The latest research from peak telecommunications consumer body, ACCAN, has found 58 per cent of Australians now see their mobile phone as their number one communications device.
Only 29 per cent nominated fixed line phones.
The research highlighted a generational gap, with 77 per cent of younger people preferring mobiles while more than half of people aged 55 and over said their fixed line was their main service.
The first annual ACCAN National Consumer Perceptions Survey, which is being presented at the ACCAN 2012 National Conference being held in Sydney, also revealed that many Australians are reluctant to switch providers.
Almost a third of respondents said they had never switched telecommunications providers. Almost half had been with their provider for five years or more.
“It’s surprising that so many people have been with the same telecommunications provider for five years or more, especially at a time when there have never been more providers offering competitively priced voice and internet services in Australia,” ACCAN chief executive, Teresa Corbin, said.
“We’re going to take a closer look at why people don’t actively participate in the market by shopping around. If you’ve been with the same provider for a long time, it’s worth checking to see what other deals are on offer.
"People are actively trying to save money on other utilities like energy, but for some reason when it comes to telecommunications services many people just stay with the same provider.”
The survey also revealed a gap in the attitudes and behaviours of smartphone users and non‐smartphone users.
More than three‐quarters of those who don’t use smartphones think that others spend too much time on them. Two‐thirds of this group said they don’t like others using them in public because it makes them unaware of what is going on around them.
Funnily enough, more than half of smartphone users admit they pay less attention to what’s going on around them while using the device - 28 per cent of people said they liked using their smartphones in public places to deliberately block out what is going on around them.
Among smartphone users, just over half said they do not monitor their data usage (52 per cent) which ACCAN said can lead to customers receiving unexpectedly high bills, known as “bill shock”.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE RESEARCH
The research was conducted by Ipsos Social Research Institute between July 16 and August 8, 2012. The sample was 800 people aged 18 years and over from across Australia.
- 58% see a mobile as their main communications service. For the 18‐34 age group, it’s 77%.
- 54% of older people (55 and over) say the fixed line phone is their main service. With the 18‐34 age group it’s only 8%.
- 46% have been with the same provider on their main communications service for 5 or more years. It’s even higher at 65% for those aged 55 and over.
- When asked about the last time they had a problem, 76% said they made a complaint to their service provider. People aged 18‐34 years were less likely than the average to make a complaint (66%).
- 36% of those who had a problem and complained to their service provider were dissatisfied with the response to the last complaint
- A healthy 46% said they would take a problem to the TIO or ‘the Ombudsman’ if they couldn’t resolve a problem with their service provider
- The biggest reason for unexpectedly high bills was ‘excess usage charges’ or not monitoring usage.
- In regards to using the internet on their mobile:
(1) Just over half(52%) say they do not keep track of their data usage.
(2) 72% indicated that they think their service is reliable enough to do everything they need to do.
(3) Two-thirds of respondents( 67%) indicated that they think their service is fast enough to do everything they need to do.
(4) The majority of respondents (61%) agree that mobile internet download speeds are getting better.
- Over half of respondents believe that they pay less attention to what is going on around them when they use their smartphone or tablet (53%). Similar proportions said they never switch it off (58%) and they sleep next to it (54%).
- More than three quarters (77%) think that others spend too much time on them. Almost two thirds (65%) agreed that they don’t like others using them in public because it makes them unaware of what is going on around them. Only 17% feel like they are missing out by not having a ‘smart’ mobile device.