I have been considering the various options for keeping the whole family communicating with each other and the outside world.
Last year I contracted for mobile from Vodaphone for the children. It was very expensive (£35 per month each)but the deal was 100% cash back periodically, so whats to lose. Well the main thing to lose is £70 per month. The company, Dexia Systems trading as the Mobile Outlet, refused to pay because they said I had breached the contract. I hadn't and so took them to court. The wonderful District Judge Naylor found in my favour and ordered them to pay within 14 days. They decided to go bust instead. Apparently these firms has made their money in the past by customers not sticking to the overly complicated terms and conditions of the cash back offer & forgetting, or losing their right, to claim. Since consumers are getting all together more savvy these firms are going to the wall in droves. I wont be falling for a cash back deal again, or at least not that kind of cash back deal.
I have created a spreadsheet of various options which takes into account discounts, cash back from Quidco, cash back offers form the supplier etc and come up with 3 as our supplier of choice. Beloved and I have had Three phones for years because they are always pretty reasonably priced & we are happy with the coverage, although I have heard other complain about it. The phones even work n our house when no other network does.
So, before the end of April when the deal runs out, I will click though Quidco to the Three site and sign up for two phones & monthly deals from their clearance. This averages out to around £12 per month(and a free handset) for 18 months. There are sufficient calls within this deal that the house phone wont need to be used for mobile calls at all, especially as Three phones work in our house.
I have looked a Family Talk from Vodaphone and it is excellent but the actual contracts are a bit on the pricey side for me.
The handsets have potential for recycling through various charities and other organisations of course but we recycle them rather more directly. When beloved goes home to visit his family every year or two he takes all of the old phones with him for various nephews and nieces. We will run out of phones before he runs out of family so this isn't a problem.
Beloved phone and my own phone contracts will end during the summer. Three normally phone us up to tell us how special we are ( I know its sales pitch but I like to be told all the same)and offer us a good deal. At the moment we both 500 minutes and 200 texts (just in case beloved ever learns to text - don't worry the kids use it all up though) for £15 per month. Beloveds phone is paid through his business as it is entirely business calls, so another saving.
Since I got fitted up last year, and also Baby very often has gone over his limit this year and spent extra monthly, then I am hoping to save something like £70 per month with my new deal.