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Mobile phone switchers could save up to £240 a year but a fifth of users aren’t bothering

Nick Cheek
Written By:
Nick Cheek

Despite leading operators raising prices by up to 17% this year, millions of mobile phone users aren’t shopping around for better deals, says a new survey.

According to research from Sky Mobile, while almost a half (47%) of mobile phone users say they would be encouraged to switch for a cheaper monthly bill, one fifth (19%) have never changed their network.

This means that UK phone users are overspending by a potential £1bn.

It takes 60 seconds to switch providers but 28% of Brits have stayed with the same network for over half a decade. Those that switched within the last three years claim to have saved over £100 a year on average. Over 750,000 people have saved at least £240 a year by switching.

Reasons for not switching

Almost a fifth (17%) have said they don’t think they would save any money by switching and a tenth have admitted they think it is too much hassle.

A total of 24% remain with their provider after they were enticed with a good initial deal and 19% use their provider because they have always used the same one.

A third of mobile users feel unsure of what they would gain if they were to switch from their provider with this number reaching 25% for O2 users. Over a fifth (21%) fail to shop around and allow their contracts to automatically renew.

Many cheaper mobile network operators utilise the same networks as EE, Vodaphone, Three and O2, but the knowledge gap is hurting customers’ pockets as 17% worry they would not get good signal.

Half of the nation admits they dislike making changes in their daily lives and 54% also feel nervous and apprehensive about changes.

Five ways to save on mobile costs

Sky Mobile and personal finance expert, Iona Bain, have collaborated to provide advice to help Brits switch. Here are five ways that you can save on mobile bills.

  1. Some users may not be using all of their allowance. By reviewing habits, customers can switch to a more suitable contact and no longer pay for unused data, minutes, or texts.
  2. To avoid missing the cancellation window, set a reminder in the calendar for 30 days before the contract end date.
  3. If the network raises prices above the retail price index rate of inflation customers can switch providers, which is not mentioned in the contract. Customers can also switch during the 14 day cooling off period. Some providers do not implement mid-contract increases.
  4. Budget to ensure the funds to cover the monthly balance are available despite any changes in circumstance.
  5. Switching is easy. Text PAC to 65075 for free on any network receive a code. Share this code with the new provider within 30 days and the switch will complete within one working day.

New players for overpayers

Paul Sweeney, managing director at Sky Mobile, said: “The traditional mobile market has been disrupted by new players, but many mobile users do not realise the benefits that can be had from switching to these newer providers, particularly relating to cost. Half of Brits say they want cheaper mobile bills – and they could save £100 a year if they switched.”

“To further encourage people to switch we are launching a football inspired ‘Switching Window’ from now until the 1 September, encouraging people to switch by Transfer Deadline Day, giving them the Summer to discover what operator and deal is right for them.”

Bain adds: “To save money, it is important to always be checking for the best deal, whether it’s with your utilities, gym membership or mobile phone service provider. Cutting corners or not being prepared to do the research can tie you in to a more expensive contract that prevents you from saving.”