Press Release

For immediate release

Two-thirds of Brits don’t use the data allowance on their mobile contract

  • Baby boomers are least likely to use their data allowance – over three-quarters (77%) regularly use less each month
  • Just 12% of Brits say they normally use the amount of data they pay for each month
  • 1 in 20 consumers consider paying for additional data add-ons to their mobile contract

11 June 2019, LONDON –

New research from personal finance comparison site, finder.com, has found that two-thirds of Brits (67%) on mobile contracts regularly use less mobile data than they pay for.

7 in 10 (69%) people within this figure say they “never” reach their monthly allowance, highlighting how many of us are paying for data that we do not need.

The issue is particularly prevalent among baby boomers (those aged 55 and above). Over three-quarters (77%) say they normally use less than their data allowance and only 3% sometimes use more data than they are allocated.

Few Brits appear to be paying for the right Internet allowance, with just 12% saying they typically use the right amount of data.

In fact, a small amount of us are actually underestimating the amount of Internet we will use every month. Around 1 in 20 (6%) consumers quizzed by finder.com said that they regularly exceed their allowance and pay for more, whereas an additional 7% often exceed their limit but refuse to shell out for Internet top-ups.

The generation most likely to pay for additional data is gen Z (born after 1996), with 1 in 7 (14%) saying they regularly do so.

To avoid this issue altogether 7% have plans with unlimited data and 1 in 5 (19%) Brits are choosing to forgo mobile contracts altogether by choosing pay-as-you-go plans or not having a mobile at all.

Wales is the region where residents appear to use the least data, with 72% saying they use less than their limit. At the other end of the scale is Northern Ireland, where 14% of residents said they pay for more data, which is over twice the UK average.

Slightly more women than men are paying for data that they don’t need, as 68% of women say they do not use all their data whereas 66% of men thought this.

To see gender, age and regional breakdowns of the research including an interactive map, visit: https://www.finder.com/uk/mobile-data-usage

Commenting on the findings, Jon Ostler, CEO of finder.com said:

“It is now commonplace for most Brits to browse the web on their phones throughout the day, and this requires a fair amount of data. However, there are lots of ways that you can preserve your data allowance, and our research shows that many Brits appear to be overestimating how much data they need.

“To avoid getting sold a plan that charges you for data you don’t need – or to just cut down on how much data you use – here are some top tips:

  • Your network provider may offer an app that will allow you to track your data usage – take a look at this information before you take out a contract so you can select a plan that matches your data usage.
  • Free Wi-Fi is often available in restaurants and cafes now, so always be on the lookout for this to reduce data usage.
  • Some phones have settings where you can set up warnings and limits on data levels.
  • You can surf the web using less data than normal with Android’s “Lite mode”.
  • If you plan to listen to music or podcasts on the go, download them before you head out to avoid streaming.
  • If your usage tends to fluctuate each month, opting for a contract that allows you to pass on any unused data to the next month could be an excellent option for you.”

Methodology
Finder.com commissioned Onepoll to carry out a nationally representative survey of adults aged 18+
A total of 2,000 people were questioned throughout Great Britain, with representative quotas for gender, age and region
Jon Ostler, CEO of finder.com, is available for additional comment and interview about this research

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Disclaimer

The information in this release is accurate as of the date published, but rates, fees and other product features may have changed. Please see updated product information on finder.com's review pages for the current correct values.

About finder.com

finder.com is a personal finance website, which helps consumers compare products online so they can make better informed decisions. Consumers can visit the website to compare utilities, mortgages, credit cards, insurance products, shopping voucher codes, and so much more before choosing the option that best suits their needs.

Best of all, finder.com is completely free to use. We’re not a bank or insurer, nor are we owned by one, and we are not a product issuer or a credit provider. We’re not affiliated with any one institution or outlet, so it’s genuine advice from a team of experts who care about helping you find better.

finder.com launched in the UK in February 2017 and is privately owned and self-funded by two Australian entrepreneurs – Fred Schebesta and Frank Restuccia – who successfully grew finder.com.au to be Australia's most visited personal finance website (Source: Experian Hitwise).

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