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Skinny and 2Degrees NZ's top mobile service providers

By Catherine Knowles
Mon 7 Mar 2016
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Kiwis are using their phone more than ever before, with nearly saying they can’t function without their mobile, according to the latest survey from Canstar Blue, the customer satisfaction company.

The nationwide survey of nearly 2,000 people, examined consumer satisfaction across both prepay and plan (post pay) mobile phone account providers as well as habits surrounding mobile phone use.

Jose George, Canstar New Zealand general manager, says that for many a mobile phone is like a portable personal assistant.

"The younger generations rely heavily on their mobile phones - 68% of 18-29 year olds say they couldn’t function without out their mobile, and 64% of 30-39 year olds agree. Even half of those in the 40 to 49 age range say they couldn’t function without their phone, and surprisingly even 17% of the over 70s use their phone for more than just keeping in contact," says George.

Those with mobile phone plans appear to rely on their phones more heavily (57%) than those with prepay accounts (41%), and those from Auckland (56%) are more reliant on their phones than those from other regions, the survey finds.

And the winners are

A mix of prepay (1,073) and plan (875) customers took part in the survey which asked each customer type to rate their respective provider across a range of variables.

Skinny took out top honours in the prepaid category and 2Degrees topped the field in the plan category. Each are two time winners in their respective categories, says George.

"Skinny scored five stars across the board this year in the prepaid category, just as it did in 2015, and 2Degrees also repeated its fine performance in the plan category. Consistent performance and striking the right balance between value for money and all aspects of service is paying off for these two providers."

The survey asked participants to rate their mobile phone account providers across the following variables:

  1. Value for money (i.e. is it worth the money paid): Plan and prepay customers
  2. Customer service (pre-sale, point of sale, post sale): Plan and prepay customers
  3. Accessibility of the plan provider (sales, service, via shop, online, telephone): Plan and prepay customers
  4. Billing (information provided on the bill, ease of understanding, accuracy): Plan and prepay customers
  5. Network coverage: Plan and prepay customers
  6. Assistance managing data: Plan customers only
  7. Overall satisfaction with the mobile phone provider: Plan and prepay customers

Keeping up to date with all things social

More than 40% check social media at work using their mobile, with men (43%) and women (45%) almost equally likely to check in on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.

Plan customers (52%) are more likely to check social media than prepay customers (38%), and the under 40s are the most likely to check their social media accounts regardless of account type. Eighteen to 29 year olds are two-and a half times more likely than the 50-59s to check social media at work, according to Canstar.

George says that all that checking of social media can burn through data allowances.

"Youth are heavy users of social media apps. 44% of 18-29s say that apps like Snapchat and Instagram consume the majority of their data, compared to 22% of 30 to 39s and 10% of 40 to 49s," he says.

Driving and mobile phones - 1 in 3 say it’s not dangerous

Despite the public education campaigns, a sizeable minority still believe that it is safe to use their mobile (texting, GPS, calls) while driving. The worst offenders are those 30 to 39, says George.

"NZTA says that drivers engaged in text messaging are 23 times more likely to be involved in a crash than drivers focused on the road. Most people know that being distracted while driving can be a serious safety issue, but there is a large group of drivers out there who just aren’t getting the message about not using mobile phones while driving," he says.

Drivers of satisfaction - plan and prepay customers have similar priorities

The survey examined drivers of satisfaction, and found that prepay and plan customers place nearly equal emphasis on customer service, network coverage, accessibility and billing information with prepay customers more focused on value for money than those on monthly plans.

Top drivers of satisfaction for plan customers are customer service (26%) and value for money (24%) and for prepay customers - value for money (36%) followed by customer service (27%).

Combined mobile phone habits by region: (exceptions only)

Auckland: Most likely to

  • Check social media at work using their mobile (51%)
  • Have dropped their mobile and cracked the screen (22%)
  • Say that their mobile phone has become like a portable personal assistant that they could no function without (56%)
  • Say that social media apps like Instagram and Snapchat consume the majority of their data (11%)

Otago: Least likely to

  • Say that their mobile phone has become like a portable personal assistant that they could no function without (35%)
  • Say that using mobile (texting, GPS, calls) while driving is not dangerous (25%)
  • Say that social media apps like Instagram and Snapchat consume the majority of their data (21%) (alongside Bay of Plenty)

Bay of Plenty: Least likely to

  • Check social media at work using their mobile (34%)
  • Have dropped their mobile and cracked the screen (16%)
  • Say that social media apps like Instagram and Snapchat consume the majority of their data (11%) (alongside Otago) 

Most likely to

  • Say that say that using mobile (texting, GPS, calls) while driving is not dangerous (38%) 
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