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Survey says: most overspend on mobiles

We asked CNET readers about their mobile phone plans and 34 per cent of those who responded said they often use less than 50 per cent of their monthly phone contract allowance.

A week ago we asked readers about how much they are paying for mobile phone plans and 34 per cent of those who responded said they often use less than 50 per cent of their monthly phone contract allowance.

Just over 60% of readers said they use less than 80% of their caps. (Credit: CBSi)

1100 CNET readers responded to our survey, with 367 readers saying they use less than half of the services they pay for each month, and a further 289 readers telling us they use less than 80-percent. Of these readers, 85 per cent were locked into postpaid contracts and 65 per cent were paying AU$50 or more each month for their phones and their service.

In contrast, just under 15-percent of the 1100 respondents said they often exceed their allowance and need to pay for excess use. Of the people who told us they regularly blow the budget, most of these readers said the excess is typically around AU$20 extra. Interestingly, this number significantly increases for customers who pay AU$100 or more for for their contract. These readers told us their excess usage charges are typically over AU$50, with many saying they often double their bill.

We shared these figures with industry analyst Mark Novosel at IDC who believes these figures could reflect the difficulty some phone customers have in checking the balances of their accounts throughout a billing month. "It is extremely difficult to try and keep track of your calls without knowing how much cap value you have spent," said Novosel.

"Different handsets have data counters built in, and there are various apps which can help users to monitor their data use, but monitoring the calling and messaging allowance on caps is much more difficult."

A breakdown of the monthly spend of CNET readers revealed AU$50 per-month to be the most popular amount, though there was an even spread across the spectrum from AU$20 to those who spend over AU$100 each month. Novosel also pointed out that our survey's prepaid/postpaid split of 20/80-percent was higher than the 45/55-percent (prepaid/postpaid) current Australian market split, suggesting our readers might be more likely to go on higher plans to get the premium phones they want.

CNET readers represent spending across the spectrum from $20 to $100 or more. (Credit: CBSi)

What do you think? Do you overspend on your phone bill? Do you think it should be easy to keep tabs on how much you spend each month? Let us know in the comments below.