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Switch onto mobile savings

Mob guide mainConsumers could make significant savings by switching to mobile deals better suited to their needs, new figures show today.

There are millions of phone deals available today so it can be very confusing working out which offers you the best value for money.

For example, having a monthly allowance of thousands of free minutes and texts may seem like a good idea at the time, but if you don’t use them you’re effectively wasting money.

Similarly, regularly going over your monthly allowance could also hit you hard in the pocket.

Mobile guide

But a new guide published by Ofcom, Consumer Focus and the Communications Consumer Panel is designed to help consumers get the most from their mobile deal and save money.

Tailor your deals for better prices

A consumer signs up to a 75 minutes and 200 texts package but their actual monthly use is far different. They go over their minutes allowance (92 minutes) but only use a fraction of their texts (24 texts). This ends up costing them £24 a month but by switching at the end of their contract to a SIM only deal with the same provider, offering 300 minutes, unlimited texts and unlimited calls to landlines, they could cut their bill to £11.55 a month.

Saving £12.45 a month or around £150 a year

Another consumer signs up to a two year deal which includes a monthly allowance of 1200 minutes, 1000 texts and unlimited data for £47 a month. They use on average 546 minutes, 832 texts and 300MB data each month. By moving to a package with the same provider offering 900 minutes, unlimited texts and data, their average bill would fall to £40.41.

Saving £6.59 a month or around £80 a year

It provides helpful tips on what you should ask before signing up for a deal -  such as whether there are any additional costs, the length of contract, details on upgrades and network coverage.

The guide also explains the differences between pay-as-you-go and contract deals, as well as looking at issues such as using your phone abroad and keeping your number when switching provider.

It also explains how the Ofcom-accredited price comparison service BillMonitor can help consumers track down the best deals.

‘Informed decisions’

BillMonitor offers online bill tracking where consumers supply their online billing account details and the website automatically analyses their online bills for a tailored recommendation.

There is also a one-off tariff search, where a consumer can enter minutes and texts used, as well as overseas calls, picture messaging and data usage.

Ofcom Chief Executive Ed Richards said: ‘Ofcom wants to ensure that consumers are getting the best from their mobile deal.

This guide is designed to help consumers make informed decisions and to get the best from what’s on offer in the market today.’

Click to download mobile phone guide [PDF 337kb]

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