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78 Percent of Wireless Minutes Paid For Go Unused
Posted: 05-Aug-2004 [Source: TNS Telecoms]

[New survey data shows many wireless customers paying five times the advertised rate per minute of their contracted rate plan.]

A recent analysis of the wireless industry by TNS Telecoms uncovered that a whopping 78 percent of the wireless minutes paid for by consumers go unused on a monthly basis. The survey also revealed that the average wireless household pays $17.75 more each month than the cost of their monthly rate plan. Factoring in taxes, fees and additional charges, consumers may be paying five times the advertised rate per minute of their contracted rate plan.

"It's not surprising that overall consumer spending on telecom services continues to grow, with wireless service representing a strong portion of that growth," said Charles White of TNS Telecoms. "What may be a surprise to consumers is that, on average, they only use 22% of the wireless minutes they have available."

Other key findings from the analysis found:

* Consumers who commit to monthly plans of $20 or less are paying 52 percent more when they get billed.

* The average wireless household has 1,831 wireless minutes available to them but uses only 452.

* Approximately 1,400 wireless minutes go unused each month by the average wireless household.

After attending several wireless user focus group studies recently, Pollak observed that many consumers had no real idea what they were paying for wireless service each month and that many were lured into monthly plans because of "free nights and weekends" or "free in-network calling" promotions.

Billing Complaints Not New To The Industry According to, the nation's leading online consumer feedback service, more than 80 percent of customer comments received in the wireless category are complaints.

The results of this analysis are from the 3rd Quarter of 2003.


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