A mobile phone plan is an agreement between you and a mobile phone network. Such contracts typically last from 12 months to 36 months, and come with fixed monthly amounts of talk time, message limit, and fixed amounts of data. Once you've signed up for a mobile phone plan, and were approved, you'll be billed monthly on a monthly basis for the full duration of your contract. If your contract ends early, you'll lose your credit points and your remaining minutes and data from that contract. You can also cancel your mobile phone plan at any time during the contract period, so there's no need to risk your hard-earned money by going over your limit. As long as you pay your monthly bill on time, you won't have to worry about such situations.
One of the main reasons why people sign up for mobile phone contracts is to protect their value in the marketplace. The contract period is usually the deciding factor on whether or not the device is within the price range you can afford. When that happens, there's no turning back and you must either cancel your contract or endure the consequences.
The problem comes when you realize that the contracts aren't always that affordable after the initial purchase. There are some mobile phone contracts that have price escalation clauses included in the agreement. What this means is that once you've bought the device, your costs are only limited by what you can afford. What could be a great deal at the time of purchase suddenly turns into an impossible bargain after the contract has expired. If you don't pay attention to the price escalation clauses contained in your mobile phone contracts, you may end up unable to sell your handset or end up owing more than the actual price you paid for it.
One example of a mobile phone contracts with price escalation clauses is the handset delivery clause. What this clause does is ensure that the manufacturer of the handset will only provide you with new handsets whenever you pay a particular price for your contract. What this means is that whenever you go out of contract and buy a new handset, you must pay the same price for the handset as you did during your contract. This is often a bad idea, because while you might think your handset is still a good value, when it comes down to it, the handset is probably of lower quality and you'll probably end up having to fork out more money to get your hands on a new handset.
Another clause often found in mobile phone contracts is the cooling-off period. If you wish to cancel your mobile phone contracts, you must do so before the cooling-off period expires. What this means is that once your contract expires, you're free to switch supplier and take your handset with you. However, you cannot take any pre-minutes with you. This means that if you decide to cancel your mobile phone contracts, you must do so before the cooling-off period has expired.
Most mobile phone contracts also have maintenance contracts. Maintenance fees are based on the total number of months you sign on with the service provider. For example, if you sign on for twelve months, you'll have to pay an annual maintenance fee equal to twelve monthly payments. These fees are often charged after the contract has expired. So you should definitely take note of this when signing up.
Probably the most common mobile phone contracts out there are the installment contracts. You can only use your iPhone or iPad for a certain period of time before it becomes a part of another contract. The good thing about these kinds of contracts is that you can keep using your devices for two more years without it hitting a contract. This means that you don't have to change to another brand within a year of using your iPhone or iPad. The down side to this is that you might not have as many options when it comes to phones.
In most cases, mobile phone contracts last for about two to four years. Some companies might let you extend the contract's duration up to ten years. But even if you get a two or four-year contract from a reliable provider, chances are you'll be tied to the same network for a couple more years. If you need to change to another service provider in a few years, it might be hard to do. For this reason, it's advisable to either go with your first mobile phones' manufacturer or sign up with one for the long haul.