Wrong mobile phone contracts mean we waste £5 billion a year

Mobile phones, Tech Digest news


We waste an average of £195 each every year because we are on contracts that allow for more phone usage than we need, according to a report.

76% of us pay too much because we don’t need all our allowance, the study by Billmonitor, Ofcom’s approved bill-analysis service found after looking at millions of transactions from thousands of bills.

Wasting £195 each is a lot of money when considering our average spend is £439 per year. The problem is how to get people onto the right contracts – not easy considering there are 8.5 million mobile tariffs to choose from. The study took the tariffs and the cost of the handset, comparing this to the actual cost of people’s usage to find the gap.

Apparently, 52% of those on the wrong contract are on a tariff that’s too large, using about a quarter of their monthly calling allowance. On the other hand, 29% of those on the wrong contract are on too small a tariff, wasting money on “out of allowance” usage. 19% of us have the right level of inclusive minutes, but waste money by not optimising free benefits and allowances.

Only 24% of people are “not wasting anything”, according to Billmonitor, which researched users at all the major mobile groups over the past 18 months.

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