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Choosing a mobile deal for kids – without getting cap-slapped

02 Mar 2012
Julian - amaysim blogger

Julian R

amaysim's PR guy

Some parents I know pay for their kids mobile phones for their own peace of mind.

It’s reassuring knowing that if your kids can ring or text if they’re running late or are in trouble. It’s important that you make the right mobile choice for your kids though – it can help stop you receiving surprise bills for $30 worth of ring tones!

Whenever I chat with our customers they always tell me that they love it that amaysim keeps things simple, so we’ve pulled together some simple dos and don’ts on choosing a mobile phone deal for your kids. By including them in the process you’ll be able to teach them about money while helping to save some of yours.

Ged - amaysim's PR guy.

Tips on choosing a mobile phone deal:

  1. With telcos offering a variety of plans and rates that vary depending on who, when and where you’re calling, make the time to research the best options available to avoid unnecessary and hidden costs.
  2. Don’t sign your life away – avoid long term contracts – consider the option of buying the phone outright and using a SIM only service. With so many smartphones now at affordable prices and good value SIM only rates, it’s a very realistic option and can mean you can get the handset your kids want while paying call rates that suit you. Remember, the latest iPhone isn’t the only decent handset out there and you can pick up a smartphone for less than a couple of hundred bucks these days.
  3. Find out what services your telco offers to help manage spending on the phone. Does your telco send alerts about approaching or exceeding limits? Can you monitor your child’s usage closely and track itemised billing, real time usage and recharge history?
  4. More than one child? You might want consider options to help manage multiple SIMs in one spot. Services like this are available from amaysim.
  5. Consider the option of switching off certain services that may cost extra such as premium SMS and MMS messages (photos and video) and international roaming.
  6. Share bill information with your child to help them understand what using their phone costs and see where the money is going.
  7. Teens will get sucked in by premium services such as advertised numbers that may be charged at a higher rate. Make clear early what services need your permission to be purchased.
  8. Avoid late night texting and facebooking under the doona by keeping mobile phones outside your teen’s room at night. This way they’ll get a good night’s sleep without clocking up a massive bill (or ending up with sore thumbs!).