Mobile upgrades: The real cost | ACMA

Telco

17 September, 2014 04:22 PM

Telco

Mobile upgrades: The real cost

By Editor

It’s exciting to get your hands on a new smartphone, especially when upgraded versions become available. With the launch of new mobiles recently, including the iPhone 6 models, many consumers may be thinking about upgrading their mobile plan.

However, before you snap up that alluring new smartphone, make sure you take some time to consider any terms and conditions that may also apply if you change your existing plan.

For instance, if you’re partway through a contract and want to switch to a different provider, you usually have to pay an early termination fee (or exit fee). This can be a hefty amount, especially if you’re not far into your contract period. If you’re paying off your existing mobile through your plan, you’re also likely to have to pay out any remaining phone repayments if you cancel the plan. Check the conditions of your contract or critical information summary for your phone plan to make sure you know what’s involved. It’s also a good idea to speak to your provider if you’re not clear.

To entice new customers, some of the major telcos are now offering credits to help cover exit fees if you switch to them from another network. They’re also offering a credit for trading in your old mobile, as well as other enticements. While these kinds of offers may appeal, conditions will apply, so be sure you understand what to expect. Here’s some things to consider:

  • Will the credit apply for the phone plan you are on?
  • Is there a discrepancy between the credit amount offered and the exit fee you may be charged if you break a contract? 
  • What kind of plan will you be required to move to with a new provider? 
  • How long will the new contract last—for example, 24 months? 
  • What value of calls, texts and data will be available on the new plan? 
  • What charges apply for the new mobile service?

Remember, it may save you money and hassle down the track if you make sure you’re comfortable with the decision to upgrade your phone and are clear what you’ll be getting.