“When your contract expires, go for a Sim-only plan”

The 50-year-old CU Insured sales manager now pays $9.99 a month for each of the three phones. This was made possible by switching from bill paying to Sim only.

With the bill paid I was in a contract but when it ran out I decided to shop around. I found switching to Sim-only would save me a lot,” said Mr Hannigan, from Cork.

“During the contract, I paid the price of the two phones. The third had already been purchased but getting out of that and becoming Sim only was so much cheaper.

“Now I just pay for a SIM card in the phones, for unlimited calls, texts and data.

“It’s a fiercely competitive market and consumers have a huge opportunity to get better deals just by shopping around.

“I stayed with the same company, but it was a good deal moving to Sim only.

“Best advice is that when your contract expires, go for a Sim-only plan because you’ve already paid for your phone. If you don’t take action, you could always pay what you were paying before. I’m just one of those people who are always looking to see if I could save money by changing.

“I shop because I know I have more money in my pocket than someone else’s.

“I like to get the best deal. And everyone is affected by rising energy costs, so if you can save money with one supplier, that will soften the blow.

A spokesperson for Eir said the company “offers a range of plans and options to suit customer needs, including handset plans, which come with a subsidized handset, and Sim-only plans.”

They added: “The handset plans have a minimum contract of 24 months, after which the customer can upgrade their phone by renewing their contract.

“The price of the plan does not change after 24 months. Customers can also choose to upgrade to a Sim-only plan and continue to use the handset they received with their original handset plan. Eir does not automatically renew the contract.

“Some customers also prefer to choose Sim-only plans with a minimum term of 30 days and then pay full price for their phone. Eir informs customers of the minimum term at the point of sale and this is described in the contracts.

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