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Half of mobile owners reckon they know how to get the best deal – but they end up spending more

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source, October 2015 – March 2016, sample n = 5,878. * Base: Australians 14+ with Consumer-Pays Mobile Phone.

Half of Australia’s mobile owners say they know how to find the best deal when picking a mobile provider and plan, Roy Morgan Research shows—but funnily enough, they actually spend around 10% more each month than others.

When it comes to their phones, 49% of mobile owners* agree “I know how to find the best deal”, and this rate is almost the same among pre- or post-paid users.

These deal-savvy mobile owners are paying an average $64 a month for post-paid plans and $37 for pre-paid—compared with $60 and $29 respectively by the other half of mobile owners who don’t think they have value-seeking skills. 

In percentage terms, those consumers who agree they know how to find the best deal spend an average 7% more than others for their post-paid and a massive 25% more for their pre-paid service per month.

Average monthly spend of mobile owners

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source, October 2015 – March 2016, sample n = 5,878. * Base: Australians 14+ with Consumer-Pays Mobile Phone. Figures above have been rounded to nearest dollar.

The proportion of customers who say they know how to get a good deal varies by mobile service provider. Two-thirds of mobile owners with Virgin (either pre- or post-paid) deem themselves good deal-hunters (66%), ahead of 63% of those with Amaysim, 57% with Vodafone,  52% with Optus, 51% with TPG and 50% with iiNet.

Perhaps surprisingly, ALDI’s customers are bit less likely than average to agree they know how to find the best deal (47%), while Telstra’s are the least likely of all (39%).

% by Provider who say they know how to find the best mobile phone deal

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source, October 2015 – March 2016, sample = 5,878. * Base: Australians 14+ with Consumer-Pays Mobile Phone.

Michele Levine – CEO, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“The striking insight, that mobile owners who say they know how to find the best deal are actually paying more, is perhaps counterintuitive—but makes sense when you consider that consumers who pay closer attention to deals, and will take time to compare services and plans, are doing so in part because they have higher than average mobile usage and a wider range of needs, and therefore expenditure.

“Our research shows that for many mobile owners, getting the ‘best’ deal doesn’t mean simply finding the cheapest. Consumers are open to paying more if they believe what they’re getting is worth even more than that.

“Mobile owners who say they know how to find the best deal are over twice as likely as others to cite bigger data allowance as one of the reasons they chose their current service provider, and almost 75% more likely to cite faster data speeds and more included text messages.

“Of course, cheaper rates are also a big factor, and 37% of deal-hunters cite that as one of their reasons for choosing provider, compared with 21% of mobile owners who disagree with their own deal-finding abilities. Deal-hunters are even a bit more likely to factor in better network coverage and reliability when picking a provider.

”In this very competitive market, mobile service providers need to understand how to win customers with carefully targeted offers. But customers won through offering special deals are already inclined to look out for the next good deal. To retain and upsell, it’s wise to offer increasingly better deals to those existing customers who are deal savvy—and to remember they’ll also be in the audience next time you offer an even better deal to ‘new customers only’.”     

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About Roy Morgan

Roy Morgan is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices throughout Australia, as well as in Indonesia, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate

40%-60%

25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%

5,000

±1.4

±1.2

±0.8

±0.6

7,500

±1.1

±1.0

±0.7

±0.5

10,000

±1.0

±0.9

±0.6

±0.4

20,000

±0.7

±0.6

±0.4

±0.3

50,000

±0.4

±0.4

±0.3

±0.2