Friday 13th June 2008

How exactly are you supposed to find the best mobile phone deal? If you take out a contract they tell you exactly how many minutes and texts you get for your money. If you use pay as you go it is much more complicated. On the one paw losing your phone becomes less of a risk but on the other paw they seem to charge calls at different amounts depending on who you’re ringing. It’s not for me, it’s for Granny and Granddad who had the straightforward criteria of wanting a cheap mobile phone without lots of extra functions but with larger than average buttons. It doesn’t seem to be a popular combination. You can get cheap and you can get larger buttons but you can’t get them without lots of features that will simply cause confusion. I should know, I haven’t yet worked out how to download the pictures from my phone onto the computer. Anyway theirs come with radio as well as a camera, although only if you can plug the fiddly earphone in first.

In the end I worked out that the tariffs should be labelled ‘for people who know how much they use their phone and who they call’, ‘for people who just know who they call’, ‘for people who have no idea.’ Instead they give them fancy names like ‘anytime’ and ‘off peak’ (although their off peak and mine don’t match! I’m at my peak between about 2 and 4 in the afternoon, all other times I’m definitely off peak). I was expecting to find one called ‘no time’ or ‘bed time’.

I’m probably over simplifying it. In reality it isn’t who you call that matters, it’s what network they’re on. You can just imagine having to stand in the shop and ring all you friends with a little score card in front of you, chalking up the results. ‘That’s one for Vodafone, two for T mobile and hang on a minute I’ve got another one here for O2!’ That’s all well and good as long as none of your friends change their network, it would spoil the whole calculation.