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Saturday 23 August 2014

1,000 swap providers each day to cut bill cost

Aideen Sheehan Consumer Correspondent

Published 29/07/2013 | 04:00

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A THOUSAND consumers are switching mobile phone company every day in a bid to get a better deal.

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But experts have warned that customers need to make sure they're not overpaying for phone services they don't use.

Over 32,000 people are switching mobile phone provider each month, with many locking into longer-term contracts for the first time.

Comreg's Irish Communications Market report for the first quarter of 2013 reveals an extra 219,000 people signed up for billpay contracts in the last year, whereas 171,000 consumers ditched their prepaid mobiles.

There are now over five million mobile phones in use nationwide and while prepay remains the preferred choice of 59pc of Irish consumers, that's fallen from 67pc three years ago.

And there has been a rush towards contracts in order to get 'free' smartphones, the Consumers Association of Ireland said.

Providers often offer sought-after models such as the iPhone 5 free on billpay tariffs – the catch being that you have to lock in to a two-year contract.

"People are often blinded by their wish for a shiny, new smartphone but there's no way out once these companies have you signed up," warned CAI chief executive Dermott Jewell.

And Eoin Clarke, of comparison website uSwitch.ie, said customers may also be spending too much for data allowances.

"uSwitch would urge customers to check their bills and data usage each month. Understanding your usage will help you to sign up to a package that meets your needs as an individual," he added.

Irish Independent

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