Customers express overall satisfaction with telecommunications

A report released recently 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.