Singaporeans are more satisfied with teleco services compared to 4 years ago, IMDA study finds

The three major service providers in Singapore.
Singapore Press Holdings

People in Singapore are more satisfied with telecommunication services now compared to four years ago, according to results of a survey commissioned by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA).

The Consumer Awareness and Satisfaction Survey (CASS) was conducted between March and May 2018, and involved about 1,500 households representative of Singapore’s population. The last CASS survey was conducted in 2014.

Telcos were given higher scores across five services – fixed line telephone, mobile telephone, fixed broadband, mobile data service and international roaming services. All five achieved ratings of above 3.68 for “quality of service”, on a scale of 1 (very dissatisfied) to 5 (very satisfied).

The area that recorded the highest jump in satisfaction was mobile data service. Its mean satisfaction score for quality of service rose from 3.63 in 2014 to 3.98 in 2018.

Satisfaction levels across three aspects – quality of service, price competitiveness and variety of services available – of mobile data services increased, and were fairly consistent across all the service providers.

IMDA

Price competitiveness

When it came to price competitiveness, respondents were also more satisfied with key telecommunication services. But there was one exception – fixed line telephone services, which saw a slight decline in its mean score for price competitiveness.

The mean score for price competitiveness of international roaming services increased the most, from 3.00 in 2014 to 3.25 in 2018.

Customer care

For customer care services, there was an improvement in the mean satisfaction scores across the three major service providers in Singapore – namely, Singtel, StarHub, and M1.

The improvement includes complaints that were resolved more quickly and shorter customer service hotline waiting times. Most service providers also saw an increase in respondents’ satisfaction with the competency of customer service officers this year.

Despite that, consumers indicated that they still hoped for improvements in these three areas. They specifically said that they hoped to see a reduction in hotline waiting times; more prompt and effective follow-up to complaints; and an enhanced competency and product knowledge of customer service officers.

Mobile coverage

And there’s one more thing that they hoped would improve – mobile coverage in tunnels. They were relatively less satisfied with coverage available in tunnels compared to coverage in other places, despite an increase in the mean satisfaction score from 2.92 in 2014 to 3.16 in 2018.

In contrast, mobile coverage outdoors – including in parks, at home and in offices – saw mean satisfaction scores of above 4.00.

More elderly and low-income households are using broadband services 

IMDA also found that more people in Singapore were using mobile and fixed broadband services in 2018. SIM-only mobile plans, introduced in 2015, now make up one in six of overall mobile plan sign-ups.

Those who were “traditionally less digitally connected” – including those aged 60 and above, or staying in one- to two- room HDB flats – are also starting to use these services, IMDA said.

Today, about six in ten consumers aged 60 and above have mobile data services subscription, a sharp rise from 25 per cent just four years ago.

Similarly, about 60 per cent of consumers staying in one- to two- room HDB flats subscribed to fixed broadband services this year, compared to 30 per cent in 2014.

More consumers are also using the largest free Wi-Fi network in Singapore – Wireless@SG  – to access the internet. The proportion rose from 20.8 per cent in 2014 to 43.5 per cent this year.

IMDA said that this followed enhancements to the login process which included the extension of automatic sign-in to non-SIM devices such as tablets.

Wireless@SG has more than 20,000 public hotspots across the island.

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