Millions of phone users are wasting money on tariffs with more minutes than they need, according to research.

Findings from comparison site reveal 93% of its 2,100 sample are wasting money by not using all of their allowances.

If you equate that to the total number of pay monthly users, it would mean 17 million customers overpay.

The research also found almost 96% of users aren't making the most of their text allowances. A quarter admit to using fewer than 20% of their allocated texts every month.

Consumers could save an average of £11 per month, says uSwitch, by switching to a more suitable contract (see our Cheap Mobiles guide for a full 'how-to').

Switching apathy

However, four in 10 pay monthly users have never switched providers, saying they "simply couldn't be bothered". Just 5% of those who have switched did so because of wasted minutes and texts.

Becca Talbot, consumer products analyst, says: "Most people massively over-estimate the number of minutes and texts they use, and inevitably end up on the wrong tariff, paying too much."

She adds: "Look at your last three months' bills and work out your average monthly usage to get a better idea of the sort of tariff you should be on."

How to get the best tariff

If you are over or under-using your allocated minutes and texts, speak to your provider about adjusting the deal you're on.

If your contract is up for renewal, look for a new deal that better matches your average monthly usage.

You can find the cheapest tariffs for your usage using sites such as BillMonitor. See our Cheap Mobiles guide for more info.

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