Mobile owners are wasting £355m paying for phones they’ve already paid off. Here’s Mark, a giffgaff customer, on why his mobile network has never bundled the cost of handsets into the service charge.
If I were to ask you how much your mobile phone costs – would you know? Would you know if you own it, or if it belongs to the network provider? Would you know how much is left to pay on your mobile phone? No, because they are all answers that most major network providers want to remain a mystery, so that you continue to pay month after month.
After hearing about Which?’s Unlock Mobiles campaign, which includes making mobile networks separate the cost of your handset from the service charge, I’m keen to explain why we all need to get behind it.
Buying your mobile phone
Having never been a fan of flushing my hard-earned cash down the toilet, I’ve never entered into a bundled phone contract that comes with a phone. But about two and a half years ago I called up my network provider, requested a PAC code (they didn’t even try and keep me even after being with them for over five years) and made the move to giffgaff. Why? Because not only is it contract-free, but they put you in control of what you spend and when.
I recently bought my iPhone 6 through giffgaff and I buy whatever ‘goodybag’ (monthly minutes, data and texts bundle) I need for the month ahead. That’s because giffgaff sells phones via a peer-to-peer lending service, which lets me pay monthly for my phone separately so I always know how much is left to pay.
I’m also 100% sure I own the phone (it’s sold unlocked), leaving me free as a bird to do as I please, whenever I want.
So, do you own your phone, or are you one of the millions of consumers who are dialling in the dark? Do you agree that the cost of phones should be unbundled from the service charge?
Which? Conversation provides guest spots to external contributors. This is from Mark Tiddy, giffgaff customer and community member. All opinions expressed here are Mark’s own, not necessarily those of Which?