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Consumers Cut Cars, Clothes and Concerts Before Cutting Cell Phone Costs

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In a tough economy, Americans are more likely to cut back on entertainment, food and clothing before they change the way they use their cell phones, according to a recent Virgin Mobile USA customer poll.

Economic concerns have 87 percent of customers changing spending overall, as nearly half claim that they don't have enough money to cover day-to-day expenses. When asked to prioritize expenses, an overwhelming amount of those surveyed said they would cut back on leisure activities such as dining out (88%), entertainment (86%) and shopping (82%). The poll also found that more expensive purchases, like cars, furniture, electronics (79%) and vacations (71%) are being delayed indefinitely.

The poll indicates that cell phones have become a necessity for most rather than a luxury, with just 32 percent planning to spend less on their mobile phone service, before cutting cable/satellite costs (25%), and delaying payment on other bills (18%) and rent/mortgage (7%).

"People need to be able to adjust spending in a tough economy," said Bob Stohrer, Chief Marketing Officer for Virgin Mobile USA, "and the ability to be change spending levels without penalty is one of the benefits of prepaid wireless. With cell phones remaining a €˜must have' for most, we expect more people will be drawn to the flexibility and value of prepaid offerings."

Despite concerns about the broader economy and their own economic situations, 73 percent of customers surveyed feel that Virgin Mobile USA saves them money.

The survey was conducted online within the United States by Vision Critical via Virgin Mobile USA customer panel of 750 adults. The results of the survey are reliable with a +/- 4 percent margin of error.

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