ACMA report claims high satisfaction rates for telco services

Rural sector rate Internet services as inferior

Four out of five Australians are satisfied with their telecommunications services, according to an Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) report released today.

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.

ACMA chairman, Chris Chapman, said 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 (SMB) owners.

Farm-based consumers reported the highest levels of dissatisfaction with mobile phone services at 35 per cent, citing problems such as poor call quality, drop-outs and interference.

More than a quarter or 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 (ISP) and the majority at 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.

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 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.

- with Sandra Rossi

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