Monday, 11 July 2011

Mobile phone providers fail on service and client complaints

SPAIN (FACUA/Agencies) FACUA-Consumers in Action presented recently the conclusions of its 5th National Survey about the quality of mobile phone companies (see table or view full report) in which more than 10.000 users took part. Given the many abuses and frauds that occur in telecommunications, the most denounced sector in FACUA for over a decade, only 2% of users believe that the authorities protect their rights, against 63% who believe that they protected at all and 35% who think they do very little. 52% of users, six points higher than the 2010 FACUA survey, reported that their operator charged them for a service or pricing method that they had not requested verbally or in writing. The evaluation of the three major companies is very negative,>>>

having deteriorated even further in the case of Movistar and Vodafone on various issues. Orange, however, experienced a slight improvement in some areas.

Almost half the users (47%) said they had complained about a problem to their operator's customer service department in the last six months. 55% of these received no satisfactory answer or solution, while one in three cases (32%) have never been answered.

More than 10.000 consumers
10.161 users from all over Spain took part in the survey, carried out between May 17 and June 2. 3.238 of  are Movistar customers; 3.029, Vodafone; 1.693, Orange; 1.114, Yoigo; 513, Simyo; 389, Pepephone and 185 from other mobile operators. 9.100 are on conctracts and 1.061 are prepaid.

Wrong charges and unsolicited services
36% of all users surveyed believe that on some occasion they have been charged for calls they never made. This is a worrying trend, particularly for customers on prepaid phones, which do not get itemized bills.

The percentage of customers mistrusting their bills has risen by 49% for Vodafone (+4 points compared to 2010); 43% for Movistar (+5); 34% for Orange (+2). Yoigo, on the other hand, goes down by 1 point to 11%; 8% for Simyo and 3% for Pepephone.

43% of users unsubscribing from a service have continued receiving bills after payment has been stopped. Of these, almost six out of ten (56%) had sent a fax, mail or email requesting to dar de baja (unsubscribe) and the rest said that the request had been accepted by telemarketers over the phone.

28% of the survey complained of frequent coverage problems of coverage, a figure that is unchanged from two previous surveys: Orange, 41%; Vodafone, 28%; Movistar, 26%; and Yoigo, 21%.

False advertising
54% of users think that the advertising and proposals made by their providers was, and is, not clear, and not related to the reality.

The percentage rises to 73% in the case of Movistar customers (+3 points from previous survey); 69% for Vodafone (+2); and 49% for Orange (+9) . Only 10% of Yoigo’s customers think its advertising is often false (-6 points), 5% for Simyo and 1% for Pepephone.

Furthermore, 40% of respondents report that on some occasion the company has applied a rate or promotion that does not meet what is psomised in its advertising.

53% of Movistar customers accuse the company of these irregularities (+4 points over last year). The percentage is 51% for Vodafone customers (+3); 36% for Orange (+2) and 13% fore Telstra (+2).

Customer Service
74% of users consider that the information on rates given by telemarketers, is not clear and correct.

In fact, 47% have contracted a rate or a promotion that doesn’t fit with the information given by the telemarketer when the service was contracted (+2 points over last survey).

Also, 42% of users report that, having contracted a specific rate or special promotion, it had not been applied when they received their bill (+2)

47% of respondents says that they had filed a complaint in the last six months. 55% of customers report that the company did not solve the problem raised in its last complaint. The percentage reaches 61% in the case of Vodafone, 55% of Movistar, 48% of Orange, 49% of Simyo, 47% of Yoigo and 33% in Pepephone.

In addition, 32% say they never have received an answer of their complaints, and 14% indicate that they had only received an answer after more than a month. 17% said that the answer was the same day and 11% was provided within forty-eight hours.

Current legislation requires telecommunications companies to provide a registration number or code when a complaint has been filed, to make easier for future identification. 48% of users who have made a complaint warn that telemarketers do not provide this, a percentage that has dropped only three points from the previous survey.

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