Home
 » ISP News » 
Sponsored

Citizens Advice Claim UK Mobile Users Waste 2GB of Data a Month

Thursday, January 31st, 2019 (12:01 am) - Score 884

The Citizens Advice agency has claimed that 71% of UK Mobile customers with SIM-Only plans are “overpaying for data they don’t use,” such as when connecting via 3G or 4G (mobile broadband). The estimated average amount of data “wasted” each month is 2GB, which they equated to a total cost of £800m per year.

According to the agency, some 12 million people are said to fall into this category and it’s claimed they could save approximately £63 per year by switching to a cheaper tariff that “matched their data consumption.” The results appear to stem from a YouGov based survey of 4,070 adults, which took place between 29th November and 3rd December 2018.

In addition, people who purchased their contract in-store were found to waste 4.2GB (GigaBytes) on average, while those who bought one online wasted 2.6GB (note: the 2GB figure used earlier occurs after a buffer is added to account for monthly variations in use), which Citizens Advice fears could be an indication of how in-store sales practices may be negatively impacting consumer choice.

The charity, which sees all this as being “another example of mobile companies overcharging customers“, is now urging more mobile networks to “refund unused data, or make it easier for customers to reduce their monthly allowance” if they find they are “wasting data repeatedly.”

Gillian Guy, CEO of Citizens Advice, said:

“Mobile companies should be doing more to help their customers save on data they don’t use, especially when it’s clear people are consistently underusing their allowance.

This is another example of mobile companies overcharging their customers. It’s time for a consumer champion to stand up for people and push for change on issues like this.

While we wait for industry to improve support for customers, individuals can take action too. Anyone looking to save money should check their data usage and see if they can switch to a cheaper deal that matches what they use.”

The charity makes an interesting point, although they appear to be taking an overly simplistic view of the market and don’t fully appreciate that the data people do or don’t use often forms part of an operator’s overall economic model. Put another way, if we all used 100% of our data then prices may well rise because a lot of operators base their costings around the fact that many users won’t gobble everything (balance of shared capacity).

Likewise data isn’t the only consideration and we shouldn’t forget that some people pick a plan for other reasons, such as specific features, perks or larger calling/text allowances. Consumers also like some security in the plans we choose and thus many of us have a sensible tendency to buy a little more than we expect to use.

Furthermore the results seem to overlook the complication of “all-you-can-eat” style tariffs offered by operators like Three UK, not to mention add-ons such as zero rated video streaming (e.g. “Go Binge“), which can enable consumers to use significantly more data than the plan may offer (often at no extra charge). This is before we touch on other plan styles, such as those with the ability to roll-over unused allowances to next month.

Lest we forget that a lot of mobile plans don’t offer data bundles in smaller increments, which can leave a big gap between the available tariffs (e.g. a SIM Only plan on EE can go from £14 per month for 1GB to £17 for 3GB and then £20 for 25GB etc.). Crucially gaps this big mean that many people may unavoidably end-up picking a plan that leaves them with a fair bit of data left over at the end of the month.

At this point it’s easy to forget that those who want more granular control over their usage can always go with a Pay-As-You-Go plan without a long contract term, although this requires the end-user to keep closer tabs on their usage (irritating). Similarly through negotiation you may find that an operator will give you bigger allowances for the same price as you’re currently paying for a weaker plan (better value even though your usage might not change).

Ultimately there’s a lot of choice in the UK market and people can pick from all sorts of different operators or plans to best suit their needs. Alternatively if we take the Citizen’s Advice approach then the next time you eat out in a restaurant you should be able to claim a refund for anything you didn’t eat.

Leave a Comment
0 Responses

Comments RSS Feed

Javascript must be enabled to post (most browsers do this automatically)

Privacy Notice: Please note that news comments are anonymous, which means that we do NOT require you to enter any real personal details to post a message. By clicking to submit a post you agree to storing your comment content, display name, IP, email and / or website details in our database, for as long as the post remains live.

Only the submitted name and comment will be displayed in public, while the rest will be kept private (we will never share this outside of ISPreview, regardless of whether the data is real or fake). This comment system uses submitted IP, email and website address data to spot abuse and spammers. All data is transferred via an encrypted (https secure) session.

NOTE 1: Sometimes your comment might not appear immediately due to site cache (this is cleared every few hours) or it may be caught by automated moderation / anti-spam.

NOTE 2: Comments that break our rules, spam, troll or post via known fake IP/proxy servers may be blocked or removed.
Cheapest Superfast ISPs
  • Onestream £19.99 (*27.99)
    Avg. Speed 45Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • TalkTalk £21.00 (*29.95)
    Avg. Speed 38Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Vodafone £21.50
    Avg. Speed 35Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Plusnet £21.99 (*36.52)
    Avg. Speed 36Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: £50 Reward Card
  • NOW TV £22.00 (*40.00)
    Avg. Speed 36Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
Prices inc. Line Rental | View All
The Top 20 Category Tags
  1. FTTP (2891)
  2. BT (2821)
  3. FTTC (1810)
  4. Building Digital UK (1770)
  5. Politics (1708)
  6. Openreach (1661)
  7. Business (1486)
  8. FTTH (1343)
  9. Mobile Broadband (1276)
  10. Statistics (1271)
  11. 4G (1100)
  12. Fibre Optic (1082)
  13. Wireless Internet (1044)
  14. Ofcom Regulation (1042)
  15. Virgin Media (1034)
  16. EE (729)
  17. Vodafone (704)
  18. TalkTalk (689)
  19. Sky Broadband (685)
  20. 5G (564)
Promotion
Helpful ISP Guides and Tips
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
Sponsored

Copyright © 1999 to Present - ISPreview.co.uk - All Rights Reserved - Terms , Privacy and Cookie Policy , Links , Website Rules , Contact