Most mobile phone tariffs seem like a thinly veiled scam even at the best of times, but Ofcom-approved tariff comparison site Bill Monitor has calculated the full extent of the problem. According to its research, 76% of UK mobile phone subscribers are wasting an average of £194 a month on unnecessary — that amounts to a financial waste of almost £5 billion each year across the whole population.

Most mobile phone tariffs seem like a thinly veiled scam even at the best of times, but Ofcom-approved tariff comparison site Bill Monitor has calculated the full extent of the problem. According to its research, 76% of UK mobile phone subscribers are wasting an average of £194 a month on unnecessary — that amounts to a financial waste of almost £5 billion each year across the whole population.

The figures are based on actual data taken from over 28,000 anonymised mobile phone bills rather than mere statistical projection, and the research was carried out by a couple of mathematical boffins from Oxford University.

As anyone who’s tried to figure out which mobile phone deal is most cost effective will know, making sense of the variety of tariffs and call charges is an extremely difficult task — and one that gets considerably more complicated once data use for mobile internet access is included. (Bill Monitor claims to use some 8,134,979 different deals for its comparison service.)

Movie

Bill Monitor’s research is based upon comparing customers’ actual bills with the best available tariff for how they actually use their phones. In other words, a deal where the customer only pays no more than they should.

The amount of wasted money is substantial and the research concluded that:

  • 52% of customers wasting money are on a tariff that’s too large for them, using on average just one quarter of their monthly calling allowance — total waste: £2.62 billion.
  • 29% of customers wasting money are on too small a tariff, wasting money on out of allowance calls, texts, data usage as well as other costs that could be reduced with a larger tariff — total waste: £1.53 billion.
  • 19% have the right level of inclusive minutes but are wasting money by not optimising free benefits, data & text allowances as well as other costs, or taking advantage of lower costs from 24 month contracts — total waste: £0.74 billion.

The full report is available online if you’re having trouble sleeping one night, but even so, it’s worth plugging your mobile phone bill data into the Bill Monitor site to see how much you could save by switching contracts.

[Bill Monitor]

Share with friends

Follow us on

Most recent motorhome reviews

The Practical Motorhome Chausson Flash 530 – 1 - You can get the 2017 Chausson Flash 530 on the Ford Transit (as tested) or on the Fiat Ducato (© Alf Alderson/Practical Motorhome)
The Practical Motorhome 2017 Elddis Autoquest 195 review – 1 - The 2017 Elddis Autoquest 195 has a licence-friendly MTPLM of 3500kg (© Peter Baber/Practical Motorhome)
The Practical Motorhome La Strada Regent L review – 1 - The German van converter with an Italian name is back in the UK after many years – and the Regent L is one of La Strada's flagship models (© Peter Baber/Practical Motorhome)
The Practical Motorhome Wingamm Micros-Plus review – 1 - The slick GRP bodyshell sits well with the Volkswagen T6 base vehicle – the Micros-Plus is priced from £62,000 OTR (© Andy Jenkinson/Practical Motorhome)
The Practical Motorhome Autocruise Select 184 review – 1 - The Autocruise Select 184 is priced from £39,885 OTR, however our test ’van had a price tag of £44,570 (© Phil Russell/Practical Motorhome)
The Practical Motorhome Hymer B-Class DynamicLine 588 review – 1 - This four-berth Hymer motorhome costs from £73,500 OTR, £85,128 as tested (© Nick Harding/Practical Motorhome)