Press release:

Mobile Secrecy: More than five million Brits hide phone bills from partners

  • 3 million people have admitted hiding phone bills from their other half[1]
  • Men 66% more likely to hide their bills than women[2]
  • Top reasons include ‘it’s none of their business’ (50%) and not wanting their partner to see ‘certain items’ on their bill (23%)[4]
  • London named as secrecy hotspot with more than a quarter of people in the capital (28%) admitting they’ve concealed bills from their significant other[5]
  • Over 55s least likely to hide mobile phone bills from their partner[6]

More than five million Brits (5.3 million) have admitted to hiding their mobile phone bill from their partner[1], according to new research by uSwitch, the price comparison and switching service.

There is a significant gender divide when it comes to hiding phone bills, with men 66% more likely to be secretive than women. More than one in seven men (15%) admitted to concealing mobile phone bills from their partner, compared to just 9% of women[2]. However, women who do hide their bills are nearly twice as likely to do so because they ‘don’t want to explain certain items’ (32%) than men (17%)[3].

Overall, the top reasons for hiding bills from a partner include believing that it’s ‘none of their business’ (50%), not wanting them to see specific items on their bill (23%), guilt about overspending (22%) and not wanting an argument (9%)[4].

Regionally, those in the capital are most likely to keep their bills away from the prying eyes of their partner, with nearly one in three (28%) Londoners admitting they’ve concealed their bills in the past[5]. More than a third of these mobile users (35%) have done so in an attempt to cover up certain items on their bill, while a quarter (24%) feel guilty about their spending[7].

On the other hand, residents of the South East of England are the most honest and upfront about their bills, with just 5% saying they’ve hidden  their phone bills from their significant other[8].

Meanwhile, millennials are the age group who are most inclined to want privacy, with 18-34 year olds seven times more likely to hide their bills from their partner than those aged 55+[6].

Ru Bhikha, mobiles expert at uSwitch.com, says: “There are plenty of reasons that people may want to hide their mobile phone bill, and generally, it’s a harmless desire for privacy.

“It’s perfectly acceptable to want to keep personal finances to yourself, but it’s important to remember to check your bills before burying them away.

“If you forget to check your bills regularly you could very well find that you’ve been overpaying, so keep an eye on your charges each month to avoid any nasty surprises further down the line.”

Find out how you could save over £1,000 a year with uSwitch here.

 

 

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Notes to editors

uSwitch.com surveyed a sample of 2,005 UK adults from the 23rd to the 26th of March 2018. Results have been weighted to reflect a nationally representative criteria. 1704 respondents identified themselves as having a mobile phone contract.

  1. Respondents who have a mobile contract were asked: ‘Have you ever hidden your mobile phone bill from your other half, for any of the following reasons?’ – 10.27% of UK adults have hidden their phone bill from their other half. There are 51,767,000 UK adults. 10.27% of 51,767,000 is 5,318,704
  2. Respondents who have a mobile contract were asked: ‘Have you ever hidden your mobile phone bill from your other half, for any of the following reasons?’ – 15% of male respondents selected at least one ‘Yes’ response. 9% of female respondents selected at least one ‘Yes’ response. Men are therefore 66% more likely to hide their phone bill.
  3. Respondents who have a mobile contract were asked: ‘Have you ever hidden your mobile phone bill from your other half, for any of the following reasons?’ – Of the male respondents who selected any ‘Yes’ response, 17% selected ‘I didn’t want to explain certain items on my bill.’ Of the female respondents who selected any ‘Yes’ response, 32% selected ‘I didn’t want to explain certain items on my bill’
  4. Respondents who have a mobile contract were asked: ‘Have you ever hidden your mobile phone bill from your other half, for any of the following reasons?’ – Of those that selected any ‘Yes’ responses, 50% selected ‘It’s none of their business’, 23% selected ‘I didn’t want to explain certain items on my bill’, 22% selected ‘I felt guilty about overspending’ and 9% selected ‘I didn’t want an argument’
  5. Respondents who have a mobile contract were asked: ‘Have you ever hidden your mobile phone bill from your other half, for any of the following reasons?’ – 28% of respondents in London selected at least one ‘Yes’ response
  6. Respondents who have a mobile contract were asked: ‘Have you ever hidden your mobile phone bill from your other half, for any of the following reasons?’ – 23% of respondents aged 18-34 selected at least one ‘Yes’ response and 3% of respondents aged 55+ selected at least one ‘Yes’ response
  7. Respondents who have a mobile contract were asked: ‘Have you ever hidden your mobile phone bill from your other half, for any of the following reasons?’ – 35% of respondents in London who selected a ‘Yes’ response selected ‘I didn’t want to explain certain items on my bill’ and 24% of respondents in London who selected a ‘Yes’ response selected ‘I felt guilty about overspending’
  8. Respondents who have a mobile contract were asked: ‘Have you ever hidden your mobile phone bill from your other half, for any of the following reasons?’ – 5% of respondents in the South East of England selected at least one ‘Yes’ response

About us

Launched in September 2000, uSwitch is an online and telephone price comparison and switching service, helping consumers get a better deal on gas, electricity, broadband, TV services, mobiles and personal finance products including mortgages, credit cards, car and home insurance. Last year we saved UK consumers over £278 million on their energy bills alone.

Customers can sign up to an account that automatically monitors the energy market and notifies them when they can move to a cheaper tariff, while broadband customers can conduct a speed test to find out how fast their broadband is and identify the best deal for their postcode.

The multi award-winning 'Switching Made Simple' app allows customers to compare energy, broadband, credit card, mobile and SIM-only deals – and uSwitch also has a UK contact centre manned by energy and broadband experts. Customers can post their latest energy bills to FREEPOST USWITCH to receive a free call back and be guided through the comparison process, or they can email customerservices@uswitch.com with their postcode and usage details.

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