It is still possible to save a lot on the purchase of a smartphone if we take it from our operator, from about 100 to 300 euros according to a study by Sole24Ore on the operators’ websites. But the modalities are no longer what they used to be. Now they are many and varied and they are not always transparent, hiding costs that are not very visible, as far as we have been able to see.
In short: yes, you can save money, but be careful.
There are situations in which it is possible to save money by giving little or nothing in return to your operator. Others where the savings are in the face of burdensome and opaque early termination clauses. Finally, others where savings are even non-existent compared to the offers on Amazon.
To date we find three modes of mobile offer with smartphone included. That basic shop, where the operator sells us the cell phone sometimes even with a discounted price without asking for anything in return. Tim excels in these.
Then there is the offer where the operator only asks to keep a line active, in exchange for discounts on the mobile phone: Tim or Iliad offer this possibility.
Vodafone and Wind 3 instead have the classic discounted smartphone offer + offer and a long series of clauses for early cancellation; a situation where it is easier to incur hidden costs.
It is advisable to first see Tim’s Wow offers https://www.tim.it/prodotti/offerte-speciali and compare them with market prices (on a comparison site such as Google Shopping). On minor brands and / or mid-range mobile phones there are very interesting discounts, up to about 100-200 euros compared to those of the market. Like LG Velvet 5G, discounted from 649.99 to 299 euros and available on Amazon for only about 500 euros. You have to pay in a lump sum. Tim doesn’t ask for anything in return on almost all of these offers and even gives away three months of 5G. On some products, on the other hand, it gives a discount and installment payment only if the user has Tim at home (the Tim sim does not count) .IliadSimile the Iliad formula https://www.iliad.it/account/smartphone. But it always asks for the presence of an Iliad sim. If the user also wants payment in installments (instead of a single solution), there is an additional clause: “the payment in installments method is reserved for all users who own a SIM iliad, active for at least 3 months with automatic debit on payment card (credit or debit). ”The offer is noteworthy if we are already Iliad users. If we are not, before moving on only for the purpose of buying a smartphone it is good to check if our operator does not already make an interesting offer for us.
It took half an hour of study just to understand how the Vodafone offer for mobile phones works, reflecting the complexity and the large amount of hidden notes. In particular on the costs of early termination. The user has to choose smartphone first from here and then combine it with an offer. Also in this case you can save on the total cost of the device. An advance cost and 24 months of installments are expected. To cancel, click on Cost Info under the offer and then at the bottom of the pop up that opens. “The fee for early withdrawal within 24 months has a decreasing logic every 3 months. In the event of early withdrawal, Vodafone may request the Customer to pay any remaining installments of the terminal in a single solution or, at the customer’s request, in installments with the same frequency and the same payment method previously chosen in addition to the total or partial refund discounts benefited in a fair and proportional manner to the residual duration of any promotion “. It is not clear why Vodafone has not already been able to indicate here the amount of the “fee for early withdrawal” for that specific combined product. Clarity or something similar is only found if we can find it the link to the prospectus. The cost depends on the combination of the price of the product and the month of stay.
With Wind 3 we have to choose the offer Smart Pack desiderata and then pair a smartphone. You can also combine the Reload option for a maximum cell phone change twice a year; o Reload Plus which costs more per month but has no mobile phone exchange costs.The first costs from € 2.49 per month and has a replacement fee of € 60 upwards. The second 6.99 euros per month. It can be exchanged for free from the 13th month. Or replace it up to twice a year with a cost of 170 euros. Apart from this possible option, which is not mandatory, there is a device activation cost, an advance cost per device (not always) and the cost of its installment over 24 or 30 months (plus the usual fee for the offer with services included and possible SIM activation, as in all cases). Finally, there is an activation cost of the offer with a smartphone of 49.99 euros, but we pay it only if we leave before the contract expires. “Early withdrawal involves the payment of the remaining installments of the device and the debit of the portion of the cost of activating the offer in proportion to the months of non-stay, in a single solution or in installments, according to the choice made by the Customer during the activation phase, which can be modified up to the time of withdrawal by contacting Customer Service “.