TalkTalk tells mobile customers to switch to O2 - but are there better deals out there?
Since TalkTalk announced that it was pulling out of the mobile business, customers have been told that they'll need to switch to O2 or another provider when their deal comes to an end.
The company is no longer taking on new mobile customers, and existing customers whose contracts are coming to an end are being told that they won't be renewed.
Instead, says TalkTalk, you can sign up for a special deal that's been agreed with O2.
"As part of TalkTalk's simplification, we're changing how we offer mobile services. This agreement with O2 gives TalkTalk customers access to a wider range of great value 4G services," said a spokeperson.
"It is great news for customers and allows TalkTalk to continue investing in our fixed network, delivering even better landline, broadband and TV services."
So what is O2 offering?
O2 says you will be offered 'a special discount off O2's standard prices', and will be given 4G rather than 3G coverage. You'll also have access to O2's 15,000 free wifi hotspots, as well as the O2 Priority app for 'perks, prizes and surprises'.
However, the nature of the deal makes it a bit tricky to plan ahead, as the company says that the precise discount and other perks will vary throughout the year.
Right now, folk are reportedly being offered a minimum 25% discount off O2's standard prices - although there's nothing to stop you trying to negotiate a better deal, just as you would in other circumstances.
O2's current SIM-only deals include a basic package of 250MB data with 250 minutes and unlimited texts for £10.50 a month. Upping that to 20GB with unlimited minutes and texts puts the price up to £33 a month, and for £42 a month you'll get a positively generous 30GB.
On the assumption that those moving over from TalkTalk will get a 25% discount, this places prices at £7.88, £24.75 and £31.50 respectively.
There are cheaper deals around
However, there are cheaper deals around. EE has a 20GB deal for £21, and offers 30GB for £24.99. Vodafone has 20GB for £20 a month.
Meanwhile, Three's cheapest plan gives 500MB data with 200 minutes and all-you-can-eat texts for just £5 a month, with 30GB costing only £18 - and Virgin is currently offering 40GB for a knock-down £18 a month.
When it comes to monthly contracts, O2 is offering the Apple iPhone X from £77 a month. Meanwhile, its cheapest deal, for the Alcatel Pop4 5, costs from just £15 a month - that's £57.75 and £11.25 if a 25% discount is applied.
With Virgin, though, the cheapest deals available start at a rather lower £11 a month, with the iPhone X costing from just £37.
Mind you, it's worth bearing in mind that these offers won't necessarily all be available when your particular TalkTalk contract comes to an end - some, like the Virgin 40MB deal, are special offers for a limited time.
And, says TalkTalk, switching early, even to O2, will incur the usual termination fee. All you can do is wait until your contract's coming to an end and then check out what's available at the time - and don't forget to haggle.
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