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UK’s biggest rip-offs revealed

Written by: Emma Lunn
Brits feel they are being swindled out of cash in every area from eating, communicating and travelling.

Research by mobile brand Smarty found eight in10 Brits believe modern life is full of rip-offs, with two-year phone contracts, hospital car parking, and food at the cinema highlighted as some of the worst.

The study of 2,000 adults found eight in 10 believe there are ‘too many rip-offs in modern life’, with almost a quarter – 23 per cent – having even considered moving to another country to get away from ‘rip-off Britain’.

Jasmine Birtles, Smarty spokeswoman and money expert, said: “Smarty’s survey results prove just how common rip-offs and hidden charges are, and how frustrated Brits are at getting caught out by them. It’s shocking how many activities can set people back, such as going to the cinema, to a theme park or even just a restaurant.”

In the survey results, buying food out was found to be a big rip-off, particularly inflated charges for a glass of wine in a restaurant, food on a plane and eating in at some restaurants.

Nearly three-quarters (73 per cent) of people said they think better of a brand if it is more upfront about its charges and costs, with more than half of adults finding ‘hidden charges’ very annoying.

Eight in 10 (82 per cent) of those polled via OnePoll agreed more should be done to prevent companies ripping off customers or adding hidden charges. A hidden cost would need to be on average £7.58 before Brits would consider raising a complaint, and the research found individuals spend around £20 in hidden charges each month.

Due to rip-offs and charges, four in 10 have complained to a company because they found their prices too high and two-thirds of those ended up receiving a reduction.

New rules for mobile phone networks

From 1 July Text to Switch will help mobile phone users avoid extra charges by making it easier to switch networks.

The new Ofcom rule means mobile phone users will be able to send a text message to their network if they want to move their phone number to a different network. In return they will immediately be sent a porting authorisation code (PAC ) to give to their new network, or a cancellation code.

According to uSwitch, being able to easily switch to a new mobile phone deal will save mobile users a collective £325m a year.


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