Are you still paying for a phone you already own?

Phone and money

More than nine million Brits could be forking out for mobile phone handsets they have already paid for by not switching tariffs at the end of their contract.

Nearly three-quarters of people on pay-monthly contracts opt for a deal which comes with a 'free handset', which effectively means their tariff is inflated to include the cost of the phone.

However, a third of mobile users whose contracts are up for renewal haven't bothered to switch to a new deal, according to research from, and this means they are overpaying for the cost of the phone.

If they switched to a SIM-only or a new pay-monthly contract, Brits could save a staggering £1 billion - or £104.40 each - over 12 months, the price comparison site found.

Unsuitable contracts

Ernest Doku, telecoms expert at, added: "Sometimes it pays to spend a small amount upfront and go for a deal offering a lower line rental, rather than opting for a free phone with a hefty amount to pay each month."

Consumers are also regularly exceeding their data allowances, with 23% of users paying £7.60 a month in out-of-tariff data charges. Annually, people are wasting more than £885 million by not being on a contract that is most suitable for them.

The average Brit uses just 39% of their monthly minutes, while 21% estimate that they use less than a fifth of their talk allowance in a typical month, meaning people could be losing money by not switching to a more appropriate deal.

While two-thirds of people (67%) have switched mobile deals at least once, only 33% are with the same network they were when they first had a mobile.

A fifth (18%) said it has too much hassle to swap networks and 10% said the process was too complicated but the majority (64%) said they were happy with the service they received.

More about