Brits are splashing out for 143 million gigabytes of unused data every month.
Ernest Doku, mobiles expert at uSwitch, said: “No one wants to go over their data allowance. However, in a bid to prevent over-spending and with so many contracts on the market now offering sizeable data bundles, customers can easily fall into the trap of thinking they need more than they’re actually going to use.
“By overpaying for data you don’t use or need, you’re not only wasting money, but you could unintentionally be cancelling out the value of any perks or freebies bundled into the tariff as an ‘extra’.”
The situation is particularly bad for 18-34 year olds, who are reportedly paying for 7.5GB of data on average, but only using 3.6GB a month.
People are also overpaying due to confusion about their allowance, with one in five (21%) not sure what their limit is, and 36% not keeping track of their usage.
And with reports that millions of mobile phone users’ monthly contracts are set to rise over the next few months – as a result of EE, Vodafone, Three and O2 all planning to hike their prices by 4% or more from April – now is a great time to get on top of your mobile phone data expenditure.
Here are four tips to stop wasting money on data you don’t use each month:
Before splashing out cash on a massive mobile data package, it’s worth thinking about whether you’ll even need or use that much data. Also check if that data will be wasted if you don’t use it each month or if any unused data will automatically roll over to your next month’s allowance before committing.
Before signing up to a new contract, make sure you know how much data you’re currently using and how much it’s costing you per month. You can check usage in your settings, by looking at your monthly bill or using apps such as My Data Manager. You can then compare your current tariff to the new contracts offered to you to see if you’re getting a good deal.
If you use a lot of data each month, you’re better to up your allowance in your monthly contract than pay the extra fees to bolt on each time you overuse. There is also the option to add a buffer such as data usage warnings or a cap to make sure you’re not going over your limit.
This option is particularly useful for those whose usage changes significantly from month to month. If your contract is coming up for renewal and you match this criteria, it’s probably worth looking into one of the new flexible tariffs, such as O2 Refresh. These contracts allow you to increase or decrease your monthly tariff once a month, although remember that these require customers to adjust their usage at the end of each month which can be awkward.