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Unexpected Charges Add c.£39 to Average Annual UK Mobile Bills

Wednesday, November 4th, 2020 (12:01 am) - Score 624
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A new Opinium survey of 2,000 UK adults, which was commissioned by Uswitch, has claimed that “unexpected charges” (e.g. extra costs for roaming, calls etc.) are adding nearly £38.90 on average to consumers annual mobile bills (around 32% of respondents were affected by this – equating to a national total of £489m).

The survey found that 47% of bill payers didn’t read the contents of their bill every month and 19% said they had “never” read it. Meanwhile 22% of those who have spotted a “nasty surprise” on their bill attributed it to someone else who had access to their phone and 56% of those people blame their children.

In terms of where all of the charges come from, the study analysis found that 11% of bill-payers were charged for calling a premium rate number, while 10% exceeded their data allowance, 8% were charged for making international calls, 7% picked up international roaming charges and another 7% blamed it on “app purchases” (that last one doesn’t usually go on your mobile operator’s bill).

Roaming charges emerged as the costliest surprise, with those affected reporting an average charge of £24 over the course of the year, which was closely followed by international calls (£21.90), in-game currencies (£21.80), app purchases (£20.80) and app subscriptions (£19.70). Once again, some of those seem unlikely to form part of a typical bill from your mobile operator and will normally be paid separately (Uswitch seem to be lumping everything together).

Suffice to say that it pays to keep an eye on your bills and to ensure that access to anything with a “paid” element (e.g. in-app purchases) is restricted, particularly where children might be involved.

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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 Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
Leave a Comment
1 Response
  1. Kai P says:

    Sorry but in app purchases can be placed on the bill with a service called Charge to Bill.

    Vodafone has android users capped at £10 every billing cycle but not iOS users. Just something to think about

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