Published On: Sun, Mar 3rd, 2024

Mobile phone customers can save ‘hundreds’ on bills with these five tips | Personal Finance | Finance


Man sitting on a sofa smiling at his phone

Five ways save ‘hundreds’ on phone bill ahead of next month’s price rises (Image: Getty)

Britons are being urged to check if they can make on their bills ahead of next month’s mid-contract price rises.

Consumers were stung with up to £539million in unexpected roaming charges last year, and now mid-contract price increases will hit from April, with the average bill increasing by £20.16.

Most broadband and mobile providers typically raise prices once a year at the start of spring. They tend to use either the December Consumer Prices Index (CPI) or the January Retail Prices Index (RPI) inflation to decide the rate of increase.

Ernest Doku, telecoms expert at Uswitch.com, said: “Although inflation continues to push up the cost of mobile payments, there are still a number of ways consumers can look to reduce their bill, without having to sacrifice data access or the quality of their phone.”

With that said, Mr Doku has shared five ways people can reduce their annual bills by “hundreds”.

Woman smiling at her phone

People could save as much as £321 per year by changing to a SIM-only deal for data, calls and texts (Image: Getty)

Read before roaming and cap costs

There is currently no exact cap on how much a person can be charged for using their phone abroad, following Britain’s exit from EU consumer protections.

However, Mr Doku said: “Ofcom is reviewing how providers need to communicate roaming charges to consumers.”

According to Mr Doku, many providers offer discounted or even so-called “free” roaming for customers on certain packages. However, he noted that “fair use” policies from providers mean Britons are still “often caught short”, with more than £539million of unexpected roaming costs racked up in the last year alone.

People can set a cap with their provider on roaming charges, meaning that they – and their kids – won’t be able to rack up an unexpectedly large roaming bill.

People can check Uswitch’s global data roaming costs map to find out how much they could be charged for data while travelling overseas.

Go SIM-only to save up to £321

People who have paid off their handset already could save £321 per year by changing to a SIM-only deal for data, calls and texts, Mr Doku suggested. He explained: “With a SIM-only deal you can still access the UK’s biggest networks, often for a lower cost, and even with contracts with no tie-in period.

“This year is already seeing the release of new smartphones, featuring innovative AI and camera features, so if you have your eye on an upcoming release, a SIM-only deal with your current handset can save you money while you wait for the next big launch.”

Save more than £90 on a top phone by going refurbished

According to Mr Doku, refurbished, pre-owned handsets are tested and restored before being sold with a warranty, and can usually come with big savings.

He noted: “For example, the iPhone 15 with unlimited data can be purchased for less than £30 a month, giving a saving of almost £100 compared with a brand-new iPhone 15.”

Right-size data deal to save £36 a year

Britons are also urged to consider their data usage. Research from Uswitch shows that the average UK mobile user pays for almost double the amount of mobile data they use per month.

While internet access is essential for most people’s daily lives, an Opinium survey found the average Briton pays for 22.1GB of data per month but only uses on average 11.7GB of data.

Mr Doku said: “This adds up to £2.28billion per year in unused data that is being paid for, or £36.24 per year – the equivalent of more than one month’s payment on an average mobile bill that you could save by getting a data package that matches your usage.”

However, Mr Doku noted that those who stream films or game on the go would likely need more data than a casual email checker.

Look out for perks before signing up

Most major phone providers offer perks to their customers, but almost two-thirds of Britons (63 percent) mistakenly think no benefits are available to them and 83 percent fail to take advantage of them.

For example, O2 Priority offers exclusive rewards and deals, such as restaurant discounts and cinema savings, while Sky Mobile offers perks such as Roll, where spare data is automatically rolled into the person’s Sky Piggybank each month for use when they need it.

Mr Doku said: “The first step is understanding what you are paying for and knowing what you need, whether that is your roaming agreement or how much data you use each month.

“No matter whether you have the latest iPhone or are shopping at the lower end of the price scale, options such as switching to SIM-only plans or purchasing a refurbished phone can be



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