Brits overpay £800 million on mobile phone contracts

Brits are over £800 million out of pocket every year because they are on the wrong mobile phone tariff, according to research from mobile phone price comparison site Top10.com.

Switching to a contract that better matches their monthly phone usage could save people £62 per year on average, said Top10.

Top10’s research revealed that 42% of people find mobile phone tariffs confusing, and 46% are worried they are getting overcharged because they are on the wrong tariff.

Over half (55%) of mobile phone users on monthly contracts said that they never use up all of their minutes, in effect paying more than they need to given their level of usage.

Meanwhile, 1.3 million people (8% of people on monthly contracts) have to top up their bills every month, typically by £10 a time, because they use more minutes than their tariffs allow. Londoners were most likely to top up their bills, with 11% of users regularly exceeding their free minutes.

Alex Buttle from Top10.com 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.

“Before people upgrade their phones or switch networks, we recommend they check their previous bills to work out how many minutes they’re actually using. This is even more important now that new devices like the iPhone and HTC smartphones come with long contracts, generally lasting 24 months. Making the right contract choice is just as important as picking the right phone.”

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