Mobile phone providers – a consumer’s view July 13, 2015

Mobile phone providers – a consumer’s view

What is the most important thing when looking for a mobile phone provider? Is it coverage or price, quality of service, or something else?

Recently, we asked Cafestudy members what they expected from their mobile phone companies, and what was important to them in a mobile phone provider. For all respondents, it is clear that customer service is important (Virgin Mobile is mentioned specifically as excelling in this area), as is a choice of plans. Prepaid budget option Amaysim is well reviewed, with consumers liking its low cost combined with the wide coverage of the Optus network. Not doing so well is Vodafone, which many say has issues with reception/coverage.

In general, when it comes to choosing mobile phone providers, consumers can be grouped into one of three categories:

1. Price conscious. This group tends to shop around. They consider a variety of providers, carefully weighing up cost vs. coverage. They are also the most likely to switch providers – with a low level of loyalty they are easily tempted by better deals elsewhere. Amaysim is popular with this group, being described as a simple cheap option.

2. Coverage is more important than price. Telstra is the provider of choice for this group. They don’t see why you would sacrifice a reliable connection for the sake of a few dollars. Along with Telstra, Optus is also popular. Many have tried both Optus and Telstra, and settled with the one that works best for them reception-wise, despite the cost. The key thing here is the loyalty to these big providers because of the coverage or perception that the coverage is better, despite the fact that often, charges are higher.

3. No choice. This group live in rural areas, and either feel lucky to have any kind of coverage at all, or feel irate about their situation. As one respondent points out; “Those with mobile reception at home are indeed fortunate. Regardless of provider, we have no reception whatsoever.having to drive over 3kms before we can even get a two-bar signal.” This group would be open to switching to new providers, but the coverage issue keeps them from doing so. More often than not, they can only get one provider in their area so have no choice but to stay with them.

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