Brits waste £8 billion a year on the wrong mobile tariffs

22 January 2008 / by Rachael Stiles
People who sign up to mobile phone contracts but do not know what their tariff includes are wasting more than £8 billion each year by paying extra for more air time and text messages, research from has revealed.

According to the survey, 50 per cent of mobile phone users do not know how many text messages or minutes of air time they use each month. This puts them in the dark as to whether or not they have a deal that is right for their individual usage, leaving the phone industry to reap £8.45 billion in rewards from those on the wrong tariff and 20 per cent to receive phone bills which are higher than they expect.

Half of those that responded to the survey admitted that they do not know how many minutes or text messages are included in their contract, leaving them vulnerable to additional charges, especially when they are unaware of how many minutes and texts they are using.

The average mobile phone contract provides 166 free minutes of air time and 133 text messages each month, but the average mobile phone user spends an extra 23 minutes talking on the phone and sends 23 more text messages than is included in the contract, which then have to be paid for on top of the monthly tariff, so customers could be paying £130 a year more than the price of their mobile phone contract.

"I'd advise customers to be more aware of what package they have and what's available to them", advises Rob Barnes, head of broadband and mobiles at

"People should check their monthly bill regularly, if they’re using up all their allowance it’s 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."

© Fair Investment Company Ltd