Average mobile user could save hundreds by switching to a better-suited contract, Which? survey finds
British mobile users could be wasting billions of pounds each year simply by being on the wrong phone contract, new research has found.
A report from industry watchdog Which? found that customers in the UK are losing out on £5.42bn per year, primarily by incurring extra charges caused by using data, texts or minutes outside of their price plan.
Overall, seven in 10 (72 percent) mobile customers could save £159 each year on average by switching to a contract that better suits their needs, according to supporting Ofcom figures, with three-quarters (77 percent) able to save at least £50 a year.
Nearly half (42 percent) of people with a mobile phone contract think that there is a better value tariff out there for them, however Ofcom research shows switching levels are low with half (48 percent) of people confessing that they have never switched supplier.
With only three in 10 (28 percent) people trusting mobile phone services, Which? is calling on mobile phone companies to take several steps to improve the consumer experience.
This includes unlocking handsets automatically for free; notifying customers at least a month before the end of their contract and giving them information on the best deals for them; and clearly showing the monthly cost of the handset separately from the service charge.
The group is also calling on Ofcom to introduce a system where the provider gaining the new business is responsible for the switch to make the process easier for consumers.
“It’s shocking that consumers are overpaying by billions of pounds for mobile phone contracts that just don’t suit their needs,” said Which? executive director, Richard Lloyd.
“Mobile phone companies must do more to help people get the best deal, making switching hassle free and ensuring that pricing is transparent. If we don’t see mobile firms making voluntary improvements then we will ask the regulator Ofcom to step in.”
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