Over a third of people in the UK cut calls short because of the cost according to research commissioned by Vodafone UK. The 16-24 year olds are most likely to hang up because of cost (47%) but flying in the face of popular misconception, it's the Scots who are the least worried by the cost of a call followed by the Welsh and those from Yorkshire.
The survey, which generated over 1700 responses, marks the introduction of a revised range of price plans from Vodafone with the option for customers to be able to "Stop the Clock." From 1 May, new and existing prepay and pay monthly Vodafone customers will be able talk for up to an hour at evenings and weekends, having paid for just the first three minutes.
The introduction of this innovative feature, a first in the UK market, comes at a time when Vodafone customers have said that they are keen to talk more but are wary of costs. Vodafone Stop the Clock is designed to liberate new and existing customers from constraints around using phones, allowing them to talk for longer and more meaningfully either from home or on the move.
The research highlighted a number of other differences between the sexes concerning telephone conversations. Almost three times as many women as men will regularly talk for over an hour on the phone while men are twice as likely as women to keep their calls under 15 minutes. Women are more than twice as likely as men to make a longer call when upset although both sexes say that the main reason for a longer call is to impart good news.
Age also has an impact on telephone call patterns. Over 23% of 16-24 year olds talk most frequently to their friends, against an average across the ages of 18%. Meanwhile, the 25-54 year olds cite their partner as the person they call most while it is their children who the over 55s speak with most frequently.
The 16-24 bracket say that they mostly talk about their social life while on the phone but everybody else makes their families the main topic of conversation. This younger generation are also the keenest texters with 97% of them sending short messages as opposed to less than 50% of the over 55's.
"Our research highlights numerous phone habits and makes us believe that our price plan changes, and particularly the Vodafone Stop the Clock feature, will appeal to both existing and new customers," says Tim Yates, Vodafone UK's Chief Marketing Officer. "We have listened to our customers and introduced new monthly bundles of minutes to modify our existing Perfect Fit price plans and changed the text bundles on prepay to give both greater choice and value. We believe that the opportunity to talk for up to an hour but only pay for three minutes will have fantastic appeal, after all, sometimes life's more than a three minute conversation. It's innovative and a real first for this market."
From 1 May, there will be nine Anytime Perfect Fit pay monthly bundles instead of the current five to give extra choice and value. For example, a monthly fee of 50 BPS will give a customer 500 minutes per month instead of the existing 400. From 1 June pay as you talk bundles will change from a daily to 30 day allocation. A 15 BPS text pack will give a prepay customer 500 texts over 30 days, the equivalent of just 3p per text.
If customers choose to take advantage of Vodafone Stop the Clock, it applies to evening and weekend calls to any UK fixed line or mobile and is also available on the Vodafone live! with 3G price plans. There is no additional charge for the Vodafone Stop the Clock feature and a customer's first three minutes can come from their price plan's bundled minutes.
Survey Results Summary:
A third of people in the UK cut phone calls short because of the cost A third of people in the UK try to keep their phone calls under 15 minutes Three times as many women as men will regularly talk on the phone for over an hour Women are more than twice as likely as men to make a longer call when upset 16-24 year olds are most likely to cut a call short because of cost 16-24 year olds mostly talk about their social life on the phone while everybody else makes their families the main topic of conversation Most calls (64%) are made in the evening.