More than half of Broadband Genie visitors do not know how much mobile broadband data they use each month. In many cases, consumers could be paying hundreds of pounds for data they don’t use.
In a survey of more than 1,000 mobile broadband users, 53.5 per cent answered ‘Don’t know’ to the question, ‘How many GBs of mobile broadband do you use per month?’ Around 11 per cent use up to 1GB, 13 per cent 1-5GB, 9 per cent 5-10GB and 14 per cent 10GB or more.
With a massive range of deals available, currently from £35 per month for 20GB of data to as little as £10 per month for just 1GB, consumers need to be aware of their usage, or literally pay for the consequences.
Broadband Genie editor Chris Marling said: “Consumers misunderstanding data limits is unfortunately common. At this time of year, we often see horror stories of ‘bill shock’ caused by holidaymakers confused over how much data different mobile broadband tasks use. While these make the headlines, they are generally rare incidents – the occasional tourist downloading some TV episodes while abroad coming home to a bill of thousands of pounds.
“However, the flip side of the coin hides the real story – people using too little data, not too much: the same consumer confusion sees many customers paying too much for their mobile broadband data tariff. Instead of a few people facing bills in their thousands, we’re talking about thousands of customers who could probably halve their mobile internet bill and see no difference in their online usage.
“Many people won’t think to check their bill unless it’s higher than normal – if it’s just the amount they expect, they don’t think to see how close they are to their limit. We strongly advise people to go back over their bills to see how much they could potentially save, either by reducing their tariff or even going to a pay-as-you-go deal.
“We would strongly suggest new mobile broadband users try to calculate how much data they may use before signing up. Most mobile broadband providers have calculators in their website, while the Broadband Genie Usage Guide aggregates that information. If in doubt though, go a little higher, as once you go over your calculate how much data they may use before signing up.”