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Singapore consumers satisfied with telco services, says IDA poll

Monday, October 20, 2014 - 15:52

CONSUMERS are generally satisfied with telecom services in Singapore, but service providers here were urged by the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) on Monday to continue focusing on customer engagement and service.

The Consumer Awareness and Satisfaction Survey (CASS) commissioned by the IDA said all telco services scored above 3.5 out of a perfect score of 5 (denoting "very satisified") for the three factors of quality of service, price competitiveness of the service offerings and variety of services.

The survey, which covered 1,500 respondents interviewed door-to-door between December 2013 and March 2014, found consumers to be very aware of the terms of telecom services, which would help them avoid incurring unnecessary fees and charges.

In terms of awareness of early-termination charges, 94 per cent of subscribers to mobile telephone services, 80 per cent of subscribers to fixed broadband services and 94 per cent of subscribers to mobile broadband services were aware of such charges.

Awareness of the terms and conditions for mobile data roaming was also high. About 69 per cent of mobile broadband subscribers were aware of the international mobile-roaming charges of their telecom service provider; 82 per cent of mobile broadband subscribers were aware of the local data usage bill cap relevant to their mobile data service, and 62 per cent were aware of the amount they would be charged for excess data usage on their mobile broadband plan.

About 90 per cent were aware that they could disable international data roaming.

Respondents were generally less satisfied with hotline waiting time than they were about other aspects of service such as the time taken to resolve complaints and the competency of customer service officer. About a third (33 per cent) of the respondents suggested that service providers look into reducing hotline waiting times, despite satisfaction with hotline waiting times having improved since 2010 for all three major telecom service providers.

Leong Keng Thai, the IDA's deputy chief executive and director-general of Telecoms and Post, called upon service providers to look beyond traditional customer-service solutions such as telephone hotlines and come up with innovative alternatives. They could, for example, use live chat software solutions, he suggested.

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