Consumers complain about rising prices – many do not even use a simple way to save: mobile phone tariffs. If everyone were to switch to a cheaper discounter tariff, arithmetically, 23.4 billion euros could be saved per year.

Per capita, this makes an average of 287 euros in savings per year, as determined by the comparison portal Verivox. Average users can save up to 82 percent compared to their current contracts.

The three network operators Telekom, Vodafone and Telefonica/O2 currently have around 81.5 million customer contracts. If all consumers were to switch their contracts to a cheaper discounter tariff, they could save 286.61 euros a year per mobile phone contract.

According to Verivox, mobile phone tariffs with small and medium-sized data budgets are significantly cheaper with lesser-known providers.

Bargain seekers are currently finding discount tariffs with four to five gigabytes (GB) of data volume starting at an average monthly price of five euros. Ideally, these offers cost less than a quarter of the cheapest network operator offers. Depending on the network currently in use, the savings potential is between 75 and 82 percent.

The main reason for the high savings potential is oversized and therefore expensive mobile phone contracts. According to the Federal Network Agency, the average data volume consumed per contract is currently 4.3 GB. Mobile phone tariffs from the major providers offer an average of 27 GB per contract – more than six times as much! The result: Consumers pay tariff services every month that they only partially need.

Many consumers overestimated their need for data, explains Verivox expert Jens-Uwe Theumer. The reason: Most smartphones are permanently logged into WLAN networks, both at work and at home. In these phases, customers do not need any data volume via the mobile phone tariff.

Tip: In the smartphone settings, customers can easily see how much data volume they used in the last billing period. If the actual consumption repeatedly falls below the booked contract volume, customers should look for a cheaper tariff.

Another savings tip: According to the calculations of the tariff portal, it is usually much cheaper to buy the device and tariff separately to finance a new smartphone. The reason: “In order to keep the one-off price of a device as low as possible, many customers book high-priced tariffs,” explains Verivox tariff expert Theumer.