Wrong Tariffs Cost 8.45bn a Year, Study Finds

Price comparison website moneysupermarket.com says that the British mobile phone industry is raking in over 8.45 billion per year from customers on the wrong mobile phone tariff.
An online study conducted by the firm last November among 2,194 adults aged 18+ reveals that a typical user enjoys 166 free voice minutes and 133 texts per month as part of their tariff or top up package. However, on average, British mobile phone customers use 23 voice minutes and 23 texts over their inclusive allowance, which means they could be paying up to an extra 130** per year. (For an explanation of how moneysupermarket.com reached these figures, see the Footnote.)
The results also show that half of the respondents did not know how many minutes (27%) or texts (23%) they use each month, leaving them prone to additional charges. However, customers are confused about what their tariff includes as one in seven dont know how many free minutes they have, and one in six dont know how many texts are included.
Id advise customers to be more aware of what package they have and whats available to them, says Rob Barnes, Head of Broadband and Mobiles at moneysupermarket.com. People should check their monthly bill regularly. If  theyre using up all their allowance its worth considering a move to a different tariff with more inclusive minutes and texts. It could save a lot of money in the long run.
The results also show that one in five mobile users sometimes, if not always, receive a bill for more than expected. A third dont know what they pay for voicemail retrieval, and one in seven have no idea what their monthly line rental is. 28% dont know how much they pay for email and 42%  dont know how much it costs to call customer services.
The reason mobile phone operators can offer such good contract deals is by charging customers for additional services, says Barnes. As our research shows, many people dont realise how much these additional services cost and are being stung when their bill arrives. I would urge customers to read through their contract and ensure they are fully aware of all costs additional to their inclusive minutes and texts.

Footnote: Calculations
* According to the Mobile Data Association, there are over 65 million mobiles registered as active in the UK multiplied by 130 = 8.45 billion.
** Costs outside of tariff on Orange: 23 minutes @ 35p + 23 texts @ 12p = 10.81 per month = 129.72 per year.

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