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O2 makes flexible pay monthly Refresh tariffs available on all of its phones and tablets

Wednesday, March 28th 2018 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

For most of us, buying a phone outright is never realistically going to be an option so a phone contract is always going to be the best way to get your hands on a new phone.

But deciding what tariff to go for can be tricky. If you end up with too high a data package you’ll feel like you’re throwing money away each month, too low and you run the risk of going over your allowance and incurring a penalty charge.

It’s with that exact problem in mind that more and more providers are offering pay monthly contracts that allow you to move your tariff up or down each month depending on the amount of data you anticipate using.

The latest is O2, which introduced flexible tariffs at the end of last year and has now made them available on all of its phones and tablets. This means you can stick with a 1GB plan for most of the year if that’s all you need, then up it to 20GB or even 50GB for a month if you’re going away in the summer and won’t be connected to wi-fi.

O2 Refresh tariffs also separate the cost of the phone and what O2 calls an Airtime Plan – basically your minutes, texts and data. This means that if you want to upgrade early you only have to pay off the Device Plan, while if you’re happy to keep your phone after two years you’ll will only pay the monthly Airtime Plan as your phone will be paid off.

'Back in control'

Nina Bibby, O2's chief marketing officer, said: “Last year we put O2 customers back in control of their data with the introduction of revolutionary flexible tariffs.

“Now we’re taking this new, flexible approach even further by giving customers more choice to move their airtime bills up and down each month on our entire range of O2 Refresh smartphones and tablets.”

O2 isn’t the only provider offering flexible pay monthly contracts, of course. Virgin Mobile will let you change your plan up or down each month, as will Sky Mobile, and both Virgin and Sky will also automatically store your unused data and let you roll it over to use the following month.

Giffgaff also splits its pay monthly phone plans, asking you to first choose how you want to pay for your phone (either upfront or over 6, 12, 18 or 24 months with a choice of initial payments) then to choose from its list of goodybags, which contain varying amounts of data and can be changed or cancelled at any point.

Tesco Mobile’s Anytime Upgrade Flex contracts work in a similar way, offering a choice of upfront costs and with monthly contract lengths ranging from 12 to 36 months but again with the option to change your tariff each month if you so wish.

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