Research from Citizens Advice shows that three major mobile phone providers charge users for their handset AFTER the cost has been covered as part of their fixed contract deal. Some 4 million users are paying around £38 a month for a handset they have already paid for.
The charity says EE, Three and Vodafone don’t reduce mobile phone contract costs after fixed deals end, leaving millions unaware they are still being charged for the handset they already own.
Citizens Advice says about four million customers of the three major providers paid an extra £490 million after their contracts ended when they should just be paying for calls, texts and data.
O2 has separate elements for the handset and the tariff, meaning once the handset is paid off, customers just pay for the usage.
If you’re out of contract then check your mobile phone contract. If you don’t know, then look at your bill or give customer services a call.
You could be due a refund. Currently, mobile providers do not have to remind you when you’re nearing the end of your contract, resulting in over a third of customers not switching to a cheaper deal.
The figures come from a Citizens Advice survey of 3,030 people in July this year, which was weighted to be representative of the UK population.
Bills Dashboard recommends checking your mobile phone data usage, to make sure that you are not paying for a tariff that is much larger than your actual usage.