Are these sites safe and legit? What's the catch?

Sy13

Member
Hello

I am on the lookout for a new O2 contract and I'm considering either the Pixel 5 or the S20 FE 5G. However, the official O2 site is offering 36 month contracts as standard at prices that are a little hard to stomach compared to other sites. For example, MobilePhonesDirect and AffordableMobiles are offering those phones on 24 month contracts with obscene amounts of data for a much lower monthly cost.

So, what's the catch here? Why would they be so much cheaper?
 

Steven

Senior Moderator
I purchased my (still using it) Samsung Note 4 from mobile phones direct SIM free back in 2015

Anyway, are the contracts the full price you have to pay monthly without a cashback discount?
 

Miss Mandy

Moderator
Contracts through other providers are fixed term contracts so you're tied into them for the full term which in these cases is 24 months.
O2 direct are slightly different in that their refresh deals the handset and phone tariff are done separately. That makes them a lot more flexible, but they offer less data. You can pay off the handset agreement at any time and I believe the tariff is a rolling agreement that can be terminated at any time with 30 days notice (I'm not certain whether that dependant on the handset being paid in full though). You also don't have to do the handset over 36 months, you can pay for the handset over a shorter term if you want to.
Ive used mobile phones direct to purchase sim free a few years ago and they were fine, but I've never purchased a contract from them. I only use O2 direct now.
 

Sy13

Member
Contracts through other providers are fixed term contracts so you're tied into them for the full term which in these cases is 24 months.
O2 direct are slightly different in that their refresh deals the handset and phone tariff are done separately. That makes them a lot more flexible, but they offer less data. You can pay off the handset agreement at any time and I believe the tariff is a rolling agreement that can be terminated at any time with 30 days notice (I'm not certain whether that dependant on the handset being paid in full though). You also don't have to do the handset over 36 months, you can pay for the handset over a shorter term if you want to.
Ive used mobile phones direct to purchase sim free a few years ago and they were fine, but I've never purchased a contract from them. I only use O2 direct now.
This is what I don't understand though.

O2 direct offer the Pixel 5 with unlimited calls and texts, 15GB data, on a 24 month contract for £47.71 per month. They divide this up as £23.71 for the device (reasonable) and the remaining £24 per month as the tariff - totally unreasonable. A SIM only deal with O2 is £15 per month for 25GB of data. The big caveat is that I can't buy the Pixel handset only and put an O2 sim in it because it wouldn't have the O2 firmware for WiFi calling, which isn't worth the additional monthly cost.

So annoying.
 

Miss Mandy

Moderator
As I already said you're paying for the flexibility. That £15 a month for 25gb data on a sim only deal is still an 18 month contract whereas the £24 per month with the handset is 30 days.
 

finbaar

Member
It is possible to get a device from O2, pay off the handset cost in full (do it on a 0% CC if you need to) and cancel the network part of the contract. You can then get your own sim only deal. This has been done by many people many times.
 

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