A survey by Which? Mobile has found that almost 20 million Britons have never switched mobile phone provider and could be missing out on significant savings as a result. It also revealed that 5.3 million people said they spent less since switching mobile provider.
The organisation questioned 8,001 members of the public about their experiences of switching mobile providers and found that those who put off switching because they anticipate a lengthy and difficult process should think again, with nine out of 10 consumers finding it easy.
Which? found that 44 percent of adults who own mobile phones - about 20 million - have never switched provider, while 48 percent of adults who have switched in the past two years - about 6 million people - said they had spent less than they did with their previous provider.
Tom McLennan from Which? Mobile said: "If you have been with the same mobile provider for years, the chances are you could find a better deal elsewhere. With so many tariffs out there it pays to shop around, either through a comparison site or by checking out what different networks have to offer."
A quarter of those who switched provider did so for a more competitive tariff according to Which?, with only 16 percent switching for a better handset and 14 percent seeking a provider that offered improved coverage and reception.
Which? Mobile also found a disparity between pay monthly and pay-as-you-go customers. For the latter the cost of the handset is the deciding factor, where as pay monthly customers place most importance on phone features when it comes to choosing a new handset, with recommendations from retailers or providers of little significance.
The consumer advice organisation said it was "surprising" to find that nine out of 10 people still go to a mobile phone store to choose a new phone rather than using online comparison sites.
That's despite Which? finding that most mobile salespeople push phone insurance – something it regularly flags as a waste of money because consumers' handsets are often covered by their home insurance policy. In fact, mobile phone insurance featured in Which?'s top 10 useless financial products last year.
A previous survey Which? conducted on mobile phones found Asda Mobile and Tesco Mobile to be the best among pay-as-you-go providers, while the best contract and sim-only provider for customer service was Tesco, followed by O2.