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Mobile phone owners encouraged to review handset usage
(13/01/2011 11:32:53)

Mobile phone owners have been advised to look closely at how much they actually use their handset.

According to uSwitch, considering how many text messages they send and calls they make could help consumers identify whether their existing deal gives them good value for money.

The organisation said this could be especially important in the wake of the recent 2.5 per cent increase in VAT, as mobile phone bills have become more expensive as a result.

"Consumers could offset these price rises by reviewing their mobile usage and moving to a better deal," said Ernest Doku, communications expert at uSwitch.

Estimates suggest the average household's monthly mobile bill could go up to about £87 following the tax rise, which works out to more than £1,000 a year.

Mr Doku warned that these price increases are likely to be a "bitter pill to swallow" for those who are feeling the pinch after last week's VAT hike.

Indeed, he noted that a 2p increase in the cost of a text message could have a "substantial" cumulative effect on a person's monthly mobile bill.

However, Mr Doku said switching to a different network could allow consumers to save money without having to change their mobile phone number.

He added that changing to another company could also give people the opportunity to upgrade to a brand new handset, such as "one of the latest smartphones".

This comes after a poll by Which? Mobile revealed that 39 per cent of people in the UK have never switched to a different mobile provider.

Tom McLennan, head of the organisation, said this means that many consumers may be on a tariff that does not suit them.

About ten million Britons were said to be paying additional charges unnecessarily, with some spending hundreds of pounds more than they have to.

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