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Almost 20 million Brits are losing money by sticking with their existing mobile phone operators because it's convenient, according to a survey by Which? Mobile.

Which? found that 44 per cent of participants had never changed provider and 31 per cent hadn't done so in the last two years, often because they thought it would be a load of hassle.

However, the consumer group said 90 per cent of those who had bothered to switch in the last two years said they thought the process was fairly – or even very – easy. And almost half claimed that they spent less on their phone after the switch.

"If you have been with the same mobile provider for years, the chances are you could find a better deal elsewhere. With so many tariffs out there it pays to shop around, either through a comparison site or by checking out what different networks have to offer," said Which's Tom McLennan.

When people do make the effort to change their provider, it is most often for a more competitive tariff, Which? said, with 26 per cent switching for that reason, 16 per cent for a better handset and 14 per cent for better coverage and reception.

Which? also found it surprising that people still go into shops to pick out new phones, rather than checking out comparison sites online. Phone features get the casting vote for pay monthly customers choosing a new handset, while PAYG users care most about the price of the phone.

Which? surveyed 8,001 participants through an online panel in February and March. Figures are based on a British population of over 16-year-olds at 49.2 million, 92 per cent of whom own mobiles, according to a Mintel study. ®

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