Teenagers and Mobile Phones – How to Choose the Right Deal

Oct 17

Most teenagers can’t live without their mobile phone. They can usually be seen with a phone welded to their ear or plugged into earphones, listening to music or chatting with friends. Unfortunately, since the average teenager has little or no cash to pay for a mobile phone, it will be up to you, their parent, to pay for it. So how can you ensure you get the best deal and don’t end up tied into an expensive phone contract?

Handset Dilemmas

It used to be enough just to have a mobile phone, but modern teenagers aren’t happy with ‘just a mobile phone’. Oh no, they want the latest handset with all the cool apps and gadgets attached. A mobile handset is a fashion accessory, so pity the poor parent who mistakenly buys the ‘wrong’ handset for their offspring. Your teenager will probably tell you in all seriousness that their life is officially over and it is your fault entirely. So to avoid turning your teen into a social pariah, make sure you consult them on which handset they want before you discuss phone deals with the main contenders.

Minutes, Data and Texts

Aside from the handset dilemma, another issue to consider very carefully before signing up for a new contract or PAYG deal is what minutes, texts and data allowance your teenager might need. The danger here is that if you underestimate usage in any of the three areas, you run the risk of ending up with a very large bill to pay.

  • Minutes – Free minutes are useful, but find out how often your teen uses their phone to make calls. You may find that the only person they ever call is you when they want a lift somewhere, which could be a free call anyway if you are on the same network.
  • Texts – Most deals come with a bundle of free texts, but check whether this is likely to be enough. Some teenagers have no problem sending several thousand text messages in one day, so don’t get caught out paying for the excess.
  • Data – They will need a data allowance if they use their handset for internet access. Downloading music and streaming videos soon eats up data, therefore you need to bear this in mind when choosing a handset deal.

PAYG or Contract Deals

The most obvious choice you need to make when looking for a new handset for a teenager is whether you are going to opt for a contract or SIM only deal. A contract deal may work if you need a new handset, but if your teen already has a handset they are happy with, it could be worth looking at SIM only deals. That way all you have to do is insert the new SIM into the old handset and voila!

Before deciding on any kind of handset or mobile phone deal, always shop around for the best prices on online comparison expert websites. Once you have an idea of the current prices, approach your existing provider and see if they can offer you a good deal.

About the author:

Laura Ginn is a writer and a blogger. She recently spent a week looking for the best mobile phone deal for her teenage daughter, so she fully understands how difficult (and traumatic) the process can be.