Virgin Mobile tops user satisfaction

By : |January 15, 2009 0

NEW DELHI, INDIA: A nation-wide mobile users’ satisfaction survey, conducted by Voice&Data, reveals that Virgin Mobile topped user satisfaction in 2008 while players like Airtel, BPL, Idea, MTNL and Spice fell short of the benchmark set by telecom watchdog Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).

Consumer satisfaction levels improved in 2008 compared to last year as five operators (out of 11) crossed the TRAI user satisfaction benchmark against three service providers in 2007, according to the online survey conducted by Voice&Data in association with JuxtConsult.

A sample of 1,318 mobile users in India was quizzed on various factors to determine overall user satisfaction.

BSNL and Vodafone were in close competition for the second spot with scores of 91.96 percent and 91.97 percent, respectively.

The two other players to cross the TRAI benchmark of 90 percent were Reliance Communications and Tata Indicom. Last year’s top scorer Aircel slipped from 92.23 percent to 85.44 percent this year, according to the online survey results.

"A side-effect of the scorching pace of growth of the mobile phones in India is the rapid drop in quality of service. Five major players—Airtel, BPL, Idea, MTNL, Spice—have yet to touch their previous best score achieved in 2005. This is a cause for major concern," said Prasanto K Roy, Chief Editor, CyberMedia.

"We see rapidly declining quality of service stemming from poor network availability and lack of customer care as the top issues for the mobile players," Roy added.

"This is unfortunate because millions of low-ARPU users may tolerate poor QoS, it is the high-usage customers who bump up the ARPU that are likely to be a lot less tolerant of poor service. That is dangerous for the operators."

The survey conducted during October-November recorded user satisfaction on five broad parameters – pre-sales and sales, network availability, VAS, customer care, and billing.

Expectedly, each of the service providers exceeded 90 percent user satisfaction benchmark on the pre-sales and sales parameters with Virgin Mobile topping the list followed by MTNL, leaving behind Airtel and Vodafone.

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