Landlines and Phones
Communication in Britain has evolved dramatically in the last ten years, with a huge swing from people predominantly using landlines to keep in contact, to nearly everybody in the country owning a mobile phone.
Whilst landlines are still common, mainly because they are required in order to have a broadband connection in the house, nearly everyone now owns and uses a mobile phone.
Landline providers still charge line rental, and offer call packages on top which can give free calls to other landlines during the evenings and weekends, or unlimited calls any time of day and night.
Some providers also have additional packs, which offer discounts on calls to certain mobile numbers, and free phone calls to phone numbers in other countries.
Mobile phones are offered in two different ways: on a contract, or on a pay-as-you-use basis. Pay-as-you-use phones, or Pay-as-you-go as they are commonly known, allow the user to top up their credit as and when they want, and they can only use as much credit as they have added.
These phones are ideal for people who rarely use their phones, or for children who need an element of control over their usage.
Contract phones involve the user paying a fixed amount each month as their line rental. Included in this will be a varying number of free minutes, text messages and data to browse the internet. Anything used on top of this, including calls to international numbers and roaming costs, will be added to the bill at the end of the month.
One advantage of a mobile contract is that the money is taken via direct debit, meaning the user never has to remember to top-up or worry that they will run out of credit in an emergency.
A phone user will often only benefit from having a contract if they would spend more than £15 a month on a Pay-as-you-go basis. Anything less than this, and Pay-as-you-go phones tend to work out cheaper.
Contracts are often issued with free handsets, usually on an 18 or 24-month basis. With some of these handsets costing over £400, some people who may only use a Pay-as-you-go amount of minutes and texts can benefit from using a contract as a method of spreading the cost of the phone over several months.