One-in-four urban Indian mobile user has issues with operator: Study

PTI New Delhi | Updated on October 28, 2013 Published on October 28, 2013

Almost one-in-four urban Indian mobile user has issues like network, mobile Internet, billing and charging, with their service operator, but only half of these issues are reported, a study by telecom infrastructure company Ericsson revealed today.

According to Ericsson ConsumerLab’s study, Transforming Experiences, many of the issues are not being reported as the customer does not want to go through the hassle of contacting the operator.

“A quarter of all urban mobile users reported facing some sort of problem with their mobile operator and on average Indian users face up to six different issues on at least a weekly basis,” the survey said.

The three most common problems are network, mobile Internet or billing and charging related. Other issues include poor customer service, unsolicited calls or SMS that infringe privacy and bad experiences at the operator’s store or in accessing their website, it added.

The study was carried out in India between February-April 2013 with consumers owning mobile phones in the age group of 15—50 years. Nine group discussions and 4,003 face to face interviews were conducted across 16 urban cities.

Face to face interviews were also carried out with 200 customer care agents manning call centres for mobile operators across eight Indian cities.

“The reason for the lack of complaints is that customers do not want to go through the hassle of contacting the operator. The thought of long periods stuck on hold and then having to go through monotonous troubleshooting puts them off,” the survey study revealed.

Problems of billing and unfair balance deductions from prepaid accounts are an exception, but this is merely a reflection of the lack of trust consumers have in operators to correct issues that directly relate to their money, it said.

Social media data was also used and Ericsson sifted over 250 million tweets and 1.8 million posts across Facebook, Twitter, blogs and complaint forums to identify 100,000 key conversations on mobile broadband experience among Indian online users starting June 2011—Jan 2013.

The survey is representative of the views and opinions of 100 million urban mobile consumers, Ericsson said.

The survey said: “Consumers compare their experience with mobile operators to service companies from other industries and thus have different expectations, one—third of existing mobile users feel that operators are the most frustrating service companies to interact with.”

However, it revealed that there is no single wonder pill to drive consumer satisfaction across various interactions with mobile operators.

“But there are differences in what mobile users state is most important to them when interacting with their operator. In India, initial purchase process and customer service are rated as most important,” it added.

Published on October 28, 2013
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