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Prepaid users receive more calls than they make

When it comes to studies and surveys, I’m always a bit skeptical about the accuracy. People lie, even when they don’t know it. And then there’s the ever-present sampling issue. This particular survey, however, took data straight from cell phone calls, so it would appear a bit more reliable. The claim: postpaid users are more likely to call you back than prepaid users. We know that postpaid, in general, use their phones more heavily. True to that, they call an average of 5.41 people to a prepaid user’s 3.41, and make 10 times as many calls. But the claim about postpaid users being more likely to call back is a new one.

According to the study, prepaid users receive more calls than they make, while with postpaid it’s the other way around — though hedged with “most active postpaid users,” since clearly not all postpaid users can make more calls than they receive. Furthermore, 25 percent of prepaid users have relationships where one party makes more than 80 percent of the calls. Presumably it’s the non-prepaid user of the relationship.

How do we explain this? Prepaid plans that include unlimited incoming calls are a start. The linked article provides a further hypothesis.

So what’s the difference between prepaid and postpaid callers? One of the most important is probably that prepaid users are much more likely to be young people. And sociologists already know that relationships between young people tend not to be equally reciprocated.

A few years ago, the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health asked US students to name up to five of their best friends. Between them, the students named 7,000 individuals but only 35 percent of the nominations were reciprocated. So perhaps it’s not suprising that a similar picture emerges from the study of mobile phone calls.

So…do you receive more calls than you place?

Via Gizmodo.