A quarter of consumers are unable to pay mobile bills

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Consumers are taking longer to clear debts, 49pc made repayments immediately in 2016, the figure has dropped to 41pc

A quarter (26pc) of UK adults found themselves unable to pay mobile bills after discovering an increase to the price.

This is according to a new report by Echo Managed Services, which surveyed 1,000 UK residents in May.

The report follows one carried out last year, Echo Managed Services found a 10 per cent increase in respondents stating difficulties paying mobile bills.

Respondents said a steep increase to living costs is a major factor to why they can’t pay their bill. 35pc said their monthly income was not enough to cover outgoings, 28pc of respondents stated this reason last year.

Consumers are taking longer to clear debts, in 2016 49pc made repayments immediately upon a first reminder. The figure has dropped to 41pc.

Moreover, in 2016 19pc of people said they would only make payment following receipt of a final reminder letter – but this has increased to 27pc.

Echo Managed Services customer services director Monica Mackintosh said: “Times are hard for consumers, and the economic backdrop of rising inflation and wage stagnation is clearly having a more pronounced impact on the affordability of everyday bills. Particularly concerning is the increase in households struggling to make bill payments because they simply can’t make ends meet.

“Although price increases may have contributed to this picture, it does highlight that suppliers must do more to alert customers to unusually high bills pre bill issue, and to model the impact of any price increase against regular usage.

“Clearly, as household budgets become increasingly squeezed, many people could be taking steps to more strictly control their cash flow and only settle bills when they absolutely need to, rather than immediately. Providers need to be mindful of this and be understanding – not pushy or aggressive – in their communication.”

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