Millions overpaying mobile bills by £160

Mobile phone and coins

Millions of mobile phone users are forking out an extra £159 on average every year because they are on the wrong payment plan, new research has revealed.

Consumer group Which? found that a whopping 72% of people are paying more than they need to for unsuitable tariffs. They either don't use enough of their data, text and minute allowance or they go over their monthly allowance.

More than three-quarters of people (72%) would be able to save at least £50 a year if they switched to a more appropriate contract for their usage.

The Which? study found that while 42% of customers think there is probably a better deal out there for them, 48% have never switched mobile phone provider.

More transparency needed

As a result of its findings, Which? is calling on providers and regulator Ofcom to make it easy for customers to switch and make prices more transparent. It wants the networks to voluntarily unlock handsets for free, notify customers at least a month before their contract is up and give them information on the best deals.

It also wants companies to start showing the separate cost customers pay for their handset and the service charge (for data, texts and minutes) so people have a better understanding of what they actually pay for.

Which? executive director, Richard Lloyd, said: "It's shocking that consumers are overpaying by billions of pounds for mobile phone contracts that just don't suit their needs. Mobile phone companies must do more to help people get the best deal, making switching hassle free and ensuring that pricing is transparent.

"If we don't see mobile firms making voluntary improvements then we will ask the regulator Ofcom to step in."

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