Surely no one who is hard up would be dumb enough to spend more a month on their mobile phones than they do on their home energy bill?
No? Then meet the smartphone family. I was staggered to learn that when mum, dad and the kids all have the latest in phone technology, the cost adds up to over £140 a month.
Phone contracts are crippling low-income, recession-struck families. Debt crisis counsellors say over a third of their caseload is made up of families who have fallen into arrears with their payments. Over 18,000 people panicking about phone debt called the Money Advice Trust’s National Debtline last year. The number has trebled since the iPhone launched six years ago. Which speaks volumes.
Four people in one household do not need a phone that can take pictures worthy of David Bailey and connect to the Internet while whistling Dixie. The need to keep in contact can still be done on a shoestring if you forgo futuristic frills and pay-as-you-go. Phone service companies live off on people’s desire to raising their social standing by possessing the latest gadget. They make out their £30-plus monthly ‘deal’ with ‘free’ phone is an absolute steal But what you’re effectively doing is taking out a never-ending loan for that phone.
The latest models may be super-smart, but taking on something you can’t afford? That’s just i-diotic.