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Most Brits overpay on wrong mobile contracts

UK consumers are spending an average of nearly £200 a year more than they need to on wrong mobile phone contracts - a total of £4.899 billion wasted across the country every year.

A report published by Ofcom-accredited mobile bill analyser Billmonitor revealed that 76 per cent of British mobile subscribers are on the wrong mobile contract, resulting in a wasted average spending of £194.71 a year per person. When compared with the average yearly spend of £439, this sum marks overspending of a whopping 44 per cent.

Of those on a wrong contract, 52 per cent were using one that is too large, accounting for £2.62 billion of wasted money every year. Some 29 per cent were on a contract that was too small, accounting for a further £1.53 billion wasted. The remaining 19 per cent had a contract that was partially correct for their usage, but other costs were not being optimised, resulting in a further £0.74 billion down the drain.

The total wasted every year is £4.899 billion, over half of the estimated costs for hosting the 2012 Olympics.

The study also found that £3.47 billion more than people could afford was being spent, with five per cent of mobile subscribers accounting for half of this overspending. However, Billmonitor said that most consumers were frugal with their spending.

The figures are based on analysis of 28,417 customer mobile bills that were made anonymous. Algorithms developed by Oxford mathematicians were used to match these bills with over 8.5 million tariffs available online in order to find the most efficient contract for a consumer's needs.