One in five customers don't like their telcos: Comms Alliance

Nearly one in five telecom customers remain unhappy with their service, according to a survey released by the Communications Alliance.

The Comms Alliance released its quarterly Telecommunications Customer Satisfaction Survey on Thursday. Ray Morgan Research conducted the online survey in March with a population-representative sample of 500 telecom users aged 18 and up.

Overall, 19 per cent of the customers surveyed said they were dissatisfied (12 per cent) or very dissatisfied (7 per cent) with their telecom providers. That figure was flat with the previous quarter, but 2 per cent of respondents moved from dissatisfied to very dissatisfied.

Another 17 per cent said they were neither dissatisfied nor satisfied, leaving 64 per cent who were either satisfied (39 per cent) or very satisfied (25 per cent).

Also, nearly half of customers surveyed said they made a complaint to their provider in the six months before the interview. That was 3 per cent less than the previous quarter. Of those who filed a complaint, 52 per cent said they were satisfied with the answer and 34 per cent said they were not.

There were two areas of small improvement compared to the previous quarter. First, about 2 per cent more customers said they were very satisfied with the ease of contacting their telecom providers and 2 per cent fewer said they were dissatisfied.

Second, 1 per cent fewer customers than last quarter said they were dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with understanding their bill. However, the movement there was not to satisfied but rather "neither dissatisfied or satisfied."

At the same time, bill shock held steady with the previous quarter, with 35 per cent saying they received a bill in the last six months that was higher than expected.

“We are still seeing too many customers receiving a higher than expected bill during the course of a six month period,” said Comms Alliance CEO John Stanton.

“I believe we will see further improvements on this front through the wider application of spend management tools and higher customer awareness of those tools.”

Stanton stressed that telco customer service is on the up, especially since the release of the industry-written Telecommunications Consumer Protection (TCP) code.

“Many service providers already deliver outstanding customer service and industry’s concerted improvement efforts, combined with the impact of the TCP Code, has already seen customer complaints to the industry ombudsman fall by more than 20 per cent,” he said.

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