Despite making much of its network improvements and claiming to have slowed down customer churn rates, Vodafone Hutchison Australia still has the least satisfied customers, according to a Roy Morgan survey.
A survey of 13,007 people conducted in April found that Internode customers were most happy with their internet service provider (ISP), with 92 per cent of subscribers either "very satisfied" or "fairly satisfied". Rival telcos iiNet, TPG and Optus all achieved above the industry average of 73 per cent, while Telstra, AAPT, Dodo, Vodafone and 3 all fell below the average.
Vodafone's poor ranking with customers comes after the telco's infamous 3G network issues at the end of last year. According to the Vodafone's CEO Nigel Dews in May, customer churn rate peaked at around 2 per cent of its 7.5 million customers, but had subsequently gone down to 1.8 per cent.
While the above graph paints a somewhat negative picture for VHA, Roy Morgan's director of mobile, internet and technology said Dodo customers were still the most dissatisfied overall.
"Although Dodo has seen consistent improvements in the number of people that are satisfied with its service, it still has one of the highest rates of dissatisfied customers amongst service providers. In the six months to April 2011, an average of 13 per cent indicated they were dissatisfied with Dodo. Telstra on the other hand has a dissatisfaction level of only 10 per cent."
One of the most interesting things about the results is that of the companies canvassed, Vodafone is the only telco that has yet to offer a fixed-line broadband service. The company has no plans to offer any fixed-line services over the existing copper network for the time being, but has signed on to sell services over the National Broadband Network (NBN).
When the network outages came to a head for the telco over summer, Vodafone staff initially denied there was a problem with the network. It was this poor customer service, Dews admitted, that had caused the company the most grief. He said that the company had learned a "painful lesson" from the experience.
Moving to the NBN offers Vodafone an advantage in that all telcos are essentially using the same network, so it will be a level playing field. What will be most important will be the level of service it will be able to offer its customers. If Internode and iiNet can get such high levels of customer satisfaction for the services they provide operating over Telstra's copper network, a global company like Vodafone should have no trouble improving its customer services as it gets on the NBN bandwagon.