February 20, 2013 13:17
Many people use their smartphone far less than their allotted time and data usage each month, which means they waste money by subscribing to more expensive monthly plans than necessary, a survey shows.
Mobile providers are being blamed for luring consumers into buying expensive new handsets at nominal discounts but then shackling them with high monthly payments and long-term subscription plans
A survey conducted by the Korea Consumer Agency on 1,511 smartphone users shows that they use just 40 percent of their allowed number of text messages, 59 percent of their mobile data, and 80 percent of their voice calls on average.
LTE subscribers normally pay W49,485 (US$1=W1,081) a month for their plans, W6,600 more than 3G subscribers.
"LTE subscribers only use around two gigabytes of data a month," said an employee at a mobile carrier. They could reduce their phone bills by picking cheaper subscription plans that fit their usage needs, but many of them end up with expensive plans as newest smartphones are usually available under expensive deals.
One of the problems is that it is not easy to change subscription plans midway through, even if consumers cotton on to the fact that they are wasting money. Those who wish to cancel or migrate over to a cheaper plan have to pay a high cancellation fee.
Another factor is that Korean consumers are particularly faddish and tend to change their smartphones every one or two years.
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