Irish consumers are being utterly minced by the big mobile operators. Tell us something we didn't know. Last week the OECD found that some of us were paying up to 42 per cent more than the European average for their pre-paid bills. Yes, 42 per cent!!!! Three out of every five mobile phone users top up their phones rather than getting a monthly bill, so there are a lot of people being shaken down. Run your bills through www.callcosts.ie to see how badly you're being cleaned out. And switch. For someone making the national average of 255 calls each month mostly to other mobiles. Figures from the telecoms regulator. We've chosen the cheapest offers from the major operators. Both have minimum monthly top-ups.
Best: Meteor anytime free talk €30
Avoid: O2 Experience plus €75.24
Saving: €542.88 per year
Contact: www.meteor.ie or local stores
Current account fees
Free banking has been pretty much zapped, as the banks find new and inventive ways to extract money from their victims... I mean, customers. We're not comparing accounts where you qualify for all kinds of perks if you keep about a bazillion euro in the account at all times. Heavy banking users -- such as people with overdrafts, loans and large numbers of transactions -- will pay the most. For someone making a hefty 500 ATM and 500 other transactions in a year and setting up an overdraft, with figures from the National Consumer Agency.
Best: NIB Easy Plus €75 per year
Avoid: BoI pay as you go €305
Contact: www.nationalirishbank.ie or local branches
Chuck your rubbish dongle in a bin and strap yourself in for some ridiculously fast broadband. You'll download a film before you've even thought about it. This will rupture the space-time continuum, it's so fast. Just two broadband providers capable of doling out 100mb broadband are tracked by ComReg. UPC has a download limit of 500gb while Magnet has no such limits. Average monthly costs totted up by www.callcosts.ie
Best: Magnet Fibre 100mb €55 per month
Avoid: UPC 100mb €68.63
Contact: www.magnet.ie or 1890 809 000
Sunday Indo Business