Watchdog highlights mobile phone rip-off

Caroline Cassidy

Free texts, free evening calls, internet downloads... sounds tempting doesn't it. In fact, these mobile phone bundles sound so good that many consumers find the offers difficult to ignore. But a new report has revealed that millions of Brits are wasting hundreds of pounds each year, paying for services they rarely use.

Dissatisfied woman on mobile phone
Dissatisfied woman on mobile phone

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Annual contracts with fixed monthly fees seem like a good deal but the majority of people never use their full allocation of monthly freebies and effectively end up paying the price.

Consumer watchdog Which? says many phone companies are burying charges amidst a complex system of tariffs and, with more than 10 million tariff and phone combinations on offer, most consumers never bother to switch networks.

Research by mobile phone price comparison site found that the 71,654 tariffs, 111 handsets and 20 free extras available from eight mobile phone companies amounted to nearly nine million options, while pay-as-you-go deals offered a further bewildering range.

The watchdog estimates that around 10 million customers regularly overpay by failing to use the 'free' services covered.

A spokesman for Consumer Focus told the Daily Mail: "Millions of people now depend on their mobiles to access an ever-growing range of services, yet many have no idea if they are getting good value for money.

"With millions of deals on the market and packages offering difference allocations of voice minutes, text messages and data allowances as well as bundled deals, it is no wonder consumers are bewildered.

"As a result, people often end up signing up for an unsuitable package and overspending."

What do you think? Have you tried switching to a different tariff package or are you left bemused by the options? Leave your comments below...

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