21 May 2009
A price comparison service that allows consumers to get cheaper mobile phone deals by monitoring their online bills was today accredited by Ofcom.
BillMonitor's price comparison calculator has been awarded the Ofcom price accreditation scheme logo for meeting the terms of a rigorous independent audit. The audit checks whether the information provided to consumers is accessible, accurate, transparent, comprehensive and up to date. BillMonitor is the first mobile price comparison service to have their calculator accredited by Ofcom.
BillMonitor uses advanced statistics to find the best mobile price plans for consumers across the five network operators 3, O2, Orange, T-Mobile and Vodafone. The comparison engine was developed by BillMonitor's team of mathematicians with scientific advisors from the University of Oxford.
BillMonitor's service is available as:
BillMonitor analyses historical usage patterns to predict future usage and can keep consumers updated on the money they could save as the networks change their price plans.
Ofcom research shows that 57 per cent of mobile users are more likely to shop around if there is information available to calculate the cheapest supplier based on usage and 50 per cent are more likely to trust an accredited price comparison website.
The following three anonymous users who used the online Bill Tracking service demonstrate how BillMonitor can help consumers to save money.
Consumer A is a light user on a contract with more inclusive minutes/texts than she uses, paying on average £31.33 per month. Bill Monitor recommended that she switched provider to reduce her average bill to £16.34 (saving over £15 a month) and still leaving her free minutes most months. Without switching provider, she could still save £11.41 a month by changing price plan with her current provider.
Consumer B currently has a monthly contract with no add-ons. He calls and texts Turkey, France, USA and Greece and has roamed while in Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Greece. He pays £83.96 per month on average. When BillMonitor analysed his online bill, it recommended that he switch to a different provider and use their free roaming add-on which would reduce his average monthly bill to £67.52 (saving over £16 a month).
Consumer C is rarely off the phone. He uses an average of 2179 minutes and 853 texts and pays £209.50 per month. By using Bill Monitor he managed to bring his bill down to £68.68 by changing price plan with his current provider and saved a huge £140 per month.
A new Ofcom price accreditation scheme logo has also been unveiled today which all accredited services can use to show that their price comparison calculators have been verified by Ofcom as up to date, transparent and reliable. Ofcom has previously accredited Simplify Digital - which compares fixed line, digital TV and broadband services - and Broadband Choices, which compares broadband services.
Ofcom Chief Executive, Ed Richards, said "It's important that consumers are able to access clear mobile pricing information. Consumers can now be sure that when they use BillMonitor's price comparison service they are going to be getting accurate and up to date pricing information to enable them to choose the best mobile deal for them."
NOTES FOR EDITORS
1. Advice for consumers on price comparison services can be found at: http://www.ofcom.org.uk/consult/condocs/ocp/statement/pricescheme/consumerfaq/.
3. Ofcom's research on Consumer Decision-Making in the Telecoms Market can be found here: http://www.ofcom.org.uk/research/tce/report/annex4.pdf.
4. For more information about Bill Monitor's services, please contact: Georgina Bonner / Alexis Dalrymple, Billmonitor@hotwirepr.com, Tel: +44 (0) 20 7608 4648 / +44 (0) 7713 998 642