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General tips for consumers over Christmas

14 December 2012

  • Smart phones and other new gadgets may be functional and attractive, but can sometimes come with hidden costs. Ask lots of questions about plans and charges, what features are included in the monthly bills, what is not included and how much you have to pay for extras. Shop around, and make sure you’re making an informed decision before buying a new phone, especially for your children.
  • Find out how you can check your usage from time to time, and whether your service provider will send you alerts if you are approaching your data, call or message limits.
  • If you plan on calling friends or family overseas, ask your provider about their international call rates from your mobile or landline. Remember that some mobile phone caps may not include international calls. Your provider will generally have that information on their website.
  • A picture message can be a fantastic greeting on Christmas or New Years Eve, but before sending one to all your contacts, remember that they are more expensive than SMS and may not be included in your cap. Posting the photo in a place where it can be accessed by family and friends may be a cheaper option. You may be able to send the link via SMS.
  • If you know that Christmas expenses will affect your ability to pay your phone bill, ring your provider in advance to ask for an extension or payment plan. A call may save you going through a disconnection, suspension or a credit listing.

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