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View Full Version : iPhone: How do US contracts Work?




shunpike
Jan 11, 2007, 12:36 PM
Hi, I live in the UK and here the contract system is pretty simple you get a phone free with say 250 txts and 100 mins per month and then you pay about 25 per month for 12 or 18 months. Does it work the same in the USA? The reason i ask is that with the iPhone costing $599 + 2 year contract that seam to work out as a lot of cash? - Do you pay per month as well in America or is there a different way?

Thanks in advance for your help,

Shunpike



TheAnswer
Jan 11, 2007, 12:39 PM
Per month, just as in UK, certain # of texts and minutes. My plans is around $40 a month or 21. You can break the contract, but I believe that runs around $200 or 103.

shunpike
Jan 11, 2007, 12:52 PM
thanks - if that is the way it works than iPhone is looking even more of an expensive option lol - thanks.
S

TheAnswer
Jan 11, 2007, 12:58 PM
I don't think it is so much the contract, as the length of the contract (I've seen 6 month and 12 month as standard, usually with the offer of a free low-end phone for people with good credit). Also, the locking of the phone to one carrier, which is a strong carrier where I live (in terms of coverage), but people on the east coast of the US have nothing good to say about their coverage. And, while Cingular is the largest carrier in the US, they also have a rep for bad customer service and support to boot.

hoggdogg
Jan 11, 2007, 02:02 PM
See this post:

http://www.myilife.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=63

shunpike
Jan 11, 2007, 02:49 PM
See this post:

http://www.myilife.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=63

WOW - that is looking expensive! - thanks for the great link!

aristobrat
Jan 11, 2007, 03:11 PM
Hi, I live in the UK and here the contract system is pretty simple you get a phone free with say 250 txts and 100 mins per month and then you pay about 25 per month for 12 or 18 months. Does it work the same in the USA? The reason i ask is that with the iPhone costing $599 + 2 year contract that seam to work out as a lot of cash? - Do you pay per month as well in America or is there a different way?
For what it's worth, in exchange for a pretty-much mandatory 24 month contract, most US carriers will give new customers either a free phone (that's OK -- rarely one of the carriers better phones), or a discount on a nicer phone.

Then for the 24 months, then you pay usually $39.99 (20) for around 400-600 minutes (varies by carrier) to be used during the day Mon-Fri and unlimited minutes to be used during the nights and weekends. Carriers usually offer txt plans for $5-$10 extra a month.

After you use your 100 minutes on your UK plan, how much are extra minutes?

apfhex
Jan 11, 2007, 03:16 PM
And that's why I'm not getting an iPhone. :D

To make things ridiculous, lets take those numbers from that link and work them out to the 2-year required contract. $600 + $100/mo for 24 months = $3,000 + tax.

The sucky thing about US plans, aside from only two of the carriers offering anything lower than $40/mo (prepaid doesn't count), is that there's no txt or data included. They should at least give you 5 free txts an month or something.

bousozoku
Jan 11, 2007, 03:19 PM
thanks - if that is the way it works than iPhone is looking even more of an expensive option lol - thanks.
S

It's definitely expensive here, no matter which provider but I'd imagine that the plans won't differ from what you can get now, as long as you remember to include unlimited data.

aristobrat
Jan 11, 2007, 03:38 PM
The sucky thing about US plans, aside from only two of the carriers offering anything lower than $40/mo (prepaid doesn't count), is that there's no txt or data included.
For T-Mobile's SideKick phone, $19.99 gets you unlimited data + unlimited text, which I think is one of the reasons this clunky looking device sells as well as it does.

I doubt it, but it'd be cool if Cingular did a similar plan for the iPhone.

darwen
Jan 11, 2007, 05:52 PM
It's definitely expensive here, no matter which provider but I'd imagine that the plans won't differ from what you can get now, as long as you remember to include unlimited data.

yeah, I have family in the UK and they complain that our plans are way over priced. From the sounds of it you are paying about a quarter of what we pay... maybe a little more than that but it is much less than our rates.

hoggdogg
Jan 12, 2007, 12:06 AM
WOW - that is looking expensive! - thanks for the great link!

you bet... :D

Chundles
Jan 12, 2007, 12:12 AM
I'm on a $30 Optus contract here that includes the phone. 24 months, $30 a month. I get $30 a month of free calls/text/voicemail etc. (basically whatever adds up to $30) and once I go above that I pay.

So, if I make $15 worth of calls/texts in a month I pay $30, if I make $30 of calls/text in a month I pay $30, if I make $45 worth of call/text in a month I pay $45.

In Australia you only pay for calls you make, you don't pay to receive calls.

There are no "long distance calls" on mobile phones because they all have the same 04 area code so the phone number doesn't need to be changed if you move.

aristobrat
Jan 12, 2007, 08:32 AM
yeah, I have family in the UK and they complain that our plans are way over priced. From the sounds of it you are paying about a quarter of what we pay... maybe a little more than that but it is much less than our rates.
I'm confused.

The OP is in the UK and pays US$49/month (25) for 100 minutes and 25 texts?

Unless they have some deal where all incoming calls are free or something like that, that's seems like a lot to pay for 100 minutes. :confused:

pianojoe
Jan 12, 2007, 09:02 AM
In Australia you only pay for calls you make, you don't pay to receive calls.

Wow, I'd never thought of THAT! Obviously, mobile plan culture differs widely in other countries. What about a dedicated thread on that topic?

Say, are you really charged when someone calls YOU? That sounds so strange to me.

combatcolin
Jan 12, 2007, 09:11 AM
5 year old Nokia with a B+W screen does me fine thank you.

:p

Why people are going to spend $$$£££ on an iPhone that is a phosphorous white hot target for every mugger and thief in a 20 mile radius is beyond me.

Chundles
Jan 12, 2007, 09:14 AM
Wow, I'd never thought of THAT! Obviously, mobile plan culture differs widely in other countries. What about a dedicated thread on that topic?

Say, are you really charged when someone calls YOU? That sounds so strange to me.

A lot of plans in the US and Canada charge you money when you receive a call.

Bit different to here where a little while ago Telstra was crediting your account with 5c everytime you recieved a call. We only pay for the calls we make, not for calls we receive.

aristobrat
Jan 12, 2007, 09:42 AM
A lot of plans in the US and Canada charge you money when you receive a call.
FWIW, in the US, although that's technically true, it's in a very roundabout way.

On almost all US plans, if you're talking on the phone (regardless of if you called someone, or they called you), you're using "minutes".

Depending on the time of day and who you're calling, the minutes you spend on that call can be deducted from the amount of minutes your plan comes with. The only time you get charged money is when your plan runs out of minutes.

Typically, the only minutes that count towards your plan minutes are the minutes when you're on your phone between 7am-9pm on workdays. After 9pm (and on weekends), minutes are almost always free. Again, it doesn't usually matter if you make the call or receive the call. There are a few oddball plans offered by 1 or 2 carriers where all incoming calls are free (meaning the minutes you spend on them don't get deducted from your plans minutes), but those plans are very niche.

To make it even more fun, most carriers offer a "mobile to mobile", where if you call another person that also uses the same carrier, the minutes you spend on the phone aren't deducted from your plan, even if you're calling during the middle of a workday.

Sorry for the novel, I just didn't want anyone to have the impression that in the US, everytime you answer your phone you are charged money. :)

tallyho
Jan 12, 2007, 09:52 AM
I'm confused.

The OP is in the UK and pays US$49/month (£25) for 100 minutes and 25 texts?

Unless they have some deal where all incoming calls are free or something like that, that's seems like a lot to pay for 100 minutes. :confused:

Wow - there's serious confusion here, and I am amazed by what I'm finding out about the US!:eek:
For a start the OP gets 250 texts per month (most UK users would get through 25 in 2 or three days! Teenagers would get through 25 texts in a day or less)

Really confused by your second point:confused: Everyone in the UK gets free incoming calls:eek: You don't need "some kind of deal":confused: Obviously you pay for the calls you make, not the calls you take. i really can't imagine it being any other way (the exception is sometimes using your phone abroad, but that has been/is being changed by the EU)

shunpike
Jan 12, 2007, 09:57 AM
For what it's worth, in exchange for a pretty-much mandatory 24 month contract, most US carriers will give new customers either a free phone (that's OK -- rarely one of the carriers better phones), or a discount on a nicer phone.

Then for the 24 months, then you pay usually $39.99 (20) for around 400-600 minutes (varies by carrier) to be used during the day Mon-Fri and unlimited minutes to be used during the nights and weekends. Carriers usually offer txt plans for $5-$10 extra a month.

After you use your 100 minutes on your UK plan, how much are extra minutes?

Most contracts come with texts and minutes - after you've used them up you buy credit. so say i talk for 100 minutes and need to make more calls - i just buy say 5 credit which i can spend on anything (Calls, Data, Texts Downloads etc) I personally am on PAYG which i find much more convenient.
BTW: most contracts come with texts included so for 25pm I would expect to get about 150 mins + 100 texts

shunpike
Jan 12, 2007, 09:59 AM
Wow - there's serious confusion here, and I am amazed by what I'm finding out about the US!:eek:
For a start the OP gets 250 texts per month (most UK users would get through 25 in 2 or three days! Teenagers would get through 25 texts in a day or less)

Really confused by your second point:confused: Everyone in the UK gets free incoming calls:eek: You don't need "some kind of deal":confused: Obviously you pay for the calls you make, not the calls you take. i really can't imagine it being any other way (the exception is sometimes using your phone abroad, but that has been/is being changed by the EU)

I'm on Vodafone and when I receive a call abroad it costs me 75p ($1.5)! - and i have Vodafone Passport!

tallyho
Jan 12, 2007, 10:06 AM
I'm on Vodafone and when I receive a call abroad it costs me 75p ($1.5)! - and i have Vodafone Passport!
What I said. But the Americans are taking about paying to receive calls in their own country. Madness.

shunpike
Jan 12, 2007, 10:09 AM
What I said. But the Americans are taking about paying to receive calls in their own country. Madness.

Good for the phone company(s) tho!

aristobrat
Jan 12, 2007, 10:54 AM
For a start the OP gets 250 texts per month (most UK users would get through 25 in 2 or three days! Teenagers would get through 25 texts in a day or less)
I'm not aware of any major US carrier that includes free texts. You can usually add unlimited texts to your plan here for ~$10/month (£5).

Everyone in the UK gets free incoming calls:eek: You don't need "some kind of deal":confused: Obviously you pay for the calls you make, not the calls you take. i really can't imagine it being any other way (the exception is sometimes using your phone abroad, but that has been/is being changed by the EU)
Do UK plans include free nights and weekends (where you can make calls, but the minutes don't count towards the amount of minutes your plan comes with)?

bousozoku
Jan 12, 2007, 11:22 AM
Wow - there's serious confusion here, and I am amazed by what I'm finding out about the US!:eek:
For a start the OP gets 250 texts per month (most UK users would get through 25 in 2 or three days! Teenagers would get through 25 texts in a day or less)

Really confused by your second point:confused: Everyone in the UK gets free incoming calls:eek: You don't need "some kind of deal":confused: Obviously you pay for the calls you make, not the calls you take. i really can't imagine it being any other way (the exception is sometimes using your phone abroad, but that has been/is being changed by the EU)

It does seem crazy but I pay $5.00 for 100 text messages, in or out. $39.99 for 400 anytime minutes (peak hours) and unlimited calls 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. plus weekends Friday 7 p.m. to Monday 7 a.m. You can get a free incoming calls plan with Sprint but that's extra money and they dial back the free nights and weekends to 9 p.m.

whooleytoo
Jan 12, 2007, 11:34 AM
One carrier here (Meteor) offers unlimited free txts.

Funnily enough, I've heard from a lot of my Slovakian/Polish friends here (there's a huge Eastern European immigrant community here now) all have 2 or 3 phones - a Meteor phone for txting, another network with a plan optimised for peak time calls, and another for evenings & weekends (pay-as-you-go phones, so no monthly charge). It works out cheaper than just having one!

adom
Jan 12, 2007, 11:38 AM
Ok. Well I work for O2 (one of the bigger UK networks for you US guys), and example of our UK tariffs are:

1. The OP talked about around £25 ($49?), that will get you around 150 minutes that can be used to anyone in the UK at any time of the day and 300ish text messages.

2. A better option, if you are ok with paying £35 ($69) include our tariff which is 600mins (again, anyone & anytime), 500 free texts and every saturday, sunday and monday free .... i.e they dont come out of your 600 free allowance.

Obviously with both, you get one of the higher end phones...maybe i'll give you a K800i on the £25 tariff, or something better on the £35 :p

tallyho
Jan 12, 2007, 03:52 PM
It does seem crazy but I pay $5.00 for 100 text messages, in or out.
Wow! So you have to pay to receive texts too!? Check the post above mine for a typical UK plan from O2.
Back to the iPhone...I have no idea of how Apple are going to sell it in the UK but there's no way that the pricing SJ discussed in the Keynote speech will work here IMO. Aren't some of the competitor smartphones he mentioned as costing $299 with a 2 year contract in the US available for free with a 12 month contract here?

gnasher729
Jan 12, 2007, 05:56 PM
Being one of those people in the UK who have a Pay-as-you-go phone (phone for 35, a 20 call card usually lasts me six months to a year), I'm probably not in the market for an iPhone as it is.

However, if you leave the phone part out, and call it the iPod Luxury Edition, that would be different. I'd want an Ethernet connection though, for places that don't have wireless Internet access. Could probably be done through a clever adapter.

OllyW
Jan 12, 2007, 06:06 PM
I pay 15 a month for 100 minutes and 50 texts which is plenty for me.

I've got a great deal for my daughter, 300 anytime minutes and 300 texts for only 10 per month, there's no phone included in that deal though.

Having to pay to receive calls and texts seems a little odd though :eek:

VicRattlehead
Jan 12, 2007, 06:24 PM
i dont like the way the us charges for phone service.

ive got nextel and pay about $60 a month after taxes. ive got 500 talk minutes with unlimited nights and weekends (39.99), unlimited nationwide direct connect (walkie talkie) ($10) caller id ($1.00) voicemail ($1.00)

and if i want text messages, in or out they are $0.10 per message. needless to say i dont text to anyone.