Top UK provider Vodafone’s deal for families is one of the best we’ve seen yet. There’s nothing not to love - if the family in question like to talk, talk often, and talk a lot. The terms are simple - four of you Vodafone customers share a monthly £5 charge in exchange for unlimited calls of up to 60 minutes each. Signing up to a cheap talk plan may leave extra funds available to purchase the smartphone of your choice. The plan does not include text messages, international calls, video calls, or picture messages, unlike some plans. It covers only basic phone calls, which is how it keeps its cost so low. If your family chats frequently on the phone and is not bothered by the lack of text options, this family plan makes the most sense out of all of them.
If your family circle is wider than four people, you might want to upgrade your Vodafone Family add-on to six people total for £7 per month. The group leader’s bill is where the tariff shows up, evening out at around only £1.16 per person with the larger family option. All monthly bill paying Vodafone customers are eligible for signing up for the group rate, while some pay as you go customers may also be able to get on it, including ones who have signed up for any Simply, Smartstep, Smartplus, Anytime or Anynet plan.
The only slight annoyance you’ll have to get over with the Vodafone plan is the 60 minute talk limit. Of course, though, since the deal is for unlimited calls, savvy customers will get around it by simply noting their talk time, hanging up at 59 minutes and then calling straight back in the event of lengthy conversations. So it doesn’t mean you can’t get away with gabbing to your sibling for 8 hours on the phone for free, but it does mean that you’ll just have to take a few seconds recess every hour to do so. A small price to pay for such a good value family plan, it seems like.
How does Vodafone Family compare with others of its caliber? Let’s see. O2 runs Your Family Bolt On as well as an Extended version of the programme. With Bolt On, one person pays £7.65 in exchange for free and unlimited everything amongst 5 people. Extended allows more people into the family with perks, but cannot be upgraded to from the regular version of Bolt On without a hassle. FamilyMobile offers free Sim cards to families who prefer a pay as you go option with 8p a minute for UK calls, and 4p for UK texts. It’s a great scenario, provided that you use your phone occasionally or for emergencies only and don’t talk or message very often, as then it gets pretty pricey very fast.
Overall, it seems that Vodafone Family is most cost-effective and sensible for small or large groups in comparison to alternatives like O2 or FamilyMobile, as long as everyone in the family acknowledges the small hiccup of having to hang up and call back during long hour-plus phone calls, in order to save minutes. You will save about £2.65 per month with a family of five, when you go with Vodafone as opposed to O2’s Your Family Bolt On. Families who communicate primarily through text message, though, will want to consider a more SMS friendly option like O2.
Because those in the group do not necessarily have to be family, only Vodafone customers, the plan is also a great option for 4-6 close friends who talk far more frequently to each other than they do to most other contacts. It’s a great incentive for a network of mates, colleagues, or group members to have unlimited mobile access to each other all the time, anytime. Vodafone Business customers can be on family plans, also, but the calls will only be free for the members of their group, not for themselves.