Mobile phones mean more than shoes and chocolate to hard-pressed consumers

Despite the financial pressures being experienced by consumers in Europe, only a very small minority would consider parting with their mobile phones to save money. According to a survey of 2,000 UK residents, they would rather give up buying shoes, alcohol, chocolate and even haircuts before parting with their handsets.

The study, undertaken by the UK Post Office, found only 6 per cent of men and 3 per cent of women would go without a mobile to save money. However 21 per cent of people said they would drop their morning caffeine boost from expensive coffee shops, a further 15 per cent said they would go without new shoes and the same amount said they would stop buying alcohol.

However, the study did identify a shift by consumers away from cell phone contracts towards pay-as-you-go (PAYG) tariffs in an effort to control their telecoms spending.

Vodafone, Virgin Mobile and Orange have each recently announced "recession busting" PAYG marketing initiatives in an effort to retain existing customers, albeit by aggressively cutting prices.

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