time I decided to do things by the book. Firstly I dumped the direct mail in the bin and deleted messages from peaky sales centres. I then visited the website of Ofcom for advice on how to go about finding the best contract phone deals.
The information from Ofcom was simple and straight forward and gave me a good place to start. I made a list of my usage and lifestyle points to structure the basics of the mobile phone deal that I’d need. I then looked through previous itemised bills to find how much text messaging I was going and looked at other areas such as downloading and came up with a ‘package’ that suited my usage. The next thing was to go out there and find contract phone deal that matched up closely with my ‘package’.
So again I tried the web figuring it to be a little more unbiased than going through the more marketing focused communication channels. There was some good stuff online lots of information from review sites on customer service of the major networks and reviews of handsets that proved pretty useful. This helped me figure out the handset I wanted and so I progressed to the purchase stage of my search for a new contract phone. In the end I went to an online reseller who deals with the major networks ad phone manufacturers. Their site had a tool which basically allowed you to create your own contract moblie phone deal with the handset and monthly payment structure that suits. I picked the handset that I wanted on the contract that I wanted and ended up with an I-Pod as a free gift into the bargain.
This is really the first time that I’ve used the web to compare product and services. I plan on doing it again next up electricity and gas prices!