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To expect my son to stay within the limits of his mobile phone contract?

(31 Posts)
midori1999 Sun 05-Jun-11 19:35:53

DS1 is 15. He has a mobile phone on contract in DH's name. It costs £15 a month and he gets 300 texts and free talk time too. It was orignally £10 a month, but we put it up so he could get more texts.

This month his phone bill was £30! shock That is more than mine. The extra charges are for texts. I wouldn't mind so much, but he weekly boards at school and the people he is texting are at school with him, plus he spends a lot of his weekends out with most of them too!!!

We have spoken to him several times about going over his limits and am considering telling him if he continues to do so then I will not allow him to take his mobile to school with him. Is that awful of me? He can use a payphone at school if he wants to phone home an I can ring him on the housemother's phone.

What the heck is wrong with actually speaking with the people in the same building as you?!

MmeBlueberry Sun 05-Jun-11 19:37:20

What happens when he reaches the limit?

LadyThumb Sun 05-Jun-11 19:38:14

No, of course it's not awful. Tell him straight that the phone will be taken away if he goes over next month - then do it !!

Snuppeline Sun 05-Jun-11 19:38:36

I'd say this is a brilliant time to teach him about budgeting grin. If he gets an allowance deduct whatever amount he spends over the contract from it and I'm sure he'll quickly stay within the limit. And learn a valuable lession too!

CadleCrap Sun 05-Jun-11 19:39:33

Change to pay as you go

GollyHolightly Sun 05-Jun-11 19:41:09

My daughter ran up a bill of £180 one month whilst on a £15 per month contract. She's now on PAYG and I have the contract. She has to do chores to earn the money for the PAYG each month.

Takeresponsibility Sun 05-Jun-11 19:41:09

DS did exactly the same, but was a lot more than £30 so he had to repay DH. Why don't you change him from contract to pay as you go, then when he's used all his credit he goes without or pays for more himself.

stoatie Sun 05-Jun-11 19:41:39

Can't you get the contract changed to unlimited texts - that is what both my children have to get round this problem. My son is on SIM only contract £10 a month for 300 minutes and unlimited texts. On the one occassion my daughter went over her limit (huge bill from 2 days texting her boyfriend when we were abroad) she had to pay me what she owed (straight from her very limited wages) and my son knows if he goes over he will have to pay from his savings

EricNorthmansMistress Sun 05-Jun-11 19:42:23

You can set a cutoff amount on contracts, after which they cannot be used for outgoing calls/texts over the allowance.

katvond Sun 05-Jun-11 19:43:21

Oh my god! Why let a 15 yr old have a contract he should have had pay as you go. Only got yourself to blame OP. No sympathy here

midori1999 Sun 05-Jun-11 19:46:49


He has (to his credit) offered to pay the extra he has run up, which I appreciate, but it's not the point really as other times he may not have the spare cash to be able to pay it.

He doesn't really get an allowance as such, but he gets £5 a week to take to school and usually doesn't spend that so keeps it and we give him extra if he wants to go out with his friends at weekends, or he can earn extra money helping around the house/occasional babysitting his brothers. Maybe that's part of the problem, but he's generally very good with money and good at saving for things.

I didn't know you could get unlimited text contracts. I know his is SIM only as he has DH's old phone. I'll ask DH to investigate. I'd prefer not to change him to pay as you go in case he needed to ring us in an emergency when he was out.

And shock at £180 a month!!!!

iEmbarassedMyself Sun 05-Jun-11 19:47:38

Not awful at all, very reasonable.

HappyMummyOfOne Sun 05-Jun-11 19:52:22

No sympathy here either, he's a child and you gave him a contract phone with no limits. No need for a contract phone until he's an adult and in charge of his own finances. a cheap PAYG would have been fine.

FabbyChic Sun 05-Jun-11 19:53:24

It cost me 10 a month for my sons and he gets 3000 text with 3.

FabbyChic Sun 05-Jun-11 19:53:55

You are only allowing him 10 text a day, that's not enough for a 15 year old.

michglas Sun 05-Jun-11 19:55:26

We have a contract phone for step-daughter and DD1, but we have online access to their accounts (which they don't). I keep an eye on their usage and as soon as they reach near their limit, their phone gets barred for outgoing until the 3rd of the month when their usage renews.

Hassled Sun 05-Jun-11 19:58:00

Yes, YABU. He's 15 - of course he's not going to stay within the limits of his contract. You're expecting far more self control than a 15 year old is capable of. Get him a PAYG and contribute a set amount (or not) a month; the rest is down to him. It's the best way he can learn to budget and plan.

ENormaSnob Sun 05-Jun-11 19:59:03

The contract doesn't sound a good deal IMO

Meglet Sun 05-Jun-11 20:01:03

If he can get a blackberry on a free upgrade then the blackberry messaging is free. Obviously this depends on how likely he is to break / lose it and having other mates with a blackberry.

my sister + stepmum have BB's so it saves me from using my text quota.

midori1999 Sun 05-Jun-11 20:03:09

Fabby, clearly it is not enough for a 15 year old! grin

Hassled he has managed to stay within the limits of the contract for over a year, with one or two small exceptions. (never more than £5 over) Pay as you go isn't an option for various reasons.

I agree (having just looked) that the contract doesn't seem like a good deal, but I assume it would have been when it was taken out. I'm going to get DH to look into changing it.

fuckmepinkandcallmerosie Sun 05-Jun-11 20:04:46

He's 15 Get a Pay and Go.
Seriously what else did you expect? wink

midori1999 Sun 05-Jun-11 20:04:49

I think most of his friends have iphones, so not sure how useful that would make a Blackberry?

tyler80 Sun 05-Jun-11 20:05:47

I don't understand why pay and go wouldn't be an option?

You can operate it much like a contract, put 10 pound on a month and you can get unlimited texts and still have the 10 quid credit to spend on calls. Most have some sort of emergency thing so if you do run out of credit you can borrow a quid of credit to make a call. Or you can get bolt ons that means all your calls to a home number are free.

Fleurdebleurgh Sun 05-Jun-11 20:05:47

When i was 14 i got a mobile phone on a contract in my dads name.
Bearing in mind mobile phones were far more of a luxury 13 years ago than they are now and therefore much more expensive to run.
My dad got hit with my first bill coming in at £800, and a second coming in at around £670.
Why he didnt cut me off after the first i dont know grin.

Both my kids (when the time comes) will be stuck with PAYG til they can get a contract in their own name.

deste Sun 05-Jun-11 20:07:40

My DD did the same. I paid it the first time but the second time I marched her to the bank and made her give me the money. I then barred all calls but had to pay the monthly rental which was better than £130 plus a month.

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