TechTalkUK Podcast 117 – Groundhog Day

March 28th, 2016 | Posted by Nick Robinson in Podcast - (Comments Off)

In show 117: Kev and Nick discuss the recent iPhone SE, iPad Pro 9.7 Apple event and Kev’s battle to choose between the iPhone 6S and Galaxy S7E, Groundhog Day anybody? (more…)

Paying for your phone

March 20th, 2016 | Posted by Kevin Wright in Features - (Comments Off)

So you want a nice new Samsung S7 Edge, but you don’t have £639 to hand? OK, you have choices. Wait a few months and it will quite likely be £100-£150 less if it follows previous Samsung Flagships, or go get one now if you don’t mind buying second hand, they are already down to around £500 on eBay and various forums, but be aware these will all be contract handsets and could be at risk of getting blocked if the seller ever defaults on their contract. I think this risk is quite low, but might exist. And you still need £500 or so.

Or you can finance the handset. There are a few ways to do this of course, and you can use a credit card, and if you are smart, you can almost certainly get it interest free by using one of the many balance transfer offers out there these days.  I already covered the Contract Handset route in this post but today I wanted to compare that with Samsung’s own Upgrade Program. For a payment of £27.60 per month, over 24 months you can get an S7 Edge sent out to you and you only need to find £63.90 deposit to get the ball rolling. So if you were to pay this off over the full 24 mths, you would have paid £726.40, so given the S7 Edge is £639, you are paying £76.40 in interest.

Now a selling point of this is that after 12 months, when (as if by magic) the S7 Edge arrives, you can just Upgrade to the new one. Now of course by then, you will have paid 12 * £27.60, so £331.20. You also have to return the handset to Samsung and then they pay off the balance. Subject to a long list of T&Cs of course. Now on the surface, this means they pay off £332 for you, and it is easy to argue that the S7E will not be selling second hand for that much in 12 months time.

Now if you want a flagship handset like this, it is quite likely you will be paying for a decent Sim of some sort, lets assume 5GB of data is your minimum requirement. You have tons of choice of course, but for this article lets take £15 as a base point per month. Add this to the £27.60 for the handset, and you are at £42.60 a month, and frankly at this point, you can get a phone on a contract and not have to pay any deposit.

Try as I might, I just can not see any advantage to this at all?

 

 

TechTalkUK Podcast 116 – Kev’s on the Edge

March 18th, 2016 | Posted by Nick Robinson in Podcast - (Comments Off)

In Show 116: Kev and Nick discuss Kev’s latest purchase, the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge (more…)

Three UK Disconnections

March 9th, 2016 | Posted by Kevin Wright in Features - (Comments Off)

Why do we have to go through this every time? I love 3UK, have had many contracts, and am even an affiliate for them, and recommend them to lots of people.

A few weeks ago I cancelled my One Plan, which was in my partners name with me added on as an authorised user, and it went better than usual, as the guy I got through to was reasonable and when I explained I was cancelling and nothing he could say would change that, he went ahead and just put the cancellation in.

So today, my partner tried to cancel her rolling one month contract which was originally a 24 month contract back in 2012, and which we converted to 30 day rolling in September 2014, at £15 a month for ACYE data, but only 4GB of tethering, which she uses quite a bit while away in the motorhome. I decided to get her a new 12 mth SIMO deal last week, which is £20 a month for ACYE, 12GB tethering, 200 mins and UL SMS, she used about 40 mins per month, so in effect the new contract is unlimited. We also will get £50 cashback from my affiliate link (its perfectly OK to use own link for this with 3UK), so in effect it is about £16 a month, quite a good deal. We have the new Sim card and she is OK about changing phone numbers. For avoidance of doubt, the 12 mth SIMO came directly from three.co.uk

So she called them up and went through the usual hard sell from the first team, and they confused her enough that she just gave up after 20 mins and said I would call them tonight. I am not on that account, but she was told by them that I was.

So I call them up and the first thing the lady says is “you are not authorised to discuss this account”, and I said “I know, but you told my partner I was” and it took 3 mins for her to talk to them before they had to “add me” to the account, yes the account we want to cancel.

Seemed like a complete waste of time, but hey ho. With that hoop jumped through, I said “OK, can we please cancel this account”, and the reply was “why do you want to do that”, fair enough I guess. “I have purchased a new 12 mth contract on three.co.uk and am happy with that”. The reply shocked me “you can give 14 days notice to cancel that and I can do you a better deal” says the lady (from the same company!) “why would I do that, I am delighted with the new deal”, “but I can do you a much better offer right now” she replies.

OK, sucker that I am, I let her tell me. ACYE everything for £20 a month (with large dramatic pause for the amazing deal), and  she says it is “an amazing deal that is usually £30″.

“Well, I am already getting all of that except the talk time, and am only paying £20 anyway, plus I am getting £50 cash back deal, and by the way we only use 40 mins a month so can not see the difference really” was my next line. She then shocks me for the second time, “oh if you are getting £50 cash back that is must be an unofficial 3 supplier, and you should return that”

I am starting to get annoyed now, and tell her that is is on three.co.uk and the cash back is also paid by the same company, but she won’t have it, keeping on saying it can not be the case and I must be mistaken. I did get a bit rude myself at this point, and simply said “right, enough of this nonsense, cancel this contract right now please”. I think she was taken aback, and I don’t even like speaking to a woman like this, but you feel you have to.  She then said she would process the closure. An SMS came through, and it appears the closure is happening, but why oh why do you have to make it so nasty Three?

My partner was listening to all of this with a look of horror and said later she would have probably just agreed to keep it going as she could not speak to anyone like that.

When you bear in mind I will still recommend Three, and was telling them I was going with them again, I just don’t get the point of these calls, I suppose the results are that people are bullied into staying, just like my partner said she would have been?

 

 

S7E / UK Mobile Contracts

March 6th, 2016 | Posted by Kevin Wright in Features - (Comments Off)

There was a time, not that long ago when I had about eight separate mobile phone contracts and was paying about £140 every month to various UK networks, but although those days are long behind me, I do need a new contract right about now, as my last 3UK One Plan is about to be turned off, leaving me looking around. I have in fact picked up a bit of a bargain Vodafone 12 month SIMO deal for effectively £13 a month, (its £20 for 20GB everything else unlimited, but I pay £7 a month for Netflix and this is included), but in the two weeks I have been on that I am not happy with the signal at work.

For £13 I can live with it, and will run it in my second phone, or even in my cellular iPad, where it will make a decent Mi-Fi.

So I am mostly still looking at either 3UK or EE now, as they seem to be the best for internet in the UK right now, and the choice is somewhat overwhelming, with deals coming and going all the time. For example, the Vodafone deal I mentioned above is now back to its full price of £40 a month, the half price offer was limited.

A few of you reading this may know I like to dabble in the odd new phone every so often, so I started wondering if I could combine the two things, buy a cutting Edge smartphone, play with it for a few days and sell it on, using the proceeds to subsidise the contract. I am still in this process, and am partly writing this to clarify my thoughts.

I am mostly sticking to EE and 3UK in this article, and please note any links you follow could be my affiliate links, where I get a kickback for you clicking though and buying through my link. I hope you know me well enough by now to know this will not influence what I write, and indeed, if you have Quidco or TCB you should check these as you can not use both at once.

Right, so the Samsung S7 Edge is heavily on my radar, it looks fantastic, and I think they have done a fantastic job of making a 5.5″ screened phone so neat and compact. I really do not like the smaller Android screens (odd really as on iPhone I am fine with the small one), but I always end up with the Android phones being too big for me. This may well be the case this time, but hey, the idea is to sell the phone on, not keep it! I should also look at iPhone contracts as these will sell as well as any Android phone, and often for more money.

Lets start with the S7 Edge, the retail price is £639 but it is available on a few sites at £619, and the cheapest I can see it is £37.49 for 24 months with £50 upfront. This is at mobiles.co.uk (owned by Dixons Carphone) and you can grab £30 cashback from Quidco, so all told that is £920 all in. So say I sell this for £550 a few days later, that makes it just over £15 a month for 5GB of EE 4G data, and unlimited SMS/Mins. That is not that bad really, and if you want to buy an EE SIMO deal, that plan is about £25

If we were to look at this as a keeper device, it is even better as you would pay £619 for the device so 619/24 is £26 a month for the phone (assuming you pay no interest or have the money available) and £25 for a SIMO, so £51 all in. This goes against the assumption that buying on contract is always a bad idea.

I think it may be worth look at this deal from affordablemobiles.co.uk though as for an extra £7 a month, you not only double the Data to 10GB per month, this is now EE Extra which gives certain other advantages such as using Calls and SMS in the EU for free. This plan is also “Double Speed” data, although it is limited to mainly City areas at the moment.

If we look at 3UK, it is probably better to buy the phone outright and get a SIMO deal, the best contract  I can find is £56 a month and £49 for the handset, and even with £40 cash back, this takes it to £1328 vs the £920 on the cheapest EE deal and £1040 on the 10GB plan. This 3UK deal is for ACYE handset data and 12GB tethering, and of course unlimited calls/SMS.

So here if we take £619 for the handset Sim Free, and add the excellent value £25 a month SIMO which gives 600 mins, unlimited SMS, and AYCE handset data. You get the usual 12GB tethering with this plan, and if you can live with 200 mins instead of £600, you can go to the £20 a month deal. I certainly can live with 200 mins, so the total would be £619 and £480 for the plan, so a total of £1100 of £46, saving £10 a month on the contract route.

TTUK 3UK AFF LINK

I think the mobile networks take full advantage of the confusing plans, and of course all these prices will drop quickly after the initial launch excitement wears off.

So what about going for an iPhone, and selling it on to subsidise the contract? Well, a 6S 64GB is just about identical, and would probably fetch a little less second hand than an S7E, at least for a couple of weeks after launch.

Well, onwards and upwards, more research needed.