No we dont believe in fixed-term contracts. So you wont find any here.
It is a common practice in the telecommunications industry, when buying a phone, internet or mobile service, to have to sign up to a long term contract. These contracts are now becoming more common when buying pay television services, and have crept in to electricity and gas services as well.
Why would you need a long term contract?
Most of the companies will try to convince you that you get some sort of added benefit by signing up for 12 or even 24 months (and there are even 36 month ones out there now!).
On the face of it, some do offer what look like good deals. You might be offered a big credit when you sign up, or be offered a "free" modem or mobile phone. They may reduce the price for the first 6 or 12 months of the contract, or a provide monthly "discount" when you add a bunch of other services to the contract as well.
BUT the devil is always in the detail, as they say. When looking at any deal, especially if you are committing to something over a long time, it is critical you understand the total value of the deal. Work out how much its going to cost you over the full length of the deal, and include all of the special hidden or one-off costs as well. Are you really better off?
Not only that, but also that you read the fine print. Often these contracts come with punitive cancellation or termination costs, often running into the hundreds of dollars. Then there are the extra hidden costs, like modem/phone delivery fees, that mean that your "free" device will still cost you. Again, is it really worth it?
Let's be honest, the main reason companies offer contracts is to lock you in. Sure they sweeten the deal, but we ask - why do you have to be locked in? Who benefits from that really?
Why you dont want a fixed-term contract...
Its easy to get complacent and decide that its just simpler to sign a contract. After all, everyone else is doing it, right? Wrong.
We dont believe in long or fixed-term contracts. We think they are designed purely to benefit the big companies, and they unnecessarily limit choice and competition for your hard earned dollars.
Here are some good reasons why you should seriously consider avoiding fixed-term contracts altogether:
- Get the best prices, always - have you ever been annoyed that only new customers get all the good deals? And notice how most companies let you stay on the older and worse pricing well after you have finished your contract with them? Well stay away from those contracts, and give yourself choice.
- Keep that company honest - are you sick of being taken for granted? When you have an issue or problem, feel that the response seems to be "well you'll just have to put up with it"? Nothing keeps a company on its toes and committed to you than knowing that you can leave at any time. And are willing to do so if they dont deliver!
- Avoid those pesky termination costs - honestly, why should you have to pay them for leaving? Its confounding to be sure, and we have never agreed with the practice. It just feels like financial handcuffs.
- Help others get better value too! - we truly believe that when more customers are free to come and go in our industry, that all of the players will act more responsively and in the best interests of their customers. So by avoiding a fixed-term contract you increase the chances that everyone will get a better deal - to survive, all of the various companies will have to pull up their socks and win/keep their customers!