Almost half a million young people regularly struggle to pay their mobile phone bill or top-up credit, a charity has found.
Mobile phone costs are causing problems for a "significant minority" of 18- to 24-year-olds, with some missing payments and borrowing to pay their bills, National Debtline said.
About one in 12 (8%) of young people with a mobile phone contract have missed at least one payment in the past year and 7% of all 18- to 24-year-olds say they have borrowed money from a friend or family member to pay a mobile phone bill
On average, they spend £21.88 a month on their mobile phone but more than a quarter (27%) say their payments are more than they expected.
However, six in ten (61%) say they receive good value for money.
National Debtline said about one in 10 calls it receives concern phone debt, up from about one in 25 calls in 2007.
It has called for better support from mobile phone companies and Ofcom to help those who are struggling, including earlier intervention and greater use of repayment plans.
It wants providers to build budgeting tools and information on money management into their websites and in-store processes to help improve the financial decisions of younger customers in particular.
Joanna Elson, chief executive of the Money Advice Trust, the charity which runs National Debtline, said: "A mobile phone is often one of the first financial commitments that young people take on in their lives and the vast majority will do so without any problems whatsoever. However, for nearly half a million 18- to 24-year-olds, keeping up with the cost of running a mobile phone is a real challenge.
"Mobile phones are no longer just 'nice to have' but are an essential part of everyday life - and we need to make sure that anyone struggling to cope with this or any other household bill receives the support they need."
Most outrageous bill mistakes
Most outrageous bill mistakes
Carol Sandford, 72, called 118 118 from her mobile phone unaware of the charges involved. Calls to the number cost £1.88 per call and there is also a £2.57 per minute charge from landlines. TalkTalk raises this to £5.68 for the first minute and £3.28 per minute after that. TalkTalk told Carol the charge £81.12 charge was correct but luckily 118 118 were kinder, offering to repay the charge in full. Read the full story here.
One Londoner was more than a little confused when his debit card was declined while he was trying to buy just six bottles of American craft beers. But he quickly realised that instead of the £22.30 he owed, he had been charged £223,000! It's thought he punched in the PIN number before the machine was ready and it added the numbers to the total. Luckily the 28-year-old saw the funny side and laughed the incident off. Read more on the story here.
Early Lewis from Detroit was amazed to find his water bill was almost 100 times as much as he was expecting. The bill claimed that Lewis had used 3,740 gallons of water in just one hour. Thankfully common sense prevailed and the Water and Sewage Department admitted it was a mistake and subsequently charged Lewis the $36 he should have been charged initially. Read more on this story here.
George MacIntosh, 73, was charged a staggering £200 for premium-rate gambling texts he didn't intend to sign up for. Unfortunately this wasn't a scam but a legal service from a company called Zamano. It seems the retired vicar had accidentally signed up after responding to an initial text from the company. Read the full story here.
Philip Groves was amazed to receive a £1,411 bill from Vodafone last year for his 10-year-old daughter Trinity's phone. It turns out Trinity had watched 28 hours of instructional loom band videos on YouTube, assuming her phone was using wifi. But the wifi had cut out, leaving her phone using the data allowance at it's highest rate. Vodafone refused to cancel the bill and threatened legal action. Read more here.
Daniel Pontin was in for quite a shock after opening a gas bill charging him £31,000 for a year's worth of gas in a one-bedroom home. Pontin claimed his meter was broken when he moved in and was initially charged £35 a month for six months before he stopped receiving bills. When the huge £31,000 estimated bill arrived Npower told Pontin to ignore it while they investigated. Read the full story here.