Thursday, 12 April 2012

Where did all that money go? - on not-so-hidden mobile phone charges

Spending sprees can be fun, especially if you are in need of some retail therapy. Spending money when we did not intend it rarely leaves anyone feeling like a winner, though. A recent study on mobile phone use, conducted by billmonitor.com in the UK, showed that we are wasting ca. £5 billion a year because we either have not chosen for the best tariff for our needs or we are unaware of extra costs that go with a deal we have chosen (Mobile phone users 'wasting £5bn a year' by staying on expensive tariffs and running up extra charges, study claims). Mobile phone users rarely are aware of the exact amount of free minutes, free texts as well as their data allowance that the contract they concluded with the phone company gives them. The attention is drawn to the use of smartphones that have complicated the calculations for consumers. And so, we spend £173 million for additional access to the internet on smartphones a year. Most of us are unaware that using Twitter or Facebook applications on our stmartphone adds up to the usage of data. But the ignorance and lack of knowledge runs deeper, up to the point that it is hard to estimate for mobile phone users what spending 'one megabyte' of data means in practice, i.e., how many songs can be downloaded from iTunes, watched on YouTube website, how many emails could be sent or downloaded.

On average, we could save ca. £194 a year if we paid more attention when concluding a contract and chose a deal that fits better with our usage of the phone, which seems quite a lot in the time of financial crisis.

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