ACMA report claims high satisfaction rates for Australian telco services

Four out of five Australians are satisfied with their telecommunications services, according to an Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) report.Despite the 81 per cent satisfaction rate, there is notable differences in satisfaction levels between households, small and medium enterprises and the rural sector.The research, undertaken in April and May 2007, provides a snapshot of consumer satisfaction with fixed-line (landline), mobile, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and Internet services.
http://www.computerworld.com.au/index.php/id;184421416;fp;2;fpid;1
http://www.pcworld.idg.com.au/index.php/id;184421416Farmers not happy with phones, internet
Four out of five Australians are happy with their phone and internet services but farmers are a lot less satisfied, research shows.The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) research, undertaken last year, has found 81 per cent of people are generally satisfied with their telecommunications services.
http://news.smh.com.au/farmers-not-happy-with-phones-internet/20080228-1viv.html
http://news.theage.com.au/farmers-not-happy-with-phones-internet/20080228-1viv.htmlConsumers express overall satisfaction with telecommunication services but mobile and internet services of concern to rural sector [news release]A report released today by the Australian Communications and Media Authority suggests that four out of five Australians (81 per cent) are generally satisfied with their telecommunications services, although there are notable differences in satisfaction levels between households, small and medium enterprises and the rural sector.The research, undertaken in April and May 2007, provides a snapshot of consumer satisfaction with fixed-line (landline), mobile, voice over internet protocol (VoIP) and internet services.’While consumer perceptions about services were positive overall, the research suggests that the farm sector is significantly less satisfied with their internet and mobile phone services than households and small to medium business owners,’ said Chris Chapman, ACMA Chairman.Farm-based consumers reported the highest levels of dissatisfaction with mobile phone services (35 per cent), citing problems such as poor call quality, drop-outs and interference. More than a quarter (26 per cent) of farm consumers also expressed dissatisfaction with internet services, primarily due to the slow speed of their service.Most household consumers were happy with their Internet Service Provider and the majority (58 per cent) indicated they were unlikely to switch providers. However, consumers in non-metropolitan areas perceived their internet services as inferior to those in metropolitan areas.The research also highlights that during the period 2002 to 2007, the number of complaints made to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman about telecommunications services continued to grow.Other report findings include:

  • Fixed-line telephone services were rated most highly across all consumer sectors, although 77 per cent of SMEs indicated improvements could be made.
  • For emerging services such as voice over internet protocol (VoIP), the majority of users were satisfied, although around a third reported being neither dissatisfied or satisfied, suggesting a transitional period for these customers.

The report is the fourth in ACMA’s ongoing Telecommunications Today research program about the take-up and use of telecommunication services in Australia, and can be found on ACMA’s website.Media contact: Donald Robertson, ACMA Media Manager, on (02) 9334 7980.
BackgrounderThe Australian Communications and Media Authority is currently examining a number of aspects of the use and provision of telecommunications services in Australia.This research program, Telecommunications Today, is designed to assist ACMA in its role as industry regulator and is consistent with its regulatory responsibilities to provide information about the telecommunications industry.The consumer satisfaction report is the fourth in the Telecommunications Today series. It presents the findings of qualitative (focus groups) and quantitative (consumer surveys) research into consumer satisfaction of fixed-line (landline), mobile, VoIP and internet services among household consumers, farms and small to medium enterprises (SMEs).Other reports in this series include:

  • Report 1 – Consumer attitudes to take-up and use
  • Report 2 – Small and medium enterprise (SME) take-up and use of telecommunications
  • Report 3 – Rural/Farm take-up and use of telecommunications

These reports can be found on ACMA’s website.Forthcoming reports in the series examine the level of substitution and complementarity between mobile and landline connections, and consumer online activity.The objectives of the consumer satisfaction report were to:

  • explore consumer attitudes and their level of satisfaction and dissatisfaction with voice and internet services.
  • compare whether consumers in different geographical locations have similar levels of satisfaction with their telecommunications services.
  • compare whether consumers from different sectors, such as the farm sector, SMEs and household consumers, have similar levels of satisfaction with their telecommunications services.

Information in the report is drawn from several sources including:

  • A telephone survey of approximately 2,000 farmers across the major agronomic regions in Australia (the AgScan survey) conducted between 5 April and 2 May 2007;
  • Sensis® Business Index telephone survey of 1,800 SMEs conducted between 24 April and 31 May 2007;
  • Roy Morgan Single Source survey of individual consumers aged over 14 years; and
  • Commissioned work from Woolcott Research, which undertook 12 focus group discussions of residential household consumers recruited from a random sample as well as quantitative research using 1,600 respondents.

ConclusionsWhile consumers in metropolitan and non-metropolitan areas expressed similar levels of satisfaction across all types of services, more focused research found that there were some regional differences in satisfaction with specific services. In particular, the lack of availability of ADSL2 and cable was cited as an issue in non-metropolitan areas. Farm consumers reported the highest levels of dissatisfaction with internet services at 26 per cent – the primary reason being the slow speed of their service.Consumers perceived internet services as an essential part of their lives – 70 per cent of household consumers surveyed said broadband access was a critical service for the future.In terms of voice services, the highest levels of satisfaction were found in relation to traditional services associated with the fixed telephone. The majority of consumers (68 per cent) felt their local telephone service provider mostly met or exceeded their expectations, with only 4 per cent stating that services rarely met their expectations.There was no significant regional difference between metropolitan and non-metropolitan users of local fixed-line telephone services, but there were some differences recorded for STD and international fixed-line services.Landline services are perceived by customers as a critical voice service – 74 per cent of household consumers rated them as a critical service for the future.For both SMEs and farm consumers, mobiles have allowed them to operate their businesses more flexibly and efficiently.Just over half (51 per cent) of farm customers were satisfied with their mobile services, 35 per cent dissatisfied and 14 per cent were neither satisfied nor dissatisfied. For household consumers, the level of satisfaction was higher at 66 per cent.Household, farm and SME consumers all expressed similar reasons when they were dissatisfied with their voice and internet services. These included consumer perceptions of:

  • unreliable service, faults and network problems with fixed-line and mobile phone;
  • limited mobile coverage;
  • cost of service, including line rental, mobile services and limited choice of provider;
  • limited availability and poor service quality of internet services; and
  • poor customer service for all telecommunications services.

This news release, along with more information on ACMA, is available from www.acma.gov.au/WEB/STANDARD/pc=PC_310989

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