Media Release

Australians are confused about mobile costs but loyal to providers

  • New research shows 41% of Australians are confused by mobile phone costs
  • 74% of Australians haven’t switched providers in more than 10 years
  • Australians should regularly compare plans to make sure they are getting the best deal!

June 14, 2016, Sydney, Australia – A nationwide survey from one of Australia’s biggest comparison websites,, has revealed that costs of calls, text and data is the most confusing aspect for Australians when choosing a mobile phone.

Surveying 1,356 respondents, found two in five Australians (41%) are perplexed about mobile phone costs while 21% are puzzled by choosing the best handset for their needs. Data was another point of confusion as 14% of Australians were unclear about how much data they needed, followed by whether to buy a phone outright or on a contract (13%) and how to choose the best provider (12%).

Surprisingly, two in five Australians (39%) have been with the same mobile phone provider for more than 10 years, while one in three (35%) switched carriers over two years ago and only 16% have changed providers in the last three to 12 months.

Broken down by demographic, it’s no surprise that Baby Boomers were the most loyal with close to half (46%) staying faithful to one provider for the past decade, followed by Gen X (34%) and Gen Y (28%). On the other end of the scale, two in five Gen X Australians (40%) have switched providers in the last two years, followed by 35% of Baby Boomers and 29% Gen Ys.

According to the survey, three quarters of Australians (74%) haven’t switched providers in the past two years because they are happy with their carrier while 16% haven’t switched because they can’t be bothered.

Alex Kidman, Mobile Expert at says, "it’s not surprising that consumers are confused, because telco providers haven’t always made it easy to compare like with like when choosing a mobile plan, although this has become a little simpler with the rise of more ‘unlimited’ calling and text plans."

"At the same time, carriers regularly switch up plan provisions, so you could well even be paying a carrier you want to stay with too much for too little service. That’s why it’s worth regularly comparing the offers in the market to make the best decision for your needs. There’s no one 'magic' plan that will suit everyone, but having a solid idea of your usage can help in selecting a plan that will give you the inclusions you need and not charge you for features you won’t use."

"It may seem daunting to switch carriers, but if you’re saving a significant quantity of your monthly mobile spend, it’s well worth considering, especially as you may end up on the same network with the same coverage anyway. Carriers are obliged to let you switch with a minimum of fuss; this is something that can sometimes take mere minutes if you’re lucky."

Five ways to save on mobile data costs

  • Don’t watch video on your mobile
    Video streaming is extremely data-intensive, even if you’re only watching in standard definition. If this is a non-negotiable for you, try to set the video quality as low as your eyes can handle.
  • Put some music on your phone
    Music streaming services like Spotify or Apple Music use a lot of data. If there’s a particular song or album you’re constantly listening to on the way to work, you’ll use less data if you download it directly to your phone.
  • Use Wi-Fi wherever possible
    Check you’re logged into Wi-Fi at work or at home and look out for free Wi-Fi signs when you’re out and about. Publically available hotspots are becoming more common, allowing you free access.
  • Tweak your social media settings
    Always disable Facebook’s autoplaying of video streams to keep your data usage low. You can also check your exact settings for data usage within Facebook on your mobile here to lower image quality and in turn, lower your data bill.
  • Regularly check your data usage
    If you're using an iPhone, head to Settings>Mobile and scroll down to check your mobile data usage for the current usage period, as well as how much data each app has used over that time period. If you're an Android user, the same data usage can be found by going to Settings>Data Usage. Windows Phone users have an app that handles data usage called Data Sense that allows you to enter your existing data plan provisions and then see your current mobile and Wi-Fi data usage.


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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's review pages for the current correct values.

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