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Tips for saving on your mobile bill

Have you ever had the feeling that you were paying too much for your mobile contract but that you didn't know how to fix it?
Brett Howell
Brett Howell

There's a new player in the mobile space in South Africa that has some advice and practical tips for anyone who wants to save on their mobile bill. Their name is me&you mobile and their top guy, CEO Brett Howell, has these 10 tips to share for cutting costs on your mobile bill:

  • Buy talk time and data bundles - operators charge excessive out-of-bundle rates, but you can avoid this by buying a big enough chunk before your bundle runs out.

  • Buy your own phone for cash - you'll save a packet, because two-year contract subscribers actually pay much more for their phones than they would if they bought it upfront in cash. To save even more, buy from an online store like 3G Mobile or even from your bank.

  • Look at old statements - knowing how much data and talk time you really use will help you to only buy only what you need.

  • Get out of your mobile contract - contract subscribers pay much more than they should, and downgrading incurs penalties. It is much better to enter a month-by-month deal with the flexibility to change.

  • Make sure to give notice on your 24 month contract when it is up for renewal - That is, if you intend leaving the network. If not, then upgrade immediately. You've already paid off your device, but you can bet your monthly subscription fee won't decrease from month 25 onwards.

  • Buy your airtime or top-ups online - don't waste time and petrol getting yourself to a shop.

  • When travelling overseas, buy a pre-paid SIM card from a local service provider - that way you avoid exorbitant international roaming costs. If you need access to your SA number while abroad, at least make sure you turn data roaming off until you are in a Wi-Fi zone, as it is particularly expensive.

  • Download and install a free usage monitoring application from your app store - Apps such as BreakFree for Android or My Data Manager for iOS make it easy to keep an eye on your consumption on a daily basis and to avoid going out of bundle.

  • If you're using a smartphone, make sure you close your applications after use - this will help you to avoid consuming data while your applications are running in the background. Turning down the sound, screen brightness and screen rotation all have an influence on data consumption too.

  • If possible, turn off automatic application updates (and DropBox uploads!) - automatic app updates can eat up your mobile data. Only allow these automatic actions to run in a Wi-Fi zone.

"These tips won't just put extra money in your pocket," Howell says. "They empower callers with choice. With knowledge you can change the way you approach contracts, the way you communicate, and even which service provider you choose. It's time customers realise their power."

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