Coming to the end of your current mobile phone contract is a great time to upgrade to a newer, more cutting-edge handset for less initial outlay. You’ll also be able to keep your old SIM card and phone number, which saves a lot of hassle.
Advantages of upgrading
There are a host of advantages to sticking with your current network and upgrading your phone. Here we'll talk you through them.
Keep your phone number
Perhaps the biggest advantage of upgrading is that you get to keep your number. This saves having to update all your friends and family with your new number if you had changed network.
Keeping your number could also be vital if you use for phone extensively for business.
New phone at a good price
Mobile phone networks are keen to keep you as a customer – In fact, they’re often much keener than we realise. For this reason, they’ll often waive the upfront charge that you might expect to pay for the most cutting-edge smartphones.
Alternatively, if they don’t waive the upfront charge altogether, you should still be able to get the phone you want for a lower price than if you were a new customer.
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Priority with new phones
When new phones arrive they are often in short supply. However, customers who have been with the network for a long time will often be given priority over those who are new to the carrier. This policy of rewarding loyal customers has frequently been used when new versions of the iPhone have arrived.
Loyalty schemes & free gifts
Some carriers reward you for staying with them by reducing the cost of your next handset according to how many years you’ve been with them. Others even provide free gifts.
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Disadvantages of upgrading
If you’re unhappy with your network – whether that’s because of poor customer service or patchy coverage -, it’s probably a good idea to look elsewhere.
One other disadvantage of upgrading is that you’ll once again be tying yourself into a contract of 12 months, 24 months or possibly even longer. That means that if new, attractive tariffs come along in the meantime you won’t be able to sign up for them.
Finally, if you’re happy with your existing phone and don’t feel you need a brand new one, there’s little point in signing up for a cutting-edge handset and paying extra for a deal that includes the cost of the phone. Better by far to consider a SIM only deal which offer some very keenly priced calls, text and mobile internet allowances.
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When can I upgrade?
If your contract has expired you’re free to upgrade straight away. But even if you’re not out of contract, you can still start considering your next move.
All major UK networks accept upgrade applications in advance. Some apply a 90-day rules, while others impose 60-days or 30-days.
Upgrading before your contract expires
If you can’t wait to get hold of the latest phone but are still under contract with your existing handset, one option is to buy the mobile you want outright on the network that you’re with. You can then just pop in your SIM and use your new mobile with your current contract.
However, if you’re planning on upgrading to a smartphone it’s a good idea to check that you’re existing contract entitles you to a mobile internet allowance. If it doesn’t you won’t be able to make the most of your web enabled smartphone’s functions.
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