Your wireless carrier will probably tempt you with the offer of a cheap smartphone the next time your wireless contract expires. As The Wall Street Journal’s Joanna Stern explains, however, you shouldn’t even think about taking them up on it.
Stern says she signed another two-year contract to get her iPhone 6 this past fall and she already feels like “an idiot” because of it. In exchange for getting $450 off her iPhone 6, she’s now stuck on the same carrier for another two years and is paying more money per month on her wireless bill than if she had just sucked it up and paid full price for her phone up front.
So what’s the alternative to getting a subsidized phone through your carrier? Stern points out that Android fans have the option of buying unlocked phones directly from the websites of Google, Motorola, OnePlus and other manufacturers so they can then pick whatever carrier they want. iPhone fans, meanwhile, can get unlocked used iPhones from trade-in websites such Gazelle.com and Glyde.com that will be priced more attractively than the unlocked iPhones you can get from Apple’s website.
Given all these new options, Stern thinks that wireless contracts are on their way out and that consumers should try to avoid renewing them if at all possible. For more tips for escaping two-year wireless contracts, read Stern’s whole piece by clicking here.