To renew or not to renew? That is the question

We’ve all been there. We signed up for a 3-year contract to get the phone we wanted at a decent price and now a year or two in and we are ready to jump ship. But what are our options? Do we pay the hefty fee to get out of the contract or ride it out until it’s time to renew?

If you’re feeling stuck in a similar situation, Best Buy Mobile can help you navigate your way through the complicated world of the 3-year contract to show you the best option for your needs and how to save you the most money. Oddly enough in most of these situations you can walk away canceling a current contract and with a new state of the art device and break even or save some money!!!

The first thing you need to look at is the device – does it fit your needs? What types of functionalityy will you need from your phone – are you doing a lot of texting and emails; will you be using it for photos, video and Internet browsing; is it mostly just for making calls etc.

The next thing to consider is the cost of the device you want with an upgrade from your current carrier. The tricky thing here is that this isn’t the same as new acquisition pricing and therefore isn’t $0 in most cases. Also attached are other fees such as the $35 activation charge for renewing a contract and the higher cost of the device for an existing customer versus a new who customer might pay $0 with a 3-year plan.  In almost every case, if you have an existing smart phone plan with your current provider, the monthly rate for a new smart phone plan is about $10-$20 less than what you were paying and offers a significant increase in talk time, data usage and other perks.

One key thing to remember, the cost of buying a brand new or popular device outright (iPhone 4S, BOLD 9000, Galaxy SII, Galaxy Nexus etc.) will always be more than with a plan. It’s going to be less of an investment to purchase a phone on a 3-year and if it doesn’t work out, pay the cancellation fees.

In most cases, cancelling a 3-year contract is roughly $20/ month based on the amount of time left. Signing with a new carrier can offer benefits like $0 phones, waived activation fees and carrier promotions such as $100 credits for porting and free long distance. Plus, you usually get to keep your current phone number – a definite perk. At Best Buy Mobile, we have exclusive Gift Card offers on phones as an added perk.

In the end, sometimes paying the cancellation fee to get out of your contract early ends up being cheaper and more economical than staying in your existing contract or waiting it out. The lesson here? Consider your needs, weigh your options carefully and when in doubt, ask a Mobile Expert to walk you through step by step before making a final decision.

Feel free to reach out to me on twitter: @sdmathias1

This post is sponsored by Best Buy Canada.