Changing your mobile phone tariff or getting a new contract can be stressful enough but the potential pitfalls are even bigger than you may think!
Companies like Phones4u and Carphone Warehouse are 3rd party companies selling products and signing contracts for for the mobile phone companies such as O2, Vodafone & EE etc...
What you probably don't know is the mobile phone companies also have 3rd party stores called franchises. These are stores that are owned and operated by other businesses or individuals but have the benefit of being able to use the mobile phone companies branding - thus making them look just like stores that are owned directly by the mobile phone companies. These stores look the same, the staff wear the same uniforms and they sell the exact same products and services as a directly owned mobile phone store.
Your potential problem: If your purchase your phone or contract from a franchised store and a problem occurs with your phone or tariff you have to go back to the store of purchase or a store owned by the same franchisee, which is not too good if you bought your phone in London and it develops a problem while your in Edinburgh!
Some franchised stores can pressure you to push a deal through and then, if you want to charge your contract because of their mistakes, they usually charge you a fee to get you onto an alternative tariff.
Our advice is to either change your phone or tariff (or both) over the phone with your service provider and, if you're in a store, ask first before you sign any documents whether they are a directly owned store or a franchise. If they are a franchise consider walking away!