Price and value for money were among the main factors prompting Australians to change internet service providers (ISPs) in the past six months, according to consumer lobby group, Choice.
New research by Choice Australia has found that 29 per cent of those surveyed changed providers for cheaper plans, 27 per cent changed for a better data allowance plan, 23 per cent changed in search of NBN services and 21 per cent due to connection speeds.
The Choice survey of local ISP customers, broadly speaking, revealed the level of satisfaction Australians have with their current ISPs and what makes them change providers.
A total of 1910 Australians were interviewed by consumer lobby group Choice with providers being scored out of 100 points. Overall, 28 per cent of people surveyed are using NBN services.
Of the providers offering NBN services iiNet had an overall score of 81 points, followed by Optus with 75. Telstra, which also includes Bigpond and Belong, came last with 70 points.
An Optus spokesperson told ARN that whilst it is pleased to see that overall satisfaction for its customers was above average, the survey results outline a number of significant issues that internet service providers need to address.
“Optus believes that consumers want and need more information about what to expect from their broadband services including the factors that affect network performance such as the type of network connection; the type of modem or wireless router being used; distance from the network exchange or NBN node, which affects how far data has to travel; and the number of people using the network in an area or household at the one time.”
In the last six months, 60 per cent of people on the NBN had issues with their provider with 44 percent of the issues being related to slow speeds, the Choice research found.
Some respondents commented on the services being provided. "Alan" from South Australia who uses the NBN through Optus said: “Reliable connection and generally very good speeds.”
"Peter" from New South Wales said about TPG: “Dropouts when streaming movies are really annoying. The NBN is not as good as our ADSL 2+ it replaced.”
Internode was the ISP with the highest general satisfaction score with 81 points and Dodo was last with 69 points. Telstra was the second last and had the lowest scores on value for money of all the providers.
Dodo and Telstra also had the lowest results in technical support satisfaction with 67 and 69 points respectively.
A Telstra spokesperson told ARN: “We know value and a great network experience is really important for our customers. So we will continue to invest more than any other Australian telco to provide the best network experience, offer plans with generous allowances that meet the changing ways people use their service and include a number of valuable extras customers can’t get anywhere else.”
Telstra is no stranger to complaints - unsurprising given its position as Australia's largest telco. In May, the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman's (TIO's) quarterly report on consumer complaints put Telstra, along with Optus, at the top of the complaints tally, with both receiving 9.3 complaints per 10,000 customers.
iiNet, iPrimus, Optus/OptusNet and TPG performed above average of 73 points for overall satisfaction.
With the NBN still on its way, most Australians still count on ADSL/ADSL2 or 2+/cable providers. On that front, Internode again had the top score with 78 points but was closely followed by iiNet &77), Optus/OptusNet (74) and TPG (73).
Speed and performance are the main problems among those still on ADSL, the report revealed.
Article updated at 11:54AM on 7 July 2017 to include comments from Telstra.