Free text and call bundles are often the biggest incentive to sign up to a mobile phone contract, but nearly 50% of people waste their perks every month according to new research.
Mobile phone users are apparently wasting millions of free texts and minutes, with 47% of people questioned admitting to using just half of their available bundles.
The research, by Omio.com, suggests that 15 million people on monthly phone deals pay a premium for packages that they do not need or bother using.
According to the website, which provides a mobile phone comparison service, the most popular monthly tariff is 600 free minutes to any network and unlimited text. On average, this costs at least £30 a month and lasts for 18 months.
However, the average consumer only uses 250 minutes and 150 texts from their monthly allowance.
As well as ensuring you have the right mobile phone package for your needs, there are several other ways you can shave money off your bill each month.
Many of us see the end of a contract period as an excuse to get a new phone – and it can be hard to resist when there is a stream of new handsets coming onto the market each boosting fancier gadgets, better quality cameras and slicker designs than last year’s batch. While an upgrade is marketed as free, the cost of the new handset is actually priced into your 12 or 18-month contract.
Before you opt for an upgrade, consider whether you really need a new phone. You should also review the deal you are on and see if switching to a new contract save you money. Ask your network whether they can offer you a better deal – such as more free minutes or texts, or a cheaper monthly tariff – instead of a handset upgrade.
While contracts are great for free call and text bundles, if you don’t use your mobile regularly then you may be better off opting for pay-as-you-go instead. Just make sure you keep track of what you are spending on calls and texts; it’s easy to fall into the habit of constantly topping up your phone without realising how much you are spending.
If you would prefer a contract deal with free bundles, but are happy with the phone you already have, then why not consider a SIM-only deal? These monthly contracts tend to be cheaper, and are offered by all the major networks.
The benefit of a SIM-only deal is that you aren’t tied into a long-term contract, and can normally cancel by giving just 30 days' notice. And with a range of packages available, you could also save money on your monthly bill.
Use the internet
If you want to move networks to find a cheaper or more suitable deal, then take advantage of the internet to see what’s out there. There are lots of different mobile phone comparison websites out there, including moneysupermarket.com and uSwitch.com, and you can also use tariff checkers from the major network providers.