I just discovered a couple of pretty unpleasant things, which apply to Orange and quite possibly the other providers – certainly worth checking.
When your 2 years of contract runs out, what happens? I assumed that your monthly charges just carried on indefinitely, with the phone company being glad that you’re carrying on. After all, they always want you signed up for as long as possible. In fact, you get a cheaper deal if you sign up for longer, so if you stay on with them afterwards you are getting a worse deal than you could have had.
Anyway, my phone bill just shot up (an extra £20/month) due to two things:
a) Apparently I negotiated a special rate for my 2 year contract, which has now finished, so I go back onto a standard deal.
b) Last time I upgraded they offered me the chance to upgrade three months early if I signed up for another two years, so I did. Little knowing that at the end of my two years I then have to serve the three months that were left of my previous contract. Since my new contract was better than my old one (they always are) this means I have three months of expensive contract still to do. So changing early doesn’t mean that the last three months vanish (in exchange for them getting you committed to them for another 2 years), oh no, those three months come back again in two years time. Amazing!
The worst thing was that didn’t tell me any of this at the time when I renewed, or last month when I went up to the higher rate. It just appeared on my bill.
So look out if your contract is about to end, you might just find that your bill is going to go up, without you being told…