• Consumers are paying an average of £508 a year on TV packages and streaming services, while insurance racks up a bill of £2,042 a year
  • Seven in 10 won’t compare prices and switch services despite it potentially saving them money
  • Almost a third (32%) think that switching suppliers won’t save them money on bills
  • With O2, customers are better off at the end of their device plan, receiving up to £50 a month back once their device is paid off*

The average adult will spend nearly £1million in bills over their lifetime – and now spends more on tech, such as TV subscriptions, mobile phone contracts and music streaming services, than they do on utilities, reveals a study conducted by O2 to celebrate the anniversary of its flexible custom plans tariff.

The survey of 2,000 people found that the average consumer will personally spend £926,720 across a period of 63 years on gas, electricity, water, their phone and other bills.

Whilst these costs are often essential, consumers are now spending more on tech related bills, notching up an average £1,555 a year on these expenses, compared to their spend on utilities at £1,491 per year.

Although they are outlaying a significant amount on monthly bills, seven in 10 (70%) won’t compare prices on the services and contracts they pay with other providers, even if it means they can save money. This is despite those surveyed estimating that they pay £170 a year more than they should, simply because they aren’t looking for a plan that suits their needs better.

Mobile phone contracts are one of many areas where budget savvy consumers can look to save money.  However, the research showed that nearly a quarter (24%) have never changed provider to see if they can get better value for money, and a fifth (20%) aren’t even sure what’s included in their mobile phone plan despite spending on average more than £200 a year on it.  A recent Which? report further highlighted the issue by revealing that customers are potentially overpaying by more than £400 a year as their operator continues to charge them the full price of their contract even when they have paid off the cost of their phone.

To help combat this O2’s customisable plans separate the handset and airtime costs, ensuring customers don’t end up paying for a phone they already own.  As a result customers are better off on O2 at the end of their device plan, receiving up to £50 a month back once their device is paid off, an offer unmatched by the rest of the industry.* Helping customers get the phone they want at a price that suits their budget, custom plans also give customers the chance to choose how much they want to pay upfront and the length of their device plan (anywhere between three and 36 months), as well as having the option to flex their data allowance up or down every month to suit their needs.

However, despite the opportunity to save money by switching to a more tailored and flexible plan, one in four (26%) say they simply can’t be bothered to shop around and a fifth (20%) claim they don’t have the time to look for better deals.

Nina Bibby, Chief Marketing Officer at O2 said: “Our research shows just how much unnecessary expense we outlay over the course of our lives. Taking the time to shop around for more flexible deals that suit your individual needs, so that you’re only paying for what you use, can save a huge sum of money in the long run.

“Time poor consumers struggle to prioritise the admin of switching things up which is why it is vital businesses do more to provide greater transparency over contracts, and that customers aren’t being penalised for loyalty. As the UK’s No1 network we’re relentlessly focused on customer fairness. Our industry leading custom plans give users complete control and flexibility over how and when they pay for their device.  From choosing how much they pay upfront to how they want to spread the remaining cost of their device, customers can create a flexible and individual plan to suit their budgets.”

Despite not switching, many admit that they’re not getting their money’s worth as 35 per cent believe they currently pay for things on their bills that they don’t actually make the most of or use, such as paying for a landline on their broadband package or for TV channels they never watch.

It seems the biggest barrier to switching services is that it’s perceived as a complicated process. The research, conducted via OnePoll, found nearly half would be happy to switch service providers if the changeover was an easy process, while nearly one in five (19%) would do so if they knew they were getting a product or a plan which was bespoke to their needs.

For those who would consider changing their smartphone plan to get a service belter suited to their usage, nearly a third (31%) would want more data, and more than a quarter would want flexible data usage that works around them.

 To find out more, please visit: www.O2.co.uk.


Notes to Editors

Breakdown of the average adult’s monthly bill spend:

Electric £47.03

Gas £42.28

Water £34.94

Internet/broadband £23.03

TV package such as Sky £28.29

Mobile phone £17.56

Landline £15.38

TV streaming services £14.03

Music streaming £12.27

Council tax £136.61

Mortgage/rent £520.61

Credit cards £163.57

Buildings insurance £20.36

Car insurance £27.47

Mobile insurance £18.99

Contents insurance £18.38

Travel insurance £16.76

Pet insurance £21.15

Life insurance £23.01

Health insurance £24.10

*Citizens advice – the cost of loyalty


The consumer research

The research was conducted by OnePoll who surveyed 2,000 adults across the UK between 25.08.20 – 27.08.20.

Journalists can contact the Virgin Media O2 press office on:
press@virginmediao2.co.uk 01753 565656
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