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How to cut back on your phone bill

The average person spends £439 a year on their mobile phone bill. As many of us use our mobile for work and play, we accept the charges as they come because we think we need all those calls and texts every month. In fact, many of us could save hundreds of pounds every year by following these easy steps on how to cut down on our mobile phone bill.


Photo by: Max Khokhlov

Time your talk Look back through your last 6 monthly statements and examine how many calls, texts and gigabytes of internet data you actually used each month. Does it add up to roughly the same amount as your tariff? If it doesn’t and you’re using significantly fewer calls and texts, it’s time to switch your contract.


If you’re nearing the end of your contract, call your service provider and try to negotiate a better deal. Go to a price comparison site and check your network against the others. If you can see a better deal elsewhere, suggest to your provider that you intend to seek services elsewhere and they will likely match their competitor’s offer. Mobile phone networks will often price match deals for loyal customers because it’s in their best interest to hold on to them.

If you’re not near the end of your contract and you can’t afford to pay yourself out of it, you can still lower your bill by switching to a lower tariff on your current network. However, some companies may not let you switch tariff until you have been with your network for more than 6 months. Check the terms and conditions of your contract if you’re not sure.

Get Skype

If you use your phone to call overseas frequently, use Skype, an online video call and instant messaging service that’s free to download and also offers cheap calls and texts to mobiles and landlines.

Avoid premium numbers

If the phone number you want to dial starts with 0870 then it’s likely you will be paying at least 10p a minute to call. Most people accept the cost and proceed, as quite often these numbers are for customer service and helpline centres. But don’t fret; you don’t have to accept these charges. Either ask them to call you back as soon as possible or track down the number for their head office (that often starts with a standard area code i.e. 01, 02, 03) and ask them to transfer you to the relevant department.

Avoid voicemail

Many assume that voicemail is free, but it isn’t. Voicemail usually forms a part of your inclusive minutes every month and if you go over your allowance you could be paying 35p a minute to hear that ‘call me back’ message from mum. You can opt out of voicemail completely by calling your network provider and asking them to deactivate your voicemail. There are also apps like HulloMail that use 3G, 4G or a Wi-Fi connection to retrieve voicemail messages on your mobile. An internet connection may not be available when you’re out and about, but you can always wait to check your voicemail when you get home, a throwback to the analogue answer phone machine days.