Around a quarter of all cell phone users in Germany have a prepaid SIM. That is an astonishingly low rate, because prepaid tariffs are cheap and there is a wide range of options. Contracts with long terms, on the other hand, are of particular benefit to the providers; they are often bad business for the customer. The prepaid tariffs, which were very expensive when they were introduced around 20 years ago, are now cheaper than current term contracts, at least for infrequent to normal users.
Term contracts are actually only interesting for frequent users with a data volume of 15 gigabytes or more used per month, as well as for business users who need a mobile phone bill that is recognized by the tax office. The problem: The prepaid providers acknowledge the deposit, but not the consumption of the credit. Private customers with low to medium needs are still in good hands with prepaid.
An important aspect of prepaid contracts is cost control: the mobile phone contract can only be used as long as there is enough credit in the account. As soon as the account is empty, tariff options can no longer be booked. If the option tariff expires, the standard prices apply for a telephone call or a megabyte of data, for example. But you can still be reached. The worst that can happen is that the remaining credit is consumed by using the Internet at the standard price. Due to the tightly capped cost risk, such contracts are also suitable for young people, children and senior citizens who are not very tech-savvy. By cleverly choosing the tariff, for example with free internal network calls or a free volume to the fixed network, you can also ensure that children can still call home when the credit is exhausted and the monthly volume has been used up.
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