So you’ve found the phone you want. You’ve also checked coverage and worked out what kind of minutes, texts and mobile data allowance you require. So you’re ready to buy your phone, right?
Whoah there, Lesley - just you hold your horses. Before you do anything at all, you really, really need to check out what kind of deal sweeteners carriers are offering you to sign up. Here we've picked out the best freebies and promos to help you choose the network that best suits you.
1 Orange Wednesdays
Head to a Vue cinema on a Wednesday and you can spot the Orange mobile phone and broadband customers a mile off. They’ll be ones stocking up on salty treats, safe in the knowledge that their network’s 2 for 1 tickets offer means they’ll still be quids-in for a cheap night out.
Less well known, presumably because it doesn’t feature on the network’s ads for the offer, is that Orange’s mid-weeker also entitles subscribers to cheap eats at PizzaExpress. Head to your nearest outlet to discuss the movie, show the nice people your text ticket when you order and you can get 2 for 1 pizza and a choice of free garlic bread or dough balls. Drinks, you’ll have to take care of yourself.
Best for: Cineastes and students. And cineaste students.
2 Free Deezer access with Orange
Completing a top of the tablet takedown for Orange is its recent tie-up with music streaming service Deezer for pay monthly customers. Not heard of it? Well, it’s essentially akin to Spotify for mobiles and provides users with a library of 13 million tunes for unfettered streaming while they’re on the go.
Add to that 30 radio channels spanning a range of genres and artist discographies and biographies and you’ve got a pretty smart freebie that adds real value to consumers.
Best for: Music fans, obviously.
3 O2 Priority Moments & Tickets
Priority Moments takes in a series of money-off, time-limited promos. At the time of writing customers could avail themselves of 20 per cent off a pair of kicks from JJB Sports or get a free gift with purchases at French Connection.
O2’s ownership of a string of music venues works out pretty well for customers, too. This opt-in service offers the chance to buy tickets for shows at O2-branded venues 48 hours before they go on sale.
Best for: Outgoing sorts.
4 Vodafone VIP
As it’s name suggests, VIP isn’t a million miles from O2’s Priority Tickets. Open to pay as you go and pay monthly customer, it offers pre-sale tickets for some marquee sports, music and fashion events, as well as offers for cheap haircuts and out-of-hours shopping events.
And there’s competitions too, perhaps the pick see Voda leverage its sponsorship of the McLaren Formula 1 team for prizes that take in a behind the scenes tour of the company’s Technology Centre and merch autographed by Lewis Hamilton.
Best for: With sports, music and fashion covered, pretty much everyone.
5 Vodafone Freebees
Pay as you go customers often get frozen out of the best network deal sweeteners. And while Vodafone’s Freebees perhaps isn’t perhaps as enticing as some of the above, it’s not half bad either.
The scheme entitles users who top up by as little as £5 to additional texts, minutes and extra mobile web access for a limited period. Considering that PAYG customers are usually the most cost-conscious out there, this is certainly a well-targeted promo that knows its market.
Best for: Anyone watching the pennies.