Mobile Phone advice also please

(51 Posts)
millietwoshoes Sat 18-May-13 20:34:03

Another question - I am looking at getting her a mobile phone (first one) any advice out there? Do I hold off on the iPhone/blackberry until she has proved that she can look after it? Any advice on pay-as-you-go or contract from people that have already gone through this.
Thank you

scaevola Sat 18-May-13 20:41:03

We got cheap PAYG mobiles: on same network as mine, on a deal which meant they can call within network free (subject to minimum monthly top up). It's reassuring as I know they can always ring me even if credit has run out.

When Ds1 started year 7, most of the cohort had basic phones and only a few has smart ones. Ds2's year seems to be the other way round.

lljkk Sat 18-May-13 20:43:17

Vodaphone do the type of deal Scaevola is talking about.
Giffgaff is best if they text like crazy, good value for calls, too.
But check reception, big issue around here.
I won't pay for mine to have anything but very small folders I buy off Ebay 2nd hand.

WorrySighWorrySigh Sat 18-May-13 23:04:07

I have slowly been transferring the whole family onto contract with Tesco. We now have 5 phones with between 250 and 500 minutes per month, 5000 texts and around 500mb of download (they are all internet enabled) each. All phones are capped so they cant go over the limits.

In total for all 5 I pay £62.50/month

Bunbaker Sat 18-May-13 23:09:53

PAYG is a bad idea unless you want to send your daughter to social Siberia. Get a cheap contract that allows plenty of text messaging as they text each other like crazy at that age.

BackforGood Sat 18-May-13 23:09:57

Both my older two had, and my dd who moves to secondary in Sept will have, cheapy PAYG while they are learning to look after it / use it sensibly. Up to them when they think it's worth paying out for a fancier one or a contract - their money, their choice. Of course, they'd need to be earning to afford it....

BackforGood Sat 18-May-13 23:10:30

Oh, none of my chilren go to school in social siberia wink

WorrySighWorrySigh Sat 18-May-13 23:14:28

We moved off PAYG as found the constant teenage texting was burning through the credit.

SoupDragon Sat 18-May-13 23:16:09

DSs both have PAYG phones. DS2 (12) is currently using an old phone which he has to use for a year before he gets an iphone. Which, coincidentally, should be the same time my iphone is due an upgrade smile

DS1 (14) is using the cheapest foulest phone O2 had to offer (£8) after he lost his iphone (again, an old one of mine).

They are not in social Siberia, whatever that is.

SoupDragon Sat 18-May-13 23:16:58

I will top their phones up a set amount each month and no more.

Picturesinthefirelight Sat 18-May-13 23:17:53

Dd will be on a contract but with a basic phone. The only reason she has a contract is that my dads company had an employee leave and there was 18 months left on the contract on his phone which couldn't be cancelled.

When it expires she will be on PAYG as I'm not risking her being able to run up a huge bill I can't afford.

Bunbaker Sat 18-May-13 23:18:29

"We moved off PAYG as found the constant teenage texting was burning through the credit."

Same here. During the first month on DD's contract phone she sent 800 texts! Maybe boys don't "chat" by text he way girls do.

MrsShrek3 Sat 18-May-13 23:21:00

ds1 has had a galaxy mini since y6. very basic contract added on to my account. It lives in his inside blazer pocket on silent.

Phones are like children of the seventies, to be not seen and not heard wink

BackforGood Sat 18-May-13 23:26:24

Well, if they haven't got credt, then they can't!!

As it happens, my ds has his phone surgically attached to his hand (pays for own contract) and my dd last put £10 on her phone in the Autumn. In the evening they message on FB, and in the day they talk to each other, you know, in real life !!!

Theas18 Sat 18-May-13 23:27:55

hilarious " social Siberia" sorry but I value my credit rating rather more ....

mine have sim only pay monthly deals with unlimited texts. no social Siberia but just 5 / month due to rise to 7'50

Bunbaker Sat 18-May-13 23:28:28

DD texts because she isn't allowed Facebook as she isn't 13 yet. And, yes she talks to her friends in real life at school.

Bunbaker Sat 18-May-13 23:29:36

But you admit that your children have unlimited texts on a contract.

WorrySighWorrySigh Sat 18-May-13 23:29:54

Bunbaker - DS(14) has now got a girlfriend and has suddenly discovered texting!

Picturesinthefirelight Sat 18-May-13 23:31:42

Dd does not have unlimited texts. The current contract works out at around 50 texts per month. She is in huge trouble if she goes over it.

ChippyMinton Sat 18-May-13 23:33:25

millietwoshoes and everyone else is welcome to join us on the PFB off to secondary thread where we are getting lots of great advice smile

HKTekGuy Sun 19-May-13 00:28:06

To all the parents complaining about texting I have one thing to say .. whatsapp.

Its free for the the first year. Thereafter its 69p per year. You can send as many texts, pictures and videos as you like.

SoupDragon Sun 19-May-13 08:59:25

Well, if they haven't got credt, then they can't!!


I am in full control of how much the phone bill will be. No nasty surprises.

SoupDragon Sun 19-May-13 08:59:55

Whatsapp is no good unless they have a smartphone.

WorrySighWorrySigh Sun 19-May-13 09:15:19

Capped contracts are the way to go. We have had ours for a few months now and never had a problem.

circular Sun 19-May-13 09:29:03

Found the Tesco sim only contract deal works well, buying phones separately.

Dd1 (15) has 500 mins, unlimited texts and 1gb data for £10 a month.
Added DD2 (10) with 250 mins, unlimited texts for £7.50 a month
Added DH, same as DD2.
My phone locked into O2, but will consider when replacing, my usage would be same as DD1.
So currently £25 for the three of them, would be £35 for the four of us.

As more than one family member on same account each get an 'extra' - either 150 mins, 250mb data or 500 Tesco mins IIRC.

So DD1 and DH have 150 extra mins, DD2 has the data (not a smartphone, but can access Internet)

Also have DD2s 'capped' so she cannot go over the allowances, which also prevents premium rate numbers, calling abroad, picture messages and anything else not included.

All on a rolling month, so can get out quickly if better deal around or if they were to abuse it.

Casey Sun 19-May-13 09:35:22

I think there is a boy/girl divide to some extent. My boys are 14 and 15 and just have cheap PAYG mobiles, which they mainly use just for phoning us for day's taxi service!

For chatting with mates they use their laptops: Skype, msn, twitter, Facebook; all of which are free.

Bunbaker Sun 19-May-13 10:08:31

We don't use Twitter or Facebook in our house. I will let DD have Facebook when she is 13 and I will monitor it very strictly. I thought msn was being phased out because Skype is taking over.

HKTekGuy Sun 19-May-13 10:13:23

Soup - these days smart phones (obviously not the latest premium models) are free with a basic contract.

SoupDragon Sun 19-May-13 12:36:10

What difference does that make?

SoupDragon Sun 19-May-13 12:38:28

It doesn't change the fact that Whatsapp is no use without a smartphone.

DS2 will get my iPhone 4S when the next generation comes out.
DS1 won't get another smartphone until he can fund it himself as he lost the 3GS.

LIZS Sun 19-May-13 12:46:30

Most of dd's class have progressed on to smartphones/Blackberrys during Year 7 as she never fails to remind us ! We might upgrade it for her b'day, assuming her £10 payg one is looked after, but as she is one of the youngest in her year even that will be sometime away.

HKTekGuy Sun 19-May-13 14:01:19

Soup - Most parents seem to be paying£10 pm payg. For the same money we have a contract which comes with a free smart phone. On that phone my DC keep in touch with his mates via whatsapp So no busted text limits and no extra charges for pictures and videos sent.

That is ALL that I am saying so I am a bit confused by your aggressive tone.

SoupDragon Sun 19-May-13 15:55:04

confused Aggressive?

All I said was that Whastsapp is no use if you don't have a smart phone. Which is isn't.

Picturesinthefirelight Sun 19-May-13 20:27:40

I wouldn't call £10 per month a basic contract.

I only have a smartphone myself because the contract is a work one. Previous to that I spent around £5 PAYG and that's all in prepared/can afford to spend for dd.

HKTekGuy Sun 19-May-13 21:03:25

Pictures - it is a basic contract in the sense that if you want a reasonable number of free minutes, texts and Internet access then £10 is the minimum you would expect to pay.

Picturesinthefirelight Sun 19-May-13 21:06:17

Which is double the amount we can afford.

When I looked into it for myself Internet access was just too expensive every month.

BackforGood Sun 19-May-13 23:36:48

As I said above HKTekGuy
Those of us on contracts in this house only pay £7.50 a month (250mins, internet, free phone, and 5000 texts) but that is mine, dh, and ds's choice of how we choose to spend our spending money. Until last year, I was on PAYG and £10credit lasted me about 9months. Same with my dd - she's on PAYG, and I can't remember the exact date, but I think it was last Sept or Oct that she put her last £10 on.
So, in this house, until you are earning enough to be able to make the choice of using that money on a phone contract, you buy yourself credit for a PAYG, and use it carefully to make it last. A contract is not a compulsory thing for anyone to have.

HKTekGuy Sun 19-May-13 23:47:10

Where do I say that it's a compulsory thing to have? The OP asked for advice about contracts. Some posters mentioned something their kids burning their way thru the text allowance so I mentioned whatsapp.

Now I got all these people dumping on me because they think that I'm getting judgy pants about their kid's phone bills confused. Methinks it's time to hit the Hide button.

BackforGood Sun 19-May-13 23:51:02

No, sorry HK - I should have separated it out into paragraphs - my reply to you was pointing out you don't have to spend £10 a month to get a generous bundle on a contract.

I should have then left some spaces as I went to answer others who had been saying teens "need" to be able to send hundreds of texts every week.

Sorry smile

JenaiMorris Mon 20-May-13 08:52:23

Ds had a nice HTC 'free' on contract with T-Mobile, but it was stolen after almost a year (with another 12 months to go on the £10.50 p/m contract). I got a replacement sim which has gone into a cheapo, basic phone until the contract comes up.

I chose to go with contract because I wanted absolute assurance that he was never going to run out of credit - the text and call allowances are vast (as is the internet allowance, but that's a bit pointless now with his basic phone!).

T-Mobile allow you to block paid services (rip off text services, competition entries etc), which is useful.

Bunbaker Mon 20-May-13 09:02:32

"I chose to go with contract because I wanted absolute assurance that he was never going to run out of credit"

Same here. Sometimes I have had to "rescue" DD when the school bus has let her down (there are no other buses), and I didn't want her to be in the position of not being able to contact me.

Picturesinthefirelight Mon 20-May-13 09:09:49

I guess that's what is different about dd's situation than some of you. Dd's senior school is next door to dd's junior school so I may as well pick her up anyway apart from dance days. The dance school is 2 mins walk away and as classes finish at 7.15pm and buses don't run direct ill be picking her up.

She texted me yesterday at a rehearsal to say she was feeling ill so it gave me a heads up when the chaperone rang an hour later asking e to collect but it wouldn't have mattered if she had no phone.

SonorousBip Mon 20-May-13 09:40:43

We have just sorted DS's first phone this weekend - we are working on the basis that it is better to get him used to it before he starts at secondary school rather than giving it to him a week before.

I was searching pound for a punitively basic phone for ds, but in fact got a much better deal with a sim-only package and using my old iphone 3 (which I'd been meaning to recycle but hadn't). Dh has a work contract with Vodafone and we got a basic deal which was 20% off due to dh's work contract. The starting point was £9 a month but it is down to just over £7 - unlimited texts, 300 minutes and a small amount of data. Basically he has been told he is never to play the games etc other than at home (he won't). For me, £7 a month is a fair price to pay for effectively having a satellite chip installed in your dreamy pre-teen travelling on some fairly rough London buses smile.

BackforGood Mon 20-May-13 12:47:58

See, I don't get worked up about the idea of my dcs running out of credit. If there really were an emergency do you honestly not think someone would make a call for them/let them make a call on their phone ? confused

Bunbaker Mon 20-May-13 19:01:00

"If there really were an emergency do you honestly not think someone would make a call for them/let them make a call on their phone ?"

DD would if she was at school , but if she was at the rec with a friend and the friend had hurt herself enough to need urgent medical treatment she would have to leave her friend on her own and run to someone's house some distance away.

She has also rung me from the rec when she and her friends were being bullied by some older boys. I wouldn't let DD have such a free reign without a mobile that she can always call me from.

JenaiMorris Mon 20-May-13 19:09:33

Having a contract also removes the possibility of them using the "ran out of credit" excuse grin

In all honesty, it removed the pita of remembering to check that the phone was topped up. It also meant getting a lovely free smart phone (which got stolen of course, but more fool me there really - he enjoyed it while it lasted).

Isthiscorrect Mon 20-May-13 19:10:38

Don't forget to hang on to your old 'social Siberia' phones. Later they need a 'drunk phone' for festivals, parties and first year uni ;-)

Bunbaker Mon 20-May-13 19:14:41

Oh, and once DD's school bus broke down in the middle of nowhere. Without mobile phones the children would have struggled (we live in a rural area so there weren't any houses nearby).

Juliefd Thu 29-Aug-13 19:09:23

Whatever happens PLEASE cap your teens usage! I took out 2yr contract with orange for my 13 year old. Tried to cap it at the time but Orange assured me that they would always contact me if there were any problems / excessive use. Reinforced with my lovely 13year old how important it was to only make calls in an emergency. All went well for the first 18 months, she has never used the phone irresponsibly....then 14&1/2 yrs old, boyfriends start to become part of the picture, and it all changes. I was contacted by Orange on 2 Aug to be told that she has used and I owe £1137! Embarrassed that I didn't keep a closer eye on this, disappointed in her (grounded for the Summer), but also let down by Orange who I feel should have contacted me before it reached this level.

So, dont just look at the cost of the handset go with a company that will allow you to cap usage, not the company I went with!

ouryve Thu 29-Aug-13 19:14:29

If an inordinate amount of texting is likely, look out for bundles or add ons with PAYG - you can usually convert a top up so you get so many minutes' calls, so many texts, so much data etc.

It was a pain getting established, as their call centres and website are equally useless, but I'm now on t-mobile PAYG and use the bundle where you convert a £20 top up into 6 months data usage. You can get various ones for texts or talk, too.

marriedinwhiteisback Sat 31-Aug-13 23:18:33

Mine have 300 mins, unimited texts and 500mb. DS has samsung mini, dd nokia. Contracts are 30 and 21. The phones are insured because they are teenagers. They don't run out of credit they run out of battery.

DC are 18 and 15. A word about facebook. Many of their friends were not allowed facebook; almost as many had facebook in alias names linked to e-mail addresses they had set up themselves. Preferred to say yes and be their friend although they both defriended me years ago

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now