Half of mobile phone owners have never switched operator

Almost half (49%) of mobile phone owners have never their changed network provider, new research from YouGov reveals.

The “Mobile Phones: The Purchase Path” report assesses the extent of ownership and types of use of mobile phones and examines the relationship users have with their network providers and handset suppliers.

YouGov’s findings suggest high degrees of loyalty among customers, with two thirds (67%) having been with their provider for more than three years. In general, the research shows that the older the customer, the longer they will have been with one network. It finds that almost four in five (78%) over-55s have been on the same provider for three or more years, compared to 47% of under-25s.

The report finds that just one in ten (11%) mobile owners are considering switching at the end of their current contract, while over four in ten (44%) have no plans to change providers when their present deal expires. A similar proportion (45%) has not yet thought about what provider they would go with next.

YouGov’s research shows that men are slightly more likely than women (13% versus 9%) to consider switching operators when their contract expires, with men aged 25-39 the most likely to do so (20%). Similarly, women are considerably more likely than men (50% versus 37%) to stay with their current provider, with women aged 55+ feeling this most strongly (58%).

Understandably, saving money (39%) was top motivation for changing provider, three times the number of the second choice – getting a better phone from different provider (13%).

Tom Rees, Research Manager for YouGov Reports, says: “With new ‘must-have’’ handsets released every few months, the mobile market always seems to be in a state of flux. However, this report shows that whatever happens within the sector, consumers themselves are pretty steady and loyal to their networks. The major reason operators manage to lure customers is to save costs. Unless a provider can offer consumers worthwhile monetary incentives to move between networks, it is unlikely to attract significant numbers of switchers.”

Learn more about this report

Learn more about YouGov Reports

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