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Plan or Phone… A Contract is a Contract

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I predict that sometime in the not-so-distant future, contracts will no longer be available for service plans. All plans will be no-contract and give customers the illusion that they can switch whenever they want to. It will give everyone the chance to change features on their plans at a whim, which is never a bad thing. But, don’t get things mixed up: a contract is still a contract.

I can’t even begin to tell you how many times my family and friends, who are all on postpaid, no-contract plans with nice new phones, have tried to tell me that they have the exact same freedom with their plans that you could get with traditional prepaid plans. But they’re wrong. What is actually happening is that instead of signing contracts for the service and getting a “free” phone, customers are now signing up for customizable no-contract service… and then signing a payment contract for a phone.

In short, it’s still a contract, and the associates who try and sell you the payment upgrade plans are extremely careful not to use that word, but that’s exactly what it is. A contract is a contract. Despite what it looks like contracts are NOT dead; they’re just shifting, and no one has even noticed because we’re all used to paying next to nothing for the Next Big Phone. So they sign away without even a second thought.

Is signing a phone financing contract bad?

A lot of prepaid companies are starting to offer financing for smartphones because, well, for heavy users having a really good phone can be pretty important. I spend a lot of time on my phone writing and working on this blog, and I currently have an LG G4 sitting no my desk. It is undoubtedly the best phone I’ve ever had especially after years of cheap entry-level devices so I can certainly see why people are so eager for these flagships. Simply put, they’re awesome.

The trick is getting people to call it how it is. You might not have a contract with your plan, but you might still be a contract customer. And there’s nothing wrong with that, as long as you realize what you’re getting into. That free phone isn’t really free, and no contract doesn’t necessarily mean no contract.