£56.7m to be wasted on pricey Christmas chatter
December 7th, 2005
Switch to avoid wallet busting New Year bills
Christmas calling could be a pain in the wallet, but switching to better home and mobile deals could save the nation £56.7 million on phone bills according to new calculations by The Carphone Warehouse and TalkTalk.
The companies predict that as people get into the festive spirit five billion mobile calls* will be made this month, and we’ll also spend some 148.3 million hours calling family and friends from our home phones. This bumper Christmas calling could land the nation with the nasty financial hangover of a massive combined bill of up to £1.25 billion.
Yet switching to a better mobile deal could save mobile users £33.3 million just in December alone. There are over 20 million contract mobile phone users in the UK and 38 million pay-as-you-go users, and this Christmas they can choose from over 65 contract tariffs and over 100 handsets available from eight operators. It’s never been more important to visit an independent expert to ensure you have the widest choice and the best deal.
On home phones, we’re set to make well over 100 calls each, which is at least five per cent more than last month. If everyone still using pricey home phone services switched to a more competitive provider they would save £23.4 million in December alone. Calling mobiles from home is predicted to be particularly painful for wallets, accounting for around £95.2 million of phone bills. TalkTalk Mobile however offers unlimited anytime free calls forever between all TalkTalk landlines and mobiles in either direction, with no minimum contract.
To avoid being burned by big bills, The Carphone Warehouse and TalkTalk offer the following tips:
Visit an independent retailer like The Carphone Warehouse where a full selection of networks, tariffs and phones are on offer; as well as impartial expert advice to ensure you get the best possible deal.
Ensure your tariff matches your lifestyle, ie: you have low cost calls or free minutes at times when you use your mobile most.
Although pay-as-you-go is often uncomplicated (handsets are available at The Carphone Warehouse from as low as £19.99) call charges are often higher and handset choices more restricted. People making regular calls will usually find a contract phone works out cheaper. The Golden Gift, exclusively from The Carphone Warehouse, gives you the chance to buy one of the latest handsets on pay monthly as a gift, such as the Hot Pink Motorola Razr, with line rental paid up front for up to a whole year.
Make sure your keypad is locked whenever you’re not using your phone. This will avoid accidental calls being made and therefore bills running up.
If sending any saucy or swooning texts, make sure you send them to the right person! (Mum doesn’t want to know about how much you love Mark or Mary!)
You can now choose an alternative provider to save money on both your line rental and calls with one bill
Don’t settle for poor customer service. Look on http://www.uSwitch.com for details of their independent customer satisfaction survey to see how home phone providers compare
Look for a phone provider that’s easy to contact. Some small, budget services are based abroad and only operate online so it may be tricky to talk to someone if you have a problem
Look for a provider that offers low costs for the types of calls you regularly make; for example, if you call mobiles regularly, TalkTalk Mobile gives its landline customers unlimited free calls between all TalkTalk landlines and TalkTalk Mobiles in either direction forever
Compare the free calls available from providers as many deals are limited. A provider offering unlimited free calls at any time between its customers might mean friends and family can sign up and all talk for free
Christmas catching up with friends and family abroad
An important tip for both mobile and home phoning is to investigate ways to cut the cost of international calling, as this can be a high cost black spot which is often overlooked. One solution is to buy a Mobile World SIM card to make savings of up to 98 per cent on calls from your UK mobile to international numbers and great savings when calling UK mobiles and landlines. From home, TalkTalk’s International Extra service saves customers up to 92 per cent on calling abroad by dialling a special prefix number.
Charles Dunstone, Chief Executive, The Carphone Warehouse, said: “Wallet busting new year phone bills will give millions of people using pricey home and mobile phone services a real headache. But phone savvy people with deals from The Carphone Warehouse and TalkTalk should have a happy Christmas as we’re set to save them millions.”
For further information, please call:
Mark Schmid / Lisa Ward or Alex Village / Claire Parnell
Citigate Dewe Rogerson Freud
Notes to editors:
* statistic relates to contract mobile phones in the UK
All estimates calculated using data from Ofcom, The Carphone Warehouse and TalkTalk