Ever been hit by mobile phone bill shock? Accidentally going over your allowance or making a call to a premium rate number can result in a sky high mobile bill. If you want to feel totally in control of your monthly spend or ensure that your child can’t run up a hefty data usage fee after bingeing on mobile internet perhaps you should consider a capped contract?
Best mobile phone networks – read our ratings for Vodafone, O2 and the like
What is a cap?
Both T-Mobile and Tesco offer contract caps that only allow you to use the texts, minutes and data that are included in your allowance. This means that you will never accidentally go over the cost of your monthly tariff.
Do all of the big providers offer this?
No. O2, Vodafone, EE and Orange don’t currently offer customers the option of capping their contracts. We asked them why. Here’s a selection of the top reasons they gave for not offering caps:
- Pay As You Go service – Customers who want control over their spending can use Pay as You Go.
- Don’t use your mobile – Customers can choose to wait until their next bill date to use the internet again, meaning there is no need for a cap.
- Apps – Customers can monitor their own usage through apps such as My 02, My EE and My Orange.
- Text Alerts – These notify customers about their usage and when they’re nearing their limits.
- A range of price plans – These have plans to suit a wide range of consumer needs.
Why use a mobile cap?
O2 suggested that restricting customers on their spend through a cap could take away the flexibility and freedom to use the mobile they have. However, if you are on a tariff with combination of texts, minutes and data that suit your needs having a spending cap shouldn’t feel like a limitation.
Besides, in the event you do need to override the cap, you can always top up with credit to cover your needs. Secondly, you can avoid premium rate numbers by contacting companies through other channels such as Twitter and online chat; you may even get a quicker response.
Both Tesco and T-Mobile argue that caps or fixed contracts offer the great value of pay monthly but with the levels of control that Pay as You Go gives. T-Mobile offers one form of fixed contract called You Fix and Tesco Mobile offer caps on all of their contracts.
So, are you tempted by a cap? Or do you agree with o2 and think that you’d feel too limited by not being able to call premium rate numbers or go over your usage without topping up with some extra credit?