There’s something really satisfying about getting a really great deal and right now I am feeling that satisfaction. I’ve just got myself a new mobile phone contract and the deal is so sweet I feel the need to do a little bragging (Sorry).

According to industry figures UK mobile phone penetration has reached 118 percent, and while I don’t really understand what that means I do understand the fact that each week in the UK a mind boggling 1.4 billion text messages are sent! But while talk might be cheap, heavily addicted mobile users in the UK know only too well that it’s not that cheap.

My monthly mobile phone bill comes to no less than £35 (just under $70). That might be cheap compared to what many of my friends spend on their contract and top-up pay-as-you-go phones. But after nearly two years paying the same (now out of contract) fee I decided it was time to leave my current provider, Orange, in search of a better deal.

Enter the ‘customer loyalty’ department. While they might sound like the back-door heavies who are employed to beat seven rounds of crap out of you for being disloyal, they’re actually the people who can offer you the best unpublished deals. After a little haggeling with Matthew the ‘customer loyalty agent’ I’m feeling really satisfied with that I think is a really great deal. My new monthly bill will be no higher than £12.50 and for that I’ll get the following:

  • 400 Cross network anytime minutes per month
  • 1000 text messages per month
  • FREE voice mail
  • FREE calls to 0800 numbers (enabling me to use dial-out services to overseas locations that might otherwise be very expensive to call – For example calls to the US will only cost me a penny per minute.)
  • FREE 8Mb home broadband
  • FREE Sony Ericsson Cybershot c902 phone
  • FREE 8 GB memory stick for the phone

To Americans that 400 minute deal might not look too special, but in the UK only the person making the call is charged, so if receiving a call or text on a mobile phone doesn’t use up any of your minutes.

1000 WORDS

I actually wasn’t all that bothered about getting a new phone, and choosing one was something of a task. I didn’t want a ‘smart phone’ because I simply don’t want to be tied to my email wherever I am. I considered a GPS enabled phone, but then if I ever find myself lost I could always just go ‘old school’ and ask someone for directions. (Not forgetting every phonebox in the UK will tell you exactly where you are.) Music on my mobile isn’t important as I have an iPod for that, and I don’t think I’ve even looked at the games on any of my previous phones so that is a non starter for me. As I told the ‘loyalty agent’ “I just wanted a phone that rang when someone called me.”

While I shoot most of my photography using a Canon Powershot S80, there have been occasions where I’ve used the camera on my phone. Take for example the picture below of ‘little Jack’ the curious little 1 year old who is loves to press buttons and pull everything out of wallets.

In truth though, the most handy feature I’ve ever had on a mobile was a flashlight on the Sony Ericsson K750i. This feature wasn’t on the K800i but I’m hoping that it might return on the C902. After all, cameras and GPS might be great features, but they count for nothing if you can see where the hell you’re going, right?

Little Jack