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Contract phones for children - AIBU?

(24 Posts)
Mozzereena Fri 05-Dec-14 07:44:10

My dsis has sent me this message: "Struggling to get DD(13) xmas present as I've failed credit check. Would you get a phone contract (2, actually, one for DS(11) in your name and I will pay bills?"
They already have PAYG phones but dsis says these contract phones are a bargain and the contract means they will always have credit so they can ring her.
I think she is making a mistake, therefore I have refused. AIBU?

Altinkum Fri 05-Dec-14 07:47:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FunkyPeacock Fri 05-Dec-14 07:48:18


I wouldn't dream of getting my own DC a contract phone let alone someone else's kids!

KnackeredMerrily Fri 05-Dec-14 07:51:43

No way would I do that!

skylark2 Fri 05-Dec-14 07:54:04

I'm not sure my kids have ever needed to ring their aunts. For that matter I'm not sure they've ever spoken to either of them on the phone.

I wouldn't buy a contract phone for a 13 year old (and I'm very glad I didn't, as the time DD left her PAYG on the bus the £5 credit on it had long since gone by the time her friend had noticed what was going on, told the driver, and he'd stopped the bus and retrieved it from the two lads who'd found it - i.e. about 5 minutes.

But at least we got the phone back. There are advantages in 13 year old girls being obsessed with covering everything in sparkly stickers smile

KnackeredMerrily Fri 05-Dec-14 07:54:56

Sorry, I alao think contract phones are a good idea and my children will have them - but no way would I take 2 contracts out in my name for other children. You can't discipline them, the mother's doesnt have to pay you and you can't decide it was a bad idea after 4 months and just stop the contracts.

NorwaySpruce Fri 05-Dec-14 07:55:19

I have a horror of unexpected bills, so mine will have pre-pay, until they qualify for contracts of their own, but that's personal preference (based on my 11 year old's complete lack of monetary awareness!).

You would be daft indeed to take out phone contracts in your name for someone elses children, so you are definitely not being unreasonable.

Theas18 Fri 05-Dec-14 07:58:31

No no and no!

I wouldn't get a contract phone for my own kids let alone someone else esp someone who has failed a credit check!

Contracts aren't IMHO good things for teenagers- apart from sim only 1 month rolling deals and still those will be abuseable either by the child , a " mate" or a 3 rd party. You are liable for all debts. It can break your credit rating instantly.

I'm not 100 sure they are ideal for anyone! Very few work out cheaper over the term than buying the phone and a sim only deal...

Aeroflotgirl Fri 05-Dec-14 08:06:02

No no no. Tell her no, if she has failed her credit check, that tells you something. Who on earth gets their children a contract phone. Madness!

Altinkum Fri 05-Dec-14 08:06:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TantrumsAndBalloons Fri 05-Dec-14 08:09:14

"Who gets their children a contract phone?"

DD, ds1 and ds2 all have contract phones and have done since aged 11. DD is nearly 17 now and has never gone over her allowance. Neither have the others.

Aeroflotgirl Fri 05-Dec-14 08:10:20

If she does not pay, it's down to you to pay. It çoukd be ££££££. Madness.

Aeroflotgirl Fri 05-Dec-14 08:11:18

But tantrums your dc might be sensible, op sil kids might not!

avocadotoast Fri 05-Dec-14 08:15:11

Noooo don't do it. Regardless of whether contract phones are ok for kids, if your sister doesn't pay, you're totally liable. And given that a lot of phone contracts are 24 months, you could be looking at hundreds.

Never ever take out credit for anyone else, it's a terrible idea. I dealt with a guy at work who had taken out like 6 contracts for other people. Awful situation.

HowMuchMoreWee Fri 05-Dec-14 08:16:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TantrumsAndBalloons Fri 05-Dec-14 08:18:21

Oh I know it wouldn't suit everyone Aeroflot and I wouldn't take out a contract for someone elses children

I was just responding to the post asking who was "mad" enough to get children contract phones and pointing out it worked well for me.

FunkyBoldRibena Fri 05-Dec-14 08:19:49

I'd tell her not to be daft, a phone can wait until I decide they need one and to just get them something within her budget, no matter how small.

bruffin Fri 05-Dec-14 08:26:39

I have a horror of unexpected bills,

Mine have contract phones since they were 13 and never got unexpected bills. We set the accounts to zero credit and all had 3 with thousands of free 3 to 3 minutes, no excuse for running out of minutes and not contacting us. They were not expensive contracts either. Much more sensible than payg.

However in OP's case i wouldnt get contracts on behalf of someone else

simbacatlivesagain Fri 05-Dec-14 08:26:53

Mine have always both had contract phones. Dont see what the issue with having a contact phone for children is- cheaper, more reliable etc. You set rules about usage and they follow them- chose a suitable package- in 9 years I have never had a big bill etc

However I wouldnt take out a contract phone for someone else or for their children as you are liable for bills. Plus it is a pain as only you could talk to them- by accident my phone used to be in my my DH name and visa versa and it was annoying trying to get changes made etc

mymummademelistentoshitmusic Fri 05-Dec-14 08:28:06

Ignoring the rest of the issues - there is a reason she can't get credit. I wouldn't trust her to pay, or pay on time for a long length of time.

Aeroflotgirl Fri 05-Dec-14 08:31:24

I know tantrums, but you never know, phone çoukd get stolen, sisters kids might not be mature, that is a possibility. Get for your own but somebody else's which you cannot control or monitor it.

LikeTheShoes Fri 05-Dec-14 09:09:37

I wouldn't do this.

but if you did I would:
1) Get a capped contract (from Tesco I think)
2) Insist that you get paid a month in advance by direct debit (get their mum to set up a standing order)

I bet its because they want new iPhones or something and can't afford them on payg.

if they are on payg with 3 they can call 0800reverse for free anyway.

Schoolname Fri 05-Dec-14 09:14:41

I don't think you are unreasonable not to do it for your sister but you are unreasonable to assume a general view of contract phones is bad for teenagers. Mine has had a contract since the age of 11. The contract is a £7.50 a month contract which I have capped so that if it's exceeded it's capped at £10 a month. It's through Tesco and IMO it's the perfect arrangement. I wouldn't get an uncapped contract though, that's asking for trouble with my kids.

browneyedgirl86 Fri 05-Dec-14 12:56:40


I work in the Telecoms industry and the amount of hassle we get because children have expensive mobile phone contracts is ridiculous.

One of the worst cases was when a twelve year old took her phone to school, it was damaged but that was our fault apparently. "The phone should be built to withhold damage"

The damage by the way was because the phone had been stood on. But that wasn't the child's fault. It was the big, bad mobile phone company's fault. hmm

You are definitely not being unreasonable getting your sisters kids a contract. No way would I do that for anyone!!

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