Something that has become an increasingly large part of peoples’ monthly expenditure is their mobile phone, and as its use becomes more frequent and contracts become increasingly longer, people are starting to spend more and more…especially when it comes to the latest must-have smartphones such as the iPhone 4 and the HTC Desire – however as a recent survey shows, when people consider their actual tariff usage, they could well be wasting a lot of money.
Whilst the 2000 people that Top10.com surveyed is hardly a massive number, the information gained makes for very interesting reading and could well (as will the EU roaming charges directive which I will look at later) save you money.
Mobile Phone Users On The Wrong Tariff?
The main attention grabbing headline is that the statistics from the survey suggest that here in Britain we waste £800 million (or £0.8 billion) on mobile phone contracts each year purely down to the fact that a significant number of people are on the wrong contract for the amount that they actually use their phone.
For example, 55% of the people surveyed said they didn’t use the full number of minutes on their contract, but they still didn’t step down to a smaller contract to save money… although this may not be all their fault as 42% of people said they were confused by mobile phone tariffs and found them confusing, leading to 46% of people being worried that they were being overcharged – no doubt that these people could probably do with figuring out a cheaper mobile phone deal.
Due to the vast numbers of people that this involves — if these percentages are replicated among the general population we are talking about 10s of millions — this really is a bit of an issue, unless of course you are a stakeholder in a mobile phone provider! As a spokesman from the company that conducted the survey aptly said:
“With so many mobile phone contracts available, it’s no surprise that so many people find tariffs confusing. But it’s worrying that so many people are wasting money every month because they don’t change their tariff to match their level of usage.”
Are You Wasting Money On The Wrong Tariff?
So what can you take away from this? Obviously check your contract and make sure that you’re using what you pay for and aren’t loosing money for no reason! Of course this may not be possible if you’ve just subscribed to a 24 month contract and wish to keep your shiny new iPhone 4, but it’s definitely worth a look!
So what do you think to these survey results? Do you believe that it’s possible that so many people are on the wrong contract? Do you always make best use of your tariff? Or did you choose that one because it meant you saved a bit of money off the actual cost of the mobile phone handset, or even made it ‘free’?
Would you ever go back to a basic mobile phone that didn’t have all the social networking and internet access that you’re used to now if it meant you were saving money on a monthly basis?
Or would you be better off buying a sim-free mobile phone that costs a bit more up front, but then get a free PAYG sim card and save more money in the long run?