Brits Continue To Overpay For Mobile Phones

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Which? Mobile is urging Britons to switch mobile operators in order to achieve significant savings

Millions of Brits are overpaying on their mobile phone bills because they never switch provider, Which? Mobile magazine has once again warned. According to the publication, approximately 20 million people have never switched their mobile phone provider – ever.

It conducted an online survey of 8,001 people, in February and March 2011, and found that 44 percent of British adults aged 16 years and older have never switched. It calculated that the British population is 49.2 million, 92 percent of whom own mobile phones, which translates to  between a staggering 19.5 and 20.5 million people who have never changed their provider.

Easy Switching

It also found that 48 percent of adults who did make the jump in the last two years said that they now pay less than they spent with their previous service provider. 90 percent of those who switched in the last two years said they found the switching process either “fairly easy” or “very easy”.

This was helped by the fact that in April Ofcom brought in new rules requiring mobile operators to issue leaving customers with Porting Authorisation Codes (PACs) within a maximum of two hours – so users can get onto a new network the same day.

Which? Mobile is worried about its findings because new and competitive tariffs are emerging all the time in the cut-throat mobile market where a very high saturation point means that mobile operators often have to undercut their rivals in order to lure new customers to make the jump to their service.

The publication warned that millions of people could be missing out on crucial savings by staying with the same provider for the sake of convenience.

“If you have been with the same mobile provider for years, the chances are you could find a better deal elsewhere,” said Tom McLennan from Which? Mobile. “With so many tariffs out there it pays to shop around, either through a comparison site or by checking out what different networks have to offer.”

Lazy Users?

Despite the Which? Mobile warning, it seems the message is not getting through. It issued the same warning in December last year, when it found that ten million mobile phone users in the UK are paying more than they need to for their mobile service.

The advice is clear that mobile users need to shop around for the best deal for their particular circumstances, and should not be afraid to look at another service provider if their current operator does not measure up.

Another important issue is to measure data usage, espicially as more and more people are using smartphones which transmit more data and can be expensive. Back in August last year ABI Research warned that mobile data use in Western Europe is expected to increase at a compound annual growth rate of 42 percent from 2009 to 2015.

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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