Handysektor warns of the smartphone cost trap

Surfing the Internet, using apps and making phone calls are part of everyday life for young smartphone owners. However, most of these services are chargeable and can quickly lead to a high cell phone bill. In this special issue, www.handysektor.de reports on how young people can identify cost traps at an early stage and keep an eye on their bills.

Watch out for cell phone contracts
A smartphone for zero euros and an all-round contract - that sounds tempting. But often such alleged bargains still contain many additional costs. The youth portal Handysektor advises therefore young people as a rule to Prepaid maps. These have the advantage that one cannot get into debt so easily. Whether a firm contract is worthwhile or not should be discussed in advance with parents. Minors are not allowed to sign a contract on their own anyway. Independent rate calculators on the Internet can help with the decision. It is also advisable to pay close attention to the rate (by the minute or by the second), the price per minute, and the scope of flat rates and free minutes.  

Beware of special numbers
Service or special numbers such as 0900, 0180 or 0137 are particularly expensive. These are often used for TV competitions, casting shows or support hotlines. But beware: the prices for the cell phone network are usually many times higher than for the German fixed network. Sometimes there are alternative low-cost local numbers for hotlines in addition to the expensive 0180 number. Users can check this at www.0180.info. Otherwise, the following applies to special numbers: Landline first! Caution is also advised with premium text messages. You can recognize them by their five-digit number, e.g. 55555 or 77477. Such an SMS can cost up to 9.99 euros. 

10 tips against cost traps

  1. It doesn't always have to be the latest smartphone
  2. Prepaid cards offer the best cost overview
  3. Not all free minutes are the same
  4. Flat rate does not mean infinite flat rate
  5. Long contract periods cause high costs in total
  6. Avoid special numbers
  7. Be careful with premium SMS
  8. Do not accept (lock) calls with suspicious numbers
  9. Set password for in-app purchases
  10. Activate third-party lock

You can read a detailed description of the tips here.

Explainer video and infographic on cost traps
To keep an eye on all cost traps, Handysektor has published an easy-to-understand explainer video and an infographic. Other aspects such as in-app purchases and subscription traps are also discussed here. The explanatory video can be viewed here. The infographic on hidden costs is available for download here

Handysektor: Special topic "Cost traps