J.D. Power and Associates Reports: Customer Satisfaction with Wireless Service Providers and Wireless Phone Manufacturers in Canada Declines Significantly



    Fido and Virgin Mobile Rank Highest in Satisfying Canadian Wireless
    Service Customers; Sony Ericsson Ranks Highest among Mobile Phones

    TORONTO, Nov. 7 /CNW/ - Customer satisfaction with wireless service
providers and phone manufacturers in Canada has decreased considerably since
2006, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2007 Canadian Wireless
Customer Satisfaction Study(SM) released today.
    Now in its third year, the study examines perceptions of wireless
customers with their service, mobile phone and retail experience. Rankings are
provided for contract service and prepaid service providers as well as for
mobile phone providers. Five factors are measured to determine customer
satisfaction with contract service and prepaid service: call quality, billing,
service plan options, cost of service and customer service. Mobile phone
satisfaction is measured based on customer ratings of five factors: features,
physical design, durability, battery and operation.
    Overall customer satisfaction with contract service this year declines by
18 points, from an average of 675 on a 1,000-point scale in 2006 to 657 in
2007. In the prepaid service segment, overall customer satisfaction in 2007
averages 652, down from 666 in 2006, while overall satisfaction with mobile
phones declines from an average of 714 in 2006 to 702 in 2007.
    "Customer expectations are a moving target, and what works one year may
not be enough to satisfy consumers the following year, which means that it is
essential for wireless service providers and phone manufacturers to
continually strive to find new ways to surprise and delight their customers,"
said Charles Schade, senior director of research at J.D. Power and Associates.

    Contract Service Segment

    For the first time since the inception of the study, national provider
Fido ranks highest in customer satisfaction among contract service providers
with an overall index score of 700. Fido performs particularly well in service
plan options and cost of service. SaskTel and Aliant follow Fido in the
rankings, achieving scores of 696 and 681, respectively. SaskTel performs well
in the remaining factors that contribute to satisfaction in the contract
service segment: call quality, billing, and customer service.
    "Although an array of new service plan features, bundling options, and
ways to reduce package prices have been made available in 2007, customers
indicate that they are dissatisfied with the cost of these services," said
Schade. "One reason for this may be the media attention that has increased the
visibility of innovative service plan pricing in the United States, which the
media contends is considerably lower than in Canada."
    The study finds that resolution of problems in a timely manner gives
wireless service providers an opportunity to improve on customer satisfaction.
Among customers who say they contacted their provider to report a problem,
those who report their issue was resolved in a timely manner provide overall
satisfaction scores that are 171 points higher, on average, than do customers
who say that their issues were not resolved in a reasonable time. In addition,
scores of customers whose issues were resolved in a timely manner are also
higher, on average, than those of customers who didn't contact their provider
to report a problem. In other words, customers respond very positively to
their wireless providers, even if they experience problems, as long as their
issue is given immediate attention.

    Prepaid Service Segment

    Virgin Mobile (732) ranks highest among prepaid service providers for a
third consecutive year, performing particularly well in service plan options,
billing, call quality, and customer service. Following Virgin Mobile in the
ranking are Telus Mobility (690) and PC Mobile (682), respectively. PC Mobile
performs particularly well in the cost of service factor.
    The study finds that the average monthly fee paid by contract customers
is $67, compared with $25 for prepaid customers, which is primarily due to the
fact that prepaid customers make considerably fewer calls per month (29, on
average) compared with contract customers (who average 81 calls per month).

    Mobile Phones Satisfaction

    Sony Ericsson ranks highest among mobile phone brands with a score of
728, performing particularly well in features, physical design, battery, and
operation. Sony Ericsson is followed in the rankings by BlackBerry (721) and
Sanyo (713). BlackBerry performs well in the operation factor, while Sanyo
performs particularly well in durability.
    "The challenge for mobile phone manufacturers in 2007 has been a slowdown
in the introduction of new features and concepts," said Schade. "For example,
in 2006, the innovative designs of the Motorola Razr with super-slim design
and the LG Chocolate were perceived by customers as being particularly new and
exciting. With features such as cameras and MP3 players becoming mainstream,
there have been very few novel breakthrough technologies in 2007 that managed
to impress customers."
    The 2007 Canadian Wireless Customer Satisfaction Study is based on
responses from nearly 6,000 mobile phone users. Respondents were surveyed in
September 2007.

    About J.D. Power and Associates

    Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power and Associates is
an ISO 9001-registered global marketing information services firm operating in
key business sectors including market research, forecasting, performance
improvement, training and customer satisfaction. The firm's quality and
satisfaction measurements are based on responses from millions of consumers
annually. For more information on car reviews and ratings, car insurance,
health insurance, cell phone ratings, and more, please visit JDPower.com. J.D.
Power and Associates is a business unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies.

    About The McGraw-Hill Companies

    Founded in 1888, The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE:   MHP) is a leading
global information services provider meeting worldwide needs in the financial
services, education and business information markets through leading brands
such as Standard & Poor's, McGraw-Hill Education, BusinessWeek and J.D. Power
and Associates. The Corporation has more than 280 offices in 40 countries.
Sales in 2006 were $6.3 billion. Additional information is available at
http://www.mcgraw-hill.com.

    No advertising or other promotional use can be made of the information in
this release without the express prior written consent of J.D. Power and
Associates. www.jdpower.com/corporate

    
                  NOTE: Three charts available upon request
    





For further information:

For further information: Media Relations Contacts: Lynn Bisnaire, Cohn &
Wolfe Toronto, Canada, (647) 259-3267, lynn.bisnaire@cohnwolfe.ca; John Tews,
J.D. Power and Associates, Troy, Mich., (248) 312-4119, john.tews@jdpa.com;
Syvetril Perryman, J.D. Power and Associates, Westlake Village, Calif., (805)
418-8103, syvetril.perryman@jdpa.com

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