Over £800 million wasted on rip-off phone tariffs

Brits are wasting more than £800 million on mobile phone calls they don't make because they can't work out which tariff they should be on, self-serving research from mobile phone price comparison site Top10.com suggests.

Top10.com’s research found that 42 per cent of the two thousand people they asked found mobile phone tariffs “confusing”. Some 46 said they though they were probably getting overcharged because they are on the wrong tariff.

Over half (55 p[er cent) of mobile phone users on monthly contracts said that they never use up all of their minutes, in effect paying more than they need to given their level of usage.

Meanwhile, some eight per cent of those on monthly contracts - which equates to around 1.3 million people in the country have to top up their bills every month, typically by £10 a time, because they use more minutes than their tariffs allow. Londoners were most likely to top up their bills, with 11 per cent of chattering capital dwellers regularly exceeding their free minutes.

Alex Buttle from Top10.com reckons that, “With so many mobile phone contracts available, it’s no surprise that so many people find tariffs confusing.

It’s worrying," he said, "that so many people are wasting money every month because they don’t change their tariff to match their level of usage.

“Before people upgrade their phones or switch networks, we recommend they check their previous bills to work out how many minutes they’re actually using. This is even more important now that new devices like the iPhone and HTC smartphones come with long contracts, generally lasting 24 months. Making the right contract choice is just as important as picking the right phone.”