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Service leaves mobile users unhappy

The study reasons that cell phone companies are not upgrading their infrastructure to match their growing subscriber base, reports Venkatesh Ganesh.

india Updated: Nov 07, 2007 23:54 IST
Venkatesh Ganesh

India’s mobile phone users are not happy with the services provided by their service providers even as the country’s cell phone subscriber base grows rapidly.

With India adding 1 million subscribers on an average every month, the study titled 'India Mobile Services Usage and Satisfaction', conducted by research company IDC, reasons that cell phone companies were not upgrading their infrastructure to match their growing subscriber base leading to pressure on customer care services. As a result, the study said, customers were suffering.

Mobile phone users remained dissatisfied with customer care services of their service providers with waiting time to speak to a customer care executive averaging at 5.7 minutes, twice when compared to 2006, the highest in the last 6 years the survey has been conducted.

Services of 11 service providers across India were taken into consideration. The study also found that understanding the problem and promptness of customer care executives to address it emerged as one of the key issues. Customers were mostly not happy with the solution provided by executives of all cell phone companies.

Shailendra Gupta, senior manager, consumer research, IDC India, said, “It appears that service providers are not upgrading their infrastructure to match their growing customer base. This needs greater attention and the implementation of a well-defined customer care programme is likely to benefit service providers.”

Services of Tata Telecom and Reliance Communications were found to be below par as indicated by the satisfaction level set by industry regulator Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).

Customers changing their cellular service providers remain another area of concern according to the study. Despite an improvement in billing systems, which has been a huge problem area, customers were quick to change their service provider at a better offer from a competing network.

This trend, which has grown in the last year, was more prevalent in the B and C telecom circles. While customer loyalty has declined, the number of disloyal and opportunist consumers has risen from 18 per cent in 2006 to 20 per cent in 2007. It could increase further when the long-awaited number portability technology, which will allow a Bharti user to keep his number unchanged in case of a switch to Vodafone, is finally introduced in India, the study said.

venkatesh.ganesh@hindustantimes.com