People in the UK spending £685m using smartphones on daily commute

UK adults are racking up extra charges by using data services on their daily commute, according to new research from the independent price comparison …

UK adults are racking up extra charges by using data services on their daily commute, according to new research from the independent price comparison service uSwitch.com.

Tables and smartphone devices are becoming prominent in the UK and their mobility means many use them while on the go. However, this typically means they will not be connected to a Wi-Fi access point and will instead harness data from their mobile provider.

Astonishingly, by using their phones in this way while commuting, people are collectively spending £685 million a year.

According to the research, seven in ten are now using smartphones or tablets while on their way to work and they each do this for an average of 22 minutes each way. This means they spend two-fifths (59 per cent) of their average journey glued to their screen. 

That all adds up to 900 minutes each month, which would be fine if people had unlimited data tariffs. However, just five per cent of individuals were on pay monthly deals with no limit on their allowances, meaning travellers are vulnerable to large out-of-contract charges. 

More than two-fifths of commuters admitted to having exceeded their monthly data allowances in the past, and 22 per cent go over their limit at least once every two months. 

The top five activities are dealing with personal emails (65 per cent), surfing the web (61 per cent), using social media (47 per cent), dealing with work emails (33 per cent) and checking the weather forecast (31 per cent).

Geographically, travellers in the south-west are most likely to exceed their data limits (63 per cent) while Scots are most likely to exceed them every single month (14 per cent). individuals over the age of 55 are the most likely age group to incur out-of-contract charges.

People must be wary of data charges, especially considering browsing the internet for 15 minutes and sending or receiving ten emails with attachments and ten emails without attachments uses approximately 8.5MB. Going over the allowance can quickly lead to a big bill, which can add to the amount of debt people are already in.

By Amy White

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