iPhone: How do US contracts Work?

Discussion in 'iPod' started by shunpike, Jan 11, 2007.

  1. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2006
    Location:
    Oxford, UK
    #1
    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
     
  2. macrumors 68030

    TheAnswer

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    #2
    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.
     
  3. thread starter macrumors regular

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    #3
    thanks - if that is the way it works than iPhone is looking even more of an expensive option lol - thanks.
    S
     
  4. macrumors 68030

    TheAnswer

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    #4
    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.
     
  5. macrumors newbie

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  6. thread starter macrumors regular

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    #6
  7. macrumors demi-god

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Virginia Beach
    #7
    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?
     
  8. macrumors 68030

    apfhex

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2006
    Location:
    Northern California
    #8
    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.
     
  9. Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
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    #9
    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.
     
  10. macrumors demi-god

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    #10
    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.
     
  11. macrumors 6502a

    darwen

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2005
    Location:
    California, US
    #11
    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.
     
  12. macrumors newbie

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    #12
    you bet... :D
     
  13. macrumors G4

    Chundles

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2005
    #13
    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.
     
  14. macrumors demi-god

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    #14
    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:
     
  15. macrumors 6502

    pianojoe

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    #15
    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.
     
  16. macrumors 68020

    combatcolin

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2004
    Location:
    Northants, UK
    #16
    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.
     
  17. macrumors G4

    Chundles

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2005
    #17
    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.
     
  18. macrumors demi-god

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    #18
    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. :)
     
  19. macrumors 6502a

    tallyho

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2004
    Location:
    UK
    #19
    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)
     
  20. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2006
    Location:
    Oxford, UK
    #20
    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
     
  21. thread starter macrumors regular

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    #21
    I'm on Vodafone and when I receive a call abroad it costs me 75p ($1.5)! - and i have Vodafone Passport!
     
  22. macrumors 6502a

    tallyho

    Joined:
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    Location:
    UK
    #22
    What I said. But the Americans are taking about paying to receive calls in their own country. Madness.
     
  23. thread starter macrumors regular

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    Nov 17, 2006
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    Oxford, UK
    #23
    Good for the phone company(s) tho!
     
  24. macrumors demi-god

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Location:
    Virginia Beach
    #24
    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).

    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)?
     
  25. Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
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    #25
    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.
     

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