04 November 2015 ~ 0 Comments

MVNOs top customer service poll

customer service poll

A recent poll has shown that customers massively prefer smaller virtual mobile networks to the main players. The recent study asked users to rate the customer service and showed that industry veterans such as Vodafone and EE motivated the worst mobile networks in the UK while smaller organisations such as Giffgaff, Tesco Mobile and ASDA Mobile headed the pack.

The poll was carried out by moneysavingexpert.com and asked 10,620 users to rate their mobile provider’s customer service on a scale from “great” through “okay” to “poor”. The network that topped the table was Giffgaff scoring 65% “great responses” with only 5% of their users rating customer service as “poor”. Close behind in second, was Tesco Mobile with an impressive satisfaction rating of 63%. Third placed was ASDA Mobile and coming fourth was Virgin Mobile. It’s worth noting that all of these networks are MVNOs that actually run using other networks’ infrastructure.

Meanwhile, lingering down in last place was Vodafone scoring “great” in only 20% of responses. Perhaps worse was the fact that 28% of their customers rated the service as “poor”. Barely escaping the booby prize was it EE (including its Orange and T-Mobile brands) which shockingly only was scored “great” by 22% of their users.

The other two main mobile networks are Three and O2, who had to be satisfied with mid-table mediocrity being rated great by 40% and 33% of their userbase respectively. Both had relatively high numbers of “poor” verdicts with 12% of their users giving them the lowest grade.

The poll was especially surprising since MVNOs were evaluated so well. For example, ASDA Mobile actually run’s on EE’s backbone yet their “great” score was 54% vs 22% and only 14% of users decided their service was “poor” compared to 24% for EE.

Analysing the results, it should be clear that you don’t have to go with a big name to get great customer service. And just because you’re paying more with a major network, doesn’t mean you should expect to get a superior experience. ASDA Mobile has always been marketed as a budget network yet they completely outperformed their host network, EE, despite using the same infrastructure. Here’s the results in full:

Rank Network Great OK Poor
1 Giffgaff 65% 30% 5%
2 Tesco Mobile 63% 33% 4%
3 ASDA Mobile 54% 31% 14%
4 Virgin Mobile 42% 44% 14%
5 Three 40% 48% 12%
6 O2 33% 55% 12%
7 BT Mobile 36% 43% 21%
8 Talk Mobile 31% 50% 19%
9 EE 22% 54% 24%
10 Vodafone 20% 52% 28%

If you’re not satisfied by your network’s service no matter what their ranking in the table above, remember it’s really easy to switch mobile network. And you can even keep your same number too. We always recommend going for PAYG or SIM-only deals because they are better value for money and you’re not locked in to a network you hate for years at a time.

Where did your current mobile network come in this consumer satisfaction poll? Do you think it’s a fair rating or do you disagree with the judgement? And which network would you switch to if you could?

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02 November 2015 ~ 1 Comment

BT takeover of EE given provisional clearance by CMA

ee bt takeover

BT is set to become an even more dominant player in the fixed-line phones, broadband, mobile and TV market. The proposed merger of two of the UK’s largest telecommunications companies in a £12.5bn deal which sees the BT Group in a takeover of mobile phone network EE, has been given provisional clearance by the CMA, the competition watchdog.

The Competition and Markets Authority said the deal, agreed in February, was “not expected to result in a substantial lessening of competition” and did not propose any changes in the terms of the deal.

“The group does not provisionally believe that, in a dynamic and evolving sector, it is more likely than not that BT/EE will be able to use its position to damage competition or the interests of consumers,” John Wooton, chair of the CMA inquiry, said.

The CMA said the two firms operated largely in separate areas “with BT strong in supplying fixed communications services (voice, broadband and pay TV), EE strong in supplying mobile communications services, and limited overlap between them in both categories of service”.

BT chief executive Gavin Patterson said: “The combined BT and EE will be good for the UK, providing investment and ensuring consumers and businesses can benefit from further innovation in a highly competitive market”.

The market response to the announcement was immediate as shares in BT rose 4% to 470p within hours of the announcement.Telecoms giant BT announced in February that it had agreed to acquire EE with the deal expected to be completed next March.

The takeover more than trebles BT’s retail customers adding the 10 million it already had to EE’s 24.5 million direct mobile subscribers. BT has a tight hold on broadband services in the UK, being both the most significant provider of broadband services as well as the owner of most of the broadband infrastructure in the UK through its Openreach division. It also provides the capacity to mobile operators to transfer data from phone masts to other networks.

Openreach is still an ongoing concern for BT’s competitors. They would have preferred to see Openreach removed from BT so that it could operate completely independently. This matter is currently being reviewed by UK regulator Ofcom.

The deal would allow BT to offer customers so-called quad-play packages of TV, fixed-line phone, broadband and mobile, which competitors like Virgin Media and TalkTalk already do. The approval, albeit provisional, is expected to anger competitors who see the deal allowing for the creation of a dominant player across all telecoms sectors.

Through this huge takeover, BT is acknowledging the rapid growth of mobile connectivity and the inevitability of a convergence of fixed-line and mobile broadband. The likely scenario in a few years would be that customers would subscribe to a single data connectivity package which would give them access to communication channels inside and outside their homes through a combination of wired broadband, WiFi and 4G (or 5G?).

In reality, we’d argue that BT had no choice but to do this deal to secure its own future viability.

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06 March 2013 ~ 0 Comments

Best Posts: February Round-up

feb calendarWe’re now well into March and it’s time to have a look over the previous month’s news from the world of mobile phones.

In February we’ve had some interesting technology headlines. The month started off with lots of new Android phone rumours and the announcement of HTC’s new M7 flagship smartphone. The HTC CEO Peter Chou revealed it before Chinese New Year and took some photos with its massive 13 MP camera. It was later revealed that the official name will be the HTC One and it will come with a 1080p display, a quad-core 1.7 GHz CPU and 2 GB of RAM.

Other Android phones announced were the new Intel x86 powered phones and the Samsung Galaxy IV strongly hinted for an April (or even March) release. Just in time for Android Key Lime Pie which is due soon after.

We also got rumours about new Windows Phone devices, the Lumia 520 and Lumia 720. Both will have 1 GHz CPUs and half a gig of RAM and will be fully announced later at Mobile World Conference.

February saw iTunes hit 25 billion song sales. That’s a lot of albums. In other Apple news, the Exchange calendars bug was fixed with the release of iOS 6.1.2.

RIM also launched their new version of their mobile OS, BlackBerry 10. They also announced their new handsets, the traditional Q10 and the touchscreen Z10.

But enough of that. Continuing our round-up, here’s our selection of the very best articles and news stories from February. If you missed them the first time round, they’re well worth going back to take a look at.

Bill Gates: We were wrong about the iPhone

In this post we looked at an interview with ex-Mircosoft CEO and tech kingpin Bill Gates. In it, he hinted that Microsoft is willing to admit that they completely misjudged the smartphone market. Microsoft were initially very dismissive of the iPhone when it first came out but since its massive success, they have been desperately trying to play catch up in the mobile field. And not just because they are struggling with the dwindling importance of their traditional strong point – desktop computing. Only time will tell whether they are too late.

4G auction falls short and 4G auction winners and losers

It’s been a long time coming by Ofcom finally completed the final round of the much-anticipated 4G mobile spectrum auction. In the end, there were a couple of surprises but some people were most shocked by the fact it raised over £1 billion less than expected. We contributed some analysis as to why the auction was such a flop and how this is going to affect George Osborne in the run up to the next budget. Our other article went into more detail about just how much spectrum each company bought, whether you’re likely to get a better signal now and how it shifts the field for the nationwide roll-out of 4G services.

Data to be more important than voice in 5 years

Finally, thanks to a report from the GSM Association we took a peek into the future where mobile data is predicted to change the way we live. The pervasiveness of high-speed mobile internet access around the world is expected to make a huge difference to our lives especially in healthcare, transport and education. Could there really be savings of £250 billion just from mobile phone networks?

We hoped you liked our look back at the month of February 2013 and checked out our favourite articles. What were your favourite news stories?

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