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Study Claims Mobile Billing Errors Cost UK People £23 Each on Average

Wednesday, Jun 20th, 2018 (12:01 am) - Score 455

A new uSwitch.com survey of 2,005 UK adults (conducted during March 2018) has found that 38% have in the past noticed unexpected costs on their UK Mobile phone bill, with 17% of those attributing it to a “billing error“. On average, each billing error was estimated to be worth an average of £23 (£63.5m as a total UK cost).

Aside from billing errors, some of the other “unexpected” costs identified by the survey stemmed from customers calling premium rate numbers (29%) or exceeding their data / mobile broadband allowance (25%). So-called “surprise charges“, like those mentioned above, were also found to be costly, with the average charge standing at £18.70.

Unfortunately billing errors may often go unnoticed or unresolved, unless they are identified to the operator. As such it was worrying to note that only 16% had checked their bill in the last 6 months. Meanwhile 47% of those said that the reason they hadn’t checked was because they trusted that their bill would be fine, while 18% simply couldn’t be bothered to look.

The obvious advice is to keep regular tabs on your usage and bills. On the other hand we always take surveys like this with a pinch of salt, not least because in this case uSwitch doesn’t appear to have set a time-scale for their unexpected costs question. This means that the answer might not represent the current market (i.e. it would have been better to ask the same question, but only covering the past 12 months).

On the other hand it’s clear that operators could still further improve how they communicate their charges or bills to consumers, although this is difficult because of the many and varied charges that can apply to calling services, such as across different countries, numbers or networks (details tend to be found in small print).

By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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3 Responses
  1. Avatar photo TheFacts says:

    What does Ofcom say the billing accuracy is?

  2. Avatar photo Meadmodj says:

    Metering and Billing is pretty good but new requirements come in later this year.
    Most discrepancies are misunderstandings such as free roaming in the EU then picking up a signal from a non-UK country. Day data roaming charge etc, ringing numbers not included in the plan or requesting options on your phone and them not reflecting on the bill due to time cut-offs and of course directory enquiries. Generally I have found mobile companies to be amenable if issues are highlighted. All have facilities to monitor usage, the direct debit is a bit late.

  3. Avatar photo Joe says:

    Headline: Study? Survey at best surely.

Comments are closed

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