SMALL business owners are paying the price of being loyal by staying with phone plans that cost them a huge amount every month.
A recent survey found small business owners are spending an average of $141 per month on their current phone plans.
Canstar Blue surveyed more than 600 small business owners and found two-thirds believe they could get a better deal by shopping around.
Despite this, 89 per cent admit they have been with the same service provider for years.
Megan Doyle from Canstar Blue says many could be paying for their loyalty.
"For the vast majority of small business owners, their mobile phone is absolutely vital to their operation," says Doyle.
"Anything in excess of $100 a month is a huge amount to pay. It suggests that many small business owners have lost control of their phone usage and are regularly exceeding their plan's limitations. They have probably become complacent and desperately need to review their options.
"Their loyalty may be preventing them from getting a better deal elsewhere. The only thing they should be loyal to is their budget."
Call time remains the most important feature of phone plans for small business owners, but data allowance and the phone model itself is also hugely important, the survey found.
Value for money was found to be the most important factor contributing to customer satisfaction, followed by customer service and clarity of advice.
"Small business owners want to feel they're getting the maximum bang for their buck," says Doyle.
"They also appreciate good customer service, which helps create that loyalty."
When asked to rate their current service across a range of criteria, Optus reigned supreme, scoring top marks in customer service, value for money, and overall customer satisfaction.
"This is a clear indicator that Optus has struck a chord with its small business customers," says Doyle.
Vodafone and Virgin Mobile were ranked equal second in terms of value for money, with Telstra only achieving three out of a possible five stars in that category.
Vodafone was also ranked second in terms of overall customer satisfaction, with Telstra and Virgin Mobile ranking equal third in that category.
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