Rise in smartphones leads to shock holiday mobile bills

Tuesday 28, June 2011


Rise in smartphones leads to shock holiday mobile bills


New research released has revealed that nearly two thirds (62%) of smartphone users have been burnt by a large mobile phone bill following a trip abroad.


Whilst EU regulations have helped to curb call and text costs, the rise of internet access through smartphones has created a new headache for those who like to stay connected. Today’s research, questioning over 2,000 people, showed a huge 81% of holidaymakers have received a bill on their return which was up to £100 more expensive than their standard monthly payment. However, the unexpected cost could have easily been avoided as almost all (89%) of those heading for fun in the sun didn’t check their network data roaming charges or activate cost-saving bundles before jetting off. 


Furthermore, only one in four (25%) of those questioned claim they are aware of the true costs for using their mobile abroad. However, when asked specially about mobile internet access, only 6% knew the correct cost per megabyte (MB). Smartphones can easily use one MB in a few seconds to view an image, update an App or stream music, highlighting how quickly mobile phone bills abroad can get out of hand.


Of those who have been caught out by data charges, one in five (22%) admit to accessing the internet at least once a day on their smartphone, with a third (33%) revealing they use the time to browse or update their social networking sites - making it the biggest contributor to the dramatic rise in their holiday phone bills. In addition, other holiday roaming culprits include “wish you were here” calls to family (34%), downloading or accessing Apps (17%) and researching the local area or booking restaurants (16%).


Matt Stringer, UK MD from The Carphone Warehouse said, “We’ve seen a real increase in smartphone users over the past year. Roughly 85% of handsets sold with a postpay connection at The Carphone Warehouse in 2010-2011 were smartphones, with penetration in the rest of our other European markets increasing all the time. However, even though adoption is high, the findings highlight the potentially high costs associated with using smartphones abroad. Simply calling or visiting The Carphone Warehouse to ask about holiday bundles is a great way to help bring your bills down. Data users should keep a look out for WiFi spots where they can connect to the internet without using the local 3G network. At The Carphone Warehouse we’ve pulled together a list of top tips which we hope people will find useful before going away this summer.”


To ensure holidaymakers are clued up on roaming charges before they leave the UK, The Carphone Warehouse will be visiting Gatwick, Manchester and Glasgow airports this summer with a pop up ‘holiday help desk’ where staff will be on hand to offer their expert advice on making the most of using a mobile abroad without the thought of a huge bill hanging over your head.


No stranger to travelling himself, Vacation, Vacation, Vacation presenter Phil Spencer is lending his hand to drive awareness of how to keep costs down. “Whether it’s researching the local area, or brushing up on the roaming options available to you from your network provider, it’s so important to do your homework before you go on holiday as it could literally save you hundreds of pounds” commented Phil.



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