James O'Neill's Blog

December 17, 2010

How to get the cheapest Windows Phone deal in the UK…

Filed under: Mobility — jamesone111 @ 9:13 am

The last few posts have been about my experience with Vodafone and the HTC Trophy Windows 7 phone. I know carriers hate it, by I view them as utility companies: they are all interchangeable, none of the services they offer constitute worthwhile differentiation, and if they can get me a decent signal that’s fine. In my 8 years or so with Orange they scored highly on customer service, but where I is a bit of a dead spot for signal: my wife gets a decent signal on Vodafone, and the others are a bit of an unknown.

Similarly there isn’t much to choose between Windows 7 phones, yes there are slight differences in display, and memory ranges from more than enough for now, to lots more than enough for now. Keyboarded devices are coming but I couldn’t wait. Since I was paying, my choice of phone and carrier was driven mostly by cost.

I had been able to transfer my old Microsoft number 07801 8 8 10 10, as a big corporate customer Microsoft have an on-site person from Orange, who was able to tell me how to get permission and then she could swap my number onto a new Orange Pay-as-you-go SIM. Unfortunately she was ill when I needed her to do this, so the process was held up for 10 days, which robbed me of patience needed to make the process smooth. I called Orange to get the necessary porting code, and didn’t wait for it to arrive before ordering the trophy. It’s possible to sort things out afterwards, but if you ever have to do this WAIT FOR THE CODE. Orange sent mine out out by first class post on the next working day.

Microsoft have a page where you can see the phones currently available the choices were:

  • The HTC Mozart on Orange @ £449 or Free on a £32.50 x 24 month plan
  • The HTC HD7 on o2 @ £380 or Free on £35x 18 month or £30×24 Month plans
  • The Samsung Omina on Three or T-Mobile , Free on a £35 x 24 Month plan
  • The HTC Trophy on Vodafone:  Free on a £25 x 24Month plan
    • The LG Optimus 7 on Vodafone: Free on a £30 x 24Month Plan

After trying a few price comparison sites I found Dial-a-phone have a stonking deal on the Trophy. I hadn’t heard of Dial-a-phone but they’re part of Phones-4-U, one of the biggest retailers so that seemed OK. First an 18 month contract; Second it’s a £30 Month plan. But third there is a 50% mail-in rebate for the first 10 months. So you get 10 months at £15 and 8 at £30 for £390  – roughly what you’d pay for the phone off contact, you get the phone + line + Unlimited texts, 500MB of data (which is enough for me) + 300 voice minutes (likewise).   There are two catches first if you don’t mail in your bill, you don’t get your rebate, and secondly the phone comes with both insurance, a subscription to the “gadget helpline” which you have to cancel or pay £6.99 a month for insurance and £17.99 twice a year for the help line. My home insurance covers “possessions you carry on your person” away from home, so I had no qualms about cancelling both. I have a lunch that Dial-a-phone make a tenner a month out of those too lazy to cancel and anther £15 if they don’t send their rebate in.  Still if it seems like the deal for you, click the link above and put in my number 07801 8 8 10 10 as a friend who referred you … heck, if you find another deal on their site, put that in anyway 🙂

It wasn’t all plain sailing. First I ordered on a Sunday, it took longer than usual for Dial-a-phone to sort the paper work so the phone wasn’t sent out till the Wednesday. In the meantime I had received my porting code from Orange, but I couldn’t change the order, so I had to wait for the phone to arrive and then change the number. Going to Vodafone’s web site for the information on how to do this is frustrating – in fact I’m forming the opinion that their site designer gave up a career as a village idiot. It turns up pages which either tell you how to do this when you buy the phone (too late), or old forum posts which say it can’t be done, which is just plain wrong. You phone the Vodafone Transfers team on 08700 720 265  . When I called they were quick confirm it was all possible when I had the phone.  The phone came by Royal Mail special delivery and I was straight back on the phone to them, but the phone needs to be activated before Vodafone’s systems can process it and Dial-a-phone wait until the parcel tracking system shows the phone has been received before activating it: this can take 48 hours but a call got it working by the afternoon. My first call from it was to Vodafone transfers and within 2 minutes the port was arranged; I might not think much of their website but all the people I’ve spoken to at Vodafone have been good. Of course various things are tied to the initial temporary number. Vodafone’s web site shows me my number until I try to look at what I have used this month, when it can only show me information for the temporary number.  I don’t plan on changing networks any time soon, but when I do I will get the port code before I do anything else.


1 Comment

  1. Not a reason not to use someone like Dial-a-Phone but when I had a similar rebate offer with a Virgin PAYG DAB phone I assumed first bill was the first itemised bill. It wasn’t, it was the first invoice with connection charge etc. that you get when the phone arrives. Just make sure you clarify this, as if you miss the first bill, the rest of the bills don’t count.

    See ‘Beat the contract cashback trap’ over here for more details, http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/phones/mobile-phone-cost-cutting

    If you understand the cashback terms and get it right they are great deals though, as you point out.

    Comment by Liam Westley — December 20, 2010 @ 8:53 am

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