*** Quidco withdrew the £110 cashback offer last night one week early! Current cashback levels around £50 from TCB and Quidco. Am waiting to see if TCB reintroduce their £110 offer by Tuesday lunchtime (20th). If no new big offer starts I will expire this deal. FWIW O2 have also just REDUCED the upfront payment from £199.99 to £179.99 ***
O2 have a cheap contract price on the Samsung Galaxy Note. You can buy the Note on a very basic tariff for £199.99 down and 24 x £10.50 (after removing the data bolt on). That's a total cost of £452.
Cashback of £110.00 is available from Quidco until midnight Sunday 25th March. That takes the cost to £341.99 for the handset (and you can throw/give away the basic tariff/SIM.....)
*if you terminate and pay off the contract in one go after 1 month you MIGHT be able to save a further £40.25 on the contract cost (effectively save the VAT on the last 23 months of £10.50). This is standard practice with many mobile phone companies (i.e. to not charge VAT on the service you don't receive). HOWEVER there seems to be VERY conflicting information from O2 on what they actually do and people's experiences of what they're charged are very mixed.....
(Please note that whilst you are actually purchasing the Note on an O2 contract THIS IS SIMPLY A WAY TO GET THE HANDSET CHEAPLY TO USE WITH THE SIM OF YOUR CHOICE!)
The steps to get this deal are:-
1) Go to Quidco's O2 page - http://www.quidco.com/o2-paym-handset-contracts/
2) "Click through" to O2 and order the Note on a 2 year contract with 50mins, 250 texts and 100MB data (@ £13.50/mo). Pay the £199.99 upfront fee.
3) Wait for the phone to arrive....
4) Contact Customer Service or My O2 and remove the data bolt on. Contract cost is now reduced to £10.50.
5) Insert the SIM of your choice into the phone and check it's unlocked. They all have been so far. If not then you need to contact O2 for an unlock code (usually FOC); OR buy a code from a 3rd party specialist; OR consider returning the phone....
6) Bite your fingernails and wait for the cashback to track (typically the 4th business day after placing your order ). Your nerves may be further frazzled because the cashback might initially track at £0.....(!)
7) Wait a few weeks for your cashback to be confirmed (hopefully at the right level!). Call O2 and cancel your contract. You will be charged on the remaining months at £10.50/mo. There MAY also be a further discount equivalent to the VAT component. If you pay off 23 months in this way the cost could be £201.25 (a saving of £40.25).
8) Collect your £110+ of cashback....
Your total cost is therefore £451.99, less cashback, less any VAT relief you might get for termination. That should be no more than £341.99.
The main risks with this approach:-
(1) Can you remove the data bolt on? Data is a flexible bolt-on with O2 and can be changed every month if you wish. However you'll know within the cancellation period (14 days after receipt of Note) if O2 suddenly stop this. Assuming you do this your MAXIMUM cost is £199.99 + 24 x £10.50 = £451.99, which is a pretty good price for a UK sourced Note.
(2) Is the handset locked? So far the handsets have all been unlocked. Even if locked, O2 are typically good about providing unlock codes FOC. Again, you'd know if the handset was locked and if O2 were refusing to provide an unlock code within the cancellation period (14 days). You could also go to a 3rd party unlocker for a code at a cost of £10-ish.
(3) Will cashback pay? Always a risk, but TCB/Quidco and O2 should be reliable. O2 tracking stats are good. The biggest risk is it not tracking at the beginning. It might take 4/5 business days to track, but you'd know within the cancellation period if it didn't....
(4) Will O2 give you the 20% off (VAT) for terminating? This is the the biggest risk. Opinion, O2 guidance and people's experiences are very mixed. The risk is £40.25. Probably best to view this as a nice bonus if you get it!
The bottom line is that this should cost no more than £451.99 (good deal), will probably cost you £342 (hot!), or possibly £302 (smoking!)
IN ADDITION: You can get £120 worth of free stuff AND 10% off BA Flights by simply registering your new Note at:- http://tiny.cc/galaxynote