Mobile Phone advice also please(51 Posts)
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.
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.
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.
Soup - these days smart phones (obviously not the latest premium models) are free with a basic contract.
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.
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.
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 by your aggressive tone.
All I said was that Whastsapp is no use if you don't have a smart phone. Which is isn't.
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.
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.
Which is double the amount we can afford.
When I looked into it for myself Internet access was just too expensive every month.
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.
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 . Methinks it's time to hit the Hide button.
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.
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.
"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.
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.
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 .
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 ?
"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.
Having a contract also removes the possibility of them using the "ran out of credit" excuse
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).
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 ;-)
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).
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!
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.
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