There will be a lot of consumer movement in the telco space with 46 per cent of Australians expected to change telco carriers in 2012, according to a report by Macquarie University.
Telco provider, amaysim, commissioned the research by Macquarie University which involved a number of focus groups and a survey of 1600 telco customers.
In the preliminary report titled State of the Mobile Nation, it highlighted 46 per cent of respondents were either likely or very likely to swap telco providers in 2012. The research attempts to explore the emotional side of how people feel about the telecommunications industry
Poor network coverage was cited as the main reason for potentially switching providers followed by poor customer service and the need for a new handset.
The 46 per cent figure is particularly high especially since only 16 per cent of Australians actually moved to another telco provider this year.
While not all the respondents that said they would leave their current provider may see that decision through, it is indicative of the current climate of discontent among telco customers.
Consumer complaints to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) is at an all time high and the telco industry is notorious for bad customer service though many players have made efforts to turn that reputation around. Still, compared to Europe, Australia performs poorly when it comes to customer satisfaction.
Several hurdles do prevent consumers from moving providers which mainly involves being locked into long-term contracts, the hassle of moving and general mistrust of any telcos, according to the report.
About 41 per cent of respondents thought about switching carriers but did not end up doing so this year.
“Look out for 2012. There is a big wave coming,” Macquarie University senior lecturer for marketing and management, Steven D’Alessandro, said. He was one of the researchers involved in compiling the report.
D’Alessandro expects 2012 to be the year customers finally act on their dissatisfaction and change telco providers.
“I think this industry has gone from bad, to worse to horrible,” amaysim chairman and founder, Rolf Hansen, said. “… The last 12-18 months have seen an increased level of real competition which will bring the big players on their toes.”
Amaysim recently celebrated its first birthday in Australia.
A full report on The State of the Mobile Nation is expected to be released early next year.