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Basic iphone/contract information?

(17 Posts)
alreadytaken Tue 14-May-13 09:28:41

With a teen going off to college we probably need to swap their PAYG phone for something that gives them no excuse not to keep in touch. So some basic information please - can over 18s have a contract in their own names when they are relying on parental contributions/loans? I would like them to have to take responsibility for the costs.

They have an old iphone but want a newer version. What is the difference between 4, 4S and 5 and what amount of data use would you have just from automatic updates to apps? How easy is it to switch internet use off if you are exceeding your limit?

MomOfTomStubby Tue 14-May-13 09:57:58

Unless your DC has a bad credit record (unlikely at 18) then having a contract in their own name shouldn't be an issue.

In anycase, your name on the contract doesn't mean that the direct debit can't come out of your DC's bank account.

alreadytaken Tue 14-May-13 11:19:40

MomOfTomStubby I like your thinking.

They shouldn't have a bad credit record but they've never had any credit so they won't have a good one either.

NetworkGuy Tue 14-May-13 11:42:02

On the iPhone 4, 4S, 5, sorry, I know little (except the 5 has an even smaller {nano}SIM and doesn't use the same connectors). Saw an iPhone 4 at 17 quid a month (O2, 24 month contract) in Carphone Warehouse this morning. 300 minutes unlimited (3000?) texts, and 500 MB data.

The data seems low to me (on Three and T-Mobile I've had unlimited, but no phones included and paid 15/16 pounds, on 12 month SIM Only contracts) but at college, should be wi-fi widely available.

On Android there's a "3G Watchdog" app which can disable the data when you reach (for example) 75% of monthly limit. My latest Android phone (Sony Tipo at 50 quid) had a built in usage monitor/blocker and "AVG Free" also can track data usage and warn user.

Must be something similar for iPhone and am tempted to get the iPhone 4 at that price for use in the house (plus texts and some voice calls...)

alreadytaken Tue 14-May-13 12:09:54

That deal is one of the ones on the possible list, there is a slightly cheaper one with cashback but I'm doubtful about their ability to claim on time. They should have wifi at college for at least the first year.

NetworkGuy Tue 14-May-13 23:10:34

So have you any idea what is really needed in terms of minutes, texts, data, and would it make sense to consider a 'used' smartphone ?

I saw an iPhone under 100 quid today (which seemed in 'OK' condition) but it depends whether 'image' over 'practicality' is more important, and perhaps that's why a newer phone is being requested (while not absolutely necessary... considering how many phones might be lost/ stolen/ dropped in alcohol/ etc if living away). I'm guessing that only an iPhone will do...

Crumbs, I remember being away when there were no mobile phones (though admittedly there were more phone boxes and the cost of a call was far less in the 70s!)

I suppose another aspect about 'being in touch' is that it doesn't really need all that much in talk time - just having a phone means YOU can contact your DC...

NetworkGuy Tue 14-May-13 23:12:52

Sorry, should have written used smartphone and a SIM Only deal (since a credit check is less likely/stringent if no phone is involved). Also is the college "definite" and do you know whether any particular networks are more reliable/ less reliable in that location ? (Could have a bearing on which SIM Only deals would be worth considering.)

alreadytaken Wed 15-May-13 07:30:41

as they are moving away from home it's likely that their usage will change. At the moment they make few calls, use texts more often and have the internet switched off but can use wifi at home/school. They won't be sure of where they are going until August when the results come out but are likely to have wifi anyway as most student accommodation does now. Minutes can be low, texts would like 300 minimum, no idea about data requirement.

They like the apps they have on their phone now. The software on their current phone can't be updated, or so they tell me, so they can't get the aps they would like to have.

They aren't keen on used, had friends who got poor battery life.

NetworkGuy Wed 15-May-13 09:44:22

OK, just looking at options. Shame bl**dy Apple seals the case so you cannot swap battery. Seems a daft move. I know one of the Androids is similar but all the phones I use have removable battery.

NetworkGuy Wed 15-May-13 09:45:49

So what deals do you have already on your list, so as not to duplicate (and for others to see some useful info), please ?

DowntonTrout Wed 15-May-13 10:03:27

I ordered a battery from eBay, came with a little tool kit and changed the battery on my old 3GS myself. It was 2 years old and out of warranty anyway so didn't matter if it negated the apple warranty. My DD then used the phone for quite a while with no problems.

I have had the 4s and currently the 5. I actually liked the feel of the 4s better. There isn't that much difference in what they do. If you are going for a contract phone, which will most likely be 2 years, bear in mind this is a long time and students can be notoriously bad at looking after them ie losing/breaking them. Insurance can be worthwhile, my son had to claim 3 times on his and got sent a new phone each time. It can also be a rip off, the policies vary wildly and so may or may not give you peace of mind.

I would recommend you get at least 1gb of data a month, unlimited would be even better. That is what they seem to use most of all. Bear in mind that with a contract, when you go over any of your allowances or make call outside your allowance it is added to your bill, it is very easy to end up with a big bill. With a PAYG sim you have your allowance for the month and when it's used up, that's it, unless you top up again. It is much easier to keep track of how much you are spending/using and it is capped to the amount you chose to top up.

NetworkGuy Wed 15-May-13 16:17:34

DT - just for info, Tesco Mobile (and possibly Three) allow the user to "cap" the monthly payment (so you can avoid excessive charges because it blocks you exceeding any limits). Probably worth remembering a block on premium rate (eg voting services linked to TV shows) and international calls may assist in case a phone goes missing and high charges are run up before loss is reported.

Do think that any expensive phones are likely to be targets of theft, especially if getting more independence means pubs and clubbing, where booze might leave someone "off guard" about theft of such an item.

Know they should not be easy to sell, but bet there are a number of backstreet experts who can disable most security measures to make stolen phones pretty much untraceable.

(Feel sure that your DC won't mean for anything like that to happen, but I remember having 18 Southern Comforts lined up on my 18th birthday at college... I was fine, but it had been my favourite drink for over a year! Never got involved with drugs, but these days, one spiked drink is one too many... Sorry, don't want to be alarmist but these phones are often 450-650 pounds and a contract can hit those figures over 2 years with the more generous minutes/text/data limits)

alreadytaken Wed 15-May-13 20:47:12

carphone warehouse 17 pound I4 probably the top option but I5 26 pounds a month with £99 up front being considered, or buy an unlocked phone and a separate contract. We've been using the moneysuermarket coparisons here http://www.moneysupermarket.com/mobile-phones/brands/apple/

They've been very careful with their current phone. They are quite responsible, partly because it's always been made quite clear that any loss won't be replaced. We don't currently bother with insurance, something I'll need to consider now. I'll look at the house insurance to see if they offer any extensions.

johnnybegood Thu 16-May-13 09:42:13

have a look at http://wecompare4u.com, they compare phone contracts from all the major networks. I got my iPhone 4S through them and got a good deal.

alreadytaken Sat 18-May-13 00:16:50

thank you, johnnybegood, I've checked it out

TariffHound Tue 21-May-13 11:52:56

Tesco Mobile could be a great option.

They currently do an iPhone 4S for £100 upfront then £20/mth over 24 months (total cost over 2 years £580). For this you get 500 min, 5000 text and 1GB of data.
shop.tescomobile.com/mobile-phones/pay-monthly/apple/iphone+4s+16gb?deal=5657#all-deals

As mentioned, Tesco also offer a service called "Cap My Tariff", which bars any calls, text and data not covered by the monthly tariff (for example premium rate calls to X Factor). If your son wants to make any calls outside the monthly tariff, he can do that via topping up an attached PAYG account.

This way you get to cover the monthly bills for his core calling and data, and he wants to do anything extra, he can pay for it via topping up the phone.

Full details of Tesco's capped service here:
phone-shop.tesco.com/tesco-mobile/help-and-support/capped-faqs.aspx

Finally, suggest you take out insurance to cover accidental loss or damage. "Protect Your Bubble" are a good provider.
uk.protectyourbubble.com

alreadytaken Tue 21-May-13 21:59:00

thank you, tariffhound , for an interesting suggestion. We've decided to wait at least a month after reading that the new iphone may be announced in June and that older phones may them drop in price.

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