Cutting back on mobile phone bills


Are you conscious of economising on your mobile bill? graph of japanese opinionNEPRO JAPAN Co, Ltd recently carried out a survey to see what people do to economise on their mobile phone bills. For one day at the start of December they questioned 5,013 people across the three main Japanese carriers, DoCoMo’s iMode, Vodafone’s Vodafone live! and au and TU-KA’s EZweb, by means of a public poll available through the main menus of all three carriers’ systems. 40% of the sample were male; 4% were teenagers, 41% in their twenties, 39% in their thirties, and 16% aged forty and over.

Note that this one-day public questionnaire will tend to attract the people who are already heavy users of mobile web services, although in this case this is probably a good thing.

Mobile phone bills in Japan are rather difficult for me to understand; even something as simple as displaying how much you’d be paying if you were on the most basic plan as a means of comparison would help. Even better would be a recommendation of your best plan based on your last six month’s worth of charges.

Q1: Are you conscious of economising on your mobile phone bill? (Sample size=5,013)

Very aware20%
A little aware56%
Neither aware nor unaware8%
Not very aware12%
Not at all aware4%

Q2: For those aware of economising, how do you try to economise? (Sample size=3,810 approximately – 5,013 * (20%+56%), multiple answer)

Use a flat-rate data packet transfer plan56%
Use a customer loyalty discount scheme46%
All family members use same carrier43%
Review billing plan42%
Use email instead of voice calls35%
Cut back on pay site usage21%
Cut back on data transfer (eg write shorter emails)8%
Make phone calls at off-peak times if possible3%
Restrict outgoing calls and data3%

DoCoMo, for instance, has a vast array of payment plans, family discounts and loyalty bonuses that I suspect are designed to be as confusing as possible to make it impossible to compare your costs with that of another company! In the “Other” category, one of the services I use is G-Call, which makes calling from your mobile almost as cheap as from a landline. In fact, due to circumstances far too complicated to explain right now, international calls from my mobile are about six times cheaper than my landline! But still 12 times more expensive than Skype, however.

Q3: For those aware of economising, were your measures effective in reducing your monthly bill? (Sample size=3,810 approximately, I think – 5,013 * (20%+56%), multiple answer)

Greatly reduced15%
Reduced a little44%
Not really changed10%
No change at all2%
Can’t say how it has changed16%
Not been aware of economising12%
No answer1%

Q4: Are you satistfied with the size of your monthly mobile phone bill? (Sample size=5,013)

No, so I need to economise37%
Yes, and I’m conscious of economising20%
Yes, but I don’t think about economising8%
No, but I don’t think about economising5%
Can’t really say either way30%
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  1. Rev Alokananda said,
    March 10, 2011 @ 16:32

    Once i was japan as a student i had several mobile phones and i gave some to my friends Docomo, Au and softbank. As i came to sri lanka i bacome a buddhist monk. Now i cant get my higher ordination as i have debts. one who is getting the higher ordination he shoud not have debts to anyone. if they give up that debt its not a problem. if they expecting the debt its problem for higher ordination. i came to sri lanka before 3 year ago. may i know how many years mobile companies in japan expecting their bill to pay. and is their way to cansel the bills as now i have no way to pay.

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