The Data Doctor

Feeling drained? Not as fast as you used to be? Welcome to the Data Doctor! We’ve got the cure for all your data allowance needs, so come in, lie down on the couch and tell us all about it…

Doctor, doctor, I feel like I’m not on the right deal!

Then pull yourself together! No wait, that’s curtains, isn’t it? Well, we stand by it. It’s easy to find the network contract that suits your usage habits best. Just follow these simple tips.

Don’t expect unlimited data

Just a few short years ago, networks gave out unlimited data like mobile internet was going out of fashion. It wasn’t, and we now spend more time using web-based services on our phones than we do making calls and sending texts.

 

As a result, Three remains the only network to offer all-you-can-eat data, with the other major players now favouring tiered packages, peaking at 2GB per month and bottom-out at a miserly 250MB.

Know your usage history

The price of your monthly tariff will depend on the tiered deal you choose, so make sure you know your current usage history before you buy. If you’re only using an average of 500MB per month, there’s little point shelling out an extra £10 a month for data you won’t use.

Most networks won’t punish you for going slightly over your usage limit, but if you do select a lower tariff they are likely to ask you to pay more for your handset upfront. It’s a balancing act, so take care to do your maths, taking into account the full length of the contract.

Find out what counts as data usage

Many people are surprised to learn that some networks do not include web browsing and email in their data totals. That means you can visit as many websites and send as many hilarious memes as you like without eating into your precious allowance.

If you mostly download music and films or use data-intensive apps, that won’t make a lot of difference to your choice of tariff. But if you use your phone as a browser first and foremost, you can make a significant saving by making sure to ask what does and doesn’t count as data.

Don’t be afraid to haggle

All these tips will count for little if you take the first offer you get. If a rival network offers you more data to jump ship from your current provider, play the two against each other to find out who can really offer you the best deal. There’s a decent chance your existing network will want to match or better any rival deal to in order keep you on their books.

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