Mobile phones are becoming increasingly sophisticated with incredible technological advances made over the past decade in particular. But for consumers, this progress has gone hand-in-hand not just with higher prices, but also with more complicated – and frequently more onerous – network contracts.
A new service, UNSHACKLED.com, has been set up to address the issue of fairness when it comes to mobile deals. The firm sells phones which are not tied to any specific network: the handsets and Sim cards are bought separately, which means that customers are free to switch provider whenever they like rather than being tied in to a long-term contract that may not suit their changing needs (and potentially also with a phone they aren’t allowed to upgrade).
Financing for phones
This more flexible and transparent approach will no doubt be welcomed by many consumers: but one potential drawback of buying a handset outright like is that you face a significant upfront cost (one which is typically spread over the lifetime of a mobile contract).
This is where Zopa comes in: we have teamed up with UNSHACKLED.com to offer its customers finance deals to spread the cost of a state-of-the-art smartphone over two years – with the significant advantage that they won’t be locked into a network contract. This means individuals will be free to switch or alter their tariff whenever they like, as well as to trade in their current phone and upgrade to the latest model without facing a frustrating wait for their contract to finish.
Simplifying the process
As UNSHACKLED.com points out, a number of consumer groups including Which? and Citizens Advice have criticised the opaque way most mobiles are sold in the UK, in particular the way in which retailers and networks make it very difficult to compare deals and find the most suitable tariffs. This new approach will hopefully bring some much needed clarity to the market.
A Zopa loan for your phone
Zopa’s loans through UNSHACKLED.com will be available from 9.7% interest a year (APR). They will typically run for 24 months, but borrowers can repay early at no extra cost. And UNSHACKLED.com will use Zopa’s credit-checking technology to provide an ultra-quick approval and application process.
Jaidev Janardana, Zopa CEO, says: “With the majority of consumers getting a bad deal on their mobile phone, partnering with UNSHACKLED.com means we can offer consumers a better, fairer and more transparent deal in financing their phone. We believe consumers have not been well served when it comes to their mobiles and we are delighted to be able to help consumers get the best deal through UNSHACKLED.com.”