Saturday 1 October 2016

Most of us pay too much for our mobile phone package

Published 05/04/2015 | 02:30

KILLBILLER: Get the app and cut down on phone costs
KILLBILLER: Get the app and cut down on phone costs

Most people in this country have a mobile phone, and the surprising fact is that huge numbers of us are paying too much for our phone service.

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Many of the thousands of people who are on the wrong mobile phone plan are paying up to €500 a year more than they need to pay to their operator.

Invariably, these people are overpaying for their device use because they are on the wrong plan.

This is especially the case for those on plans with low data allowances. These days, people are now typically texting less and using more data.

Between last year and the previous year, mobile data use has almost doubled.

Using more data than the allowance on your plan means massive charges are levied, according to mobile phone comparison app developers, KillBiller.com, an Irish start-up company.

Research by State bodies has found that just 9pc of people ever change mobile phone provider - one of the lowest switching rates for a household service.

This means that more than nine out of 10 people stick with the same provider, and most of these are likely to be still on the same plan. The likelihood that thousands of people are getting royally ripped off is strong.

But savings of at least €300 a year can be made by getting a plan better suited to your phone usage. Most people should not be paying any more than €25 a month for mobile phone services.

With 4.9 million mobile phones in Ireland, it is surprising more people do not switch.

One of the main reasons switching rates are so low is because it is extremely difficult to work out which plan you should be on, according to Bart Lehane of KillBiller.

The multiplicity of plans is despite the fact that there are just three main players in this market: Vodafone, Three and Meteor.

The sheer volume and complexity of the different mobile phone plans has been labelled "confuseopoly".

It is in the interests of the networks to keeping things confusing, so it is hard for consumers to see that they are overpaying and how they might rectify that.

But you can move from one operator to another without any fuss. You can even keep your full mobile number, something called number portability.

Working out the best deal is getting easier thanks to an app developed by KillBiller.com. It is free to download on to your phone. It assesses your phone usage and tells you what you would spend on all available plans, with your own network or another operator. An iPhone version of the app is being tested at the moment.

Another way to avoid paying operators more than you need to is to buy your own handset rather than paying for it every month. Doing that can save you up to €500 over two years.

Twitter: @CWeston_Indo

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