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Young People Can't Survive Without Their Mobile Phones

Young people are almost as dependent on their mobile phones as they are on cash. According to new research commissioned by LINK, these are the two items that 18 to 24 year olds see as basic necessities.

The poll was conducted by YouGov on behalf of LINK to raise awareness of mobile phone top up facilities at cash machines. More than 2,000 GB adults that own a mobile phone were asked which items they would be most upset to be without. Topping the polls as the most needed possession for 18 to 24 year olds was cash, with 30 per cent saying they would be most distraught without it. In second place were mobiles, with 23 per cent stating they couldn’t survive without one.

The survey results also showed that 18 – 24 year olds would be more willing to go without alcohol, chocolate and sex for 24 hours, than their mobile phone.

Only seven per cent said they would be happy to go without their mobile phone for 24 hours, whereas 39 per cent said they would prefer to go without alcohol, 21 per cent without chocolate and 12 per cent without sex.

The mobile phone also came in as a vital item on young people’s (18 – 24 year olds) overnight survival kit, with 23 per cent rating it as the most important, second only to the toothbrush, which received 25 per cent of votes, but ahead of other essentials like deodorant and clean underwear, which enjoyed only 17 per cent popularity.

Graham Mott, head of planning and development at LINK, said, “The survey highlights that mobile phones and cash access are people’s top priorities, and cash machines now provide a one stop shop to top up your phone and withdraw cash. This quick and easy service is available at any time of the day from any cash machine displaying the green top up logo. You can now top up mobile phones at over 42,000 cash machines across the UK.”

To promote the service, LINK and participating mobile phone operators have launched an online game, Chat Attack, which is offering monthly pay-as-you-go credit prizes of up to £50 for gamers who have gained the highest scores on the leader board. Users of the online cash machine demonstration of how to use the facility can also enter a prize draw to win a fantastic £5,000.

For a chance to win free airtime to chat away to friends and family, please visit:, or


Media Contacts:

Justyna Gnyp, hblmedia, 0207 612 1830,
Jill Duffell, hblmedia, 0207 612 1830,

Notes to Editors:

About LINK mobile phone top up facilities

There are now 42,100 cash machines offering the mobile phone top up facility, with 19 LINK cash machine operators (including banks, building societies and independent ATM operators) offering the service. This service is free-of-charge at all cash machines that offer the mobile phone top up facility, including those which charge for cash withdrawals. No registration is necessary. A user simply inserts their card and enters their card PIN in the usual way, selects mobile phone top up on the screen, enters their phone number, and then chooses how much credit to load. The transaction takes just a few seconds, making top up at a cash machine the fastest and easiest way to credit a mobile phone, and the service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Use of the service has grown rapidly with around 40,000 mobile phone top ups at cash machines made each day, or about 1.2 million per month. Some new users have been surprised just how quick and easy the transaction is.

The green top up logo shows the availability of mobile phone top up at LINK cash machines.

About LINK

LINK is the operator of the UK cash machine network, connecting almost every cash machine – free and charging – in the UK. The LINK cash machine Scheme brings together the banks, building societies and other institutions that issue the 105 million cards enabled for use in the LINK network, and the operators of the 62,500 UK cash machines that make up that network.

About YouGov

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2,177 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 28 and 30 August 2007. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18 +).