While mobile service providers might be spending crores on advertising and other promotional activities, users are not too happy with them. A nation-wide survey carried out by ‘Voice&Data’ magazine shows a large scale drop in satisfaction of the subscribers with respect to most service providers during 2006 compared to the previous year.
The drop in satisfaction levels cuts across circles and cities irrespective of operators. Of the 10 operators, only Aircel and Tata Teleservices have improved their satisfaction level in 2006.
Sharing details of the 4th Mobile Users’ Satisfaction Survey, Prasanto K Roy, Chief Editor, ‘Voice&Data’, said, “With the Indian telecom industry adding nearly seven lakh connections every month, the operators have not put in matching efforts to increase the satisfaction level.”
According to Roy, one reason for the drop in satisfaction level was the sudden increase in the average waiting time to speak to customer care representatives, varying from 4.31 minutes for BPL to 9.25 minutes for Spice telecom.
Nationally, only two service providers – Tata Indicom and Bharti Airtel – clocked an acceptable customer satisfaction level of over 90 per cent set as a benchmark by TRAI. The services levels deteriorated in the metro circles compared to the A, B and C circles. In the A circles, four operators exceeded the telecom regulator benchmark, while in B and C circles, there has been an improvement with three operators posting a satisfaction level higher than the TRAI benchmark.
Among public sector service providers MTNL recorded the biggest drop in satisfaction levels. The private telecom players who recorded a drop in satisfaction levels included Bharti Airtel, BPL, Hutch, Idea, Reliance and Spice.
However, users voted Bharti Airtel as top of the mind brand among service providers. Nokia emerged as the top of the mind brand in the mobile handset category.
The top three most popular mobile service features included SMS (91.8 per cent), roaming (63.1 per cent), ring tone downloads (58.4 per cent). Among the least popular services were ticket booking (18.9 per cent), contests and promotions (24.6 per cent) and mobile banking (28.6 per cent).
The online survey, which was conducted in October-November 2006, involved 4,524 respondents across 51 Indian cities in 23 states.