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Consumer aspects in telecoms. Peter Lundy MSc DIC BSc(Eng) Information and Communications Technology consultant November 2008. Agenda. How customers are served How customers choose a telecoms service How are consumers informed? The role of consumer/ business associations.

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consumer aspects in telecoms

Consumer aspects in telecoms

Peter Lundy MSc DIC BSc(Eng)

Information and Communications Technology consultant

November 2008

  • How customers are served
  • How customers choose a telecoms service
  • How are consumers informed?
  • The role of consumer/ business associations
how customers are served
How customers are served

Types of telecoms services

  • Fixed services
  • Mobile services
  • Broadband

Types of customers

  • Consumers
  • Small and Medium Businesses
  • Large Businesses
consumer services
Consumer services
  • Broadband
  • Vision
  • Home phone
  • Call plans
  • Mobile
  • Shop
  • Phone bill
small and medium business services
Small and medium business services
  • Broadband internet
  • Phone services
  • Mobile
  • Networking
  • Equipment
  • IT services
  • “Peace of mind”
large businesses and public sector services
Large businesses and public sector services
  • Conferencing
  • Contact centres and telemarketing
  • Internet and online
  • Lines and call services
  • Mobile
  • Network infrastructure
  • Phones and faxes
  • Telephony systems and hosted voice networks
how are customers informed
How are customers informed?
  • TV advertising
  • Newspapers/ magazines
  • Consumer surveys
  • Business journals
  • Over-the-phone selling
  • Websites (e.g.) TelecomsAdvice

service packaging double play triple play and quad play
Service packaging:(“double-play”, “triple-play” and “quad-play”)
    • 9.5m customers
    • fixed line, broadband, digital TV, mobile
    • available on one bill from 2007
    • 8.1m customers
    • digital TV, broadband, fixed calls
    • 17m customers
    • broadband, mobile, fixed line calls
    • digital TV
  • BT
    • 16m customers (retail)
    • fixed line calls, mobile, broadband, television, internet
    • priced separately
basic requirements of customers
Basic requirements of customers
  • Basic voice…. plus mobile…. plus internet…. plus TV… ??
  • To get what they want as easily as possible:
    • to enquire what is available:
      • prices and package deals
      • delivery dates
    • to place an order quickly and easily
    • to report a problem
    • receiving a bill and making payment
    • to change to another tariff plan
    • complaining
    • changing to a new provider
flexible tariff plans
Flexible tariff plans
  • The old “meter pulse” method of charging is now a dinosaur
  • To bring “packaged services” to the market, billing systems are now re-configurable in real time
  • The service provider can guarantee to the subscriber that they will always be on the best available tariff plan
  • Tariff plans;
    • Services that are separately priced
    • Service packages - “bundled”
    • “all you can eat” – flat rate with unlimited usage
example tariff and billing plans
Example tariff and billing plans
  • Example tariff plan (a business with 100 employees):
    • each employee has a company-provided mobile phone
    • the company pays under a contract plan during working hours
    • each employee pays (using pre-paid or a package deal) outside working hours
  • The company specifies how it wants its bill presented (e.g. by department, by call type, by employee usage)
  • Each employee can incorporate personal package deals including home (fixed) line, internet and TV, “family & friends” etc, all on one personalised bill
does service matter
Does service matter?

“Yes, because if something does go wrong or you have a query, you do not want to be left with no service or a high bill because you cannot get through to customer services”

“And it is not just about giving you a helping hand. It is about looking after existing customers, making sure you are on the best plan for you and treating you as a customer, not a bill.

“Does your supplier do this?”

who is giving the best satisfaction
Who is giving the best satisfaction?

Survey of 8,000 adults carried out in March 2006 for “YouGov” in the UK

Source: []

finding out what is available
Finding out what is available
  • “U-Switch”, “Up my Street” and “Magenta Systems” are examples of commercial web-based services that will inform consumers of the best deals for telecoms, and other competitive services (e.g. gas, electricity, insurance, mortgages)
  • These are very sophisticated and up to date
  • This is free information, provided completely independently from service providers
  • Magenta Systems has details of 127 telecommunications operators and resellers in the UK
investment in customer service
Investment in customer service
  • New entrants and incumbents have invested heavily in modern systems to support better customer service
  • Customer relationship management (CRM) and billing
  • “Self-help” for customers to deal electronically
  • Call centres for “over-the-phone” service
  • “Walk-in” centres, retail shops, franchises
  • Mail order
providing responses to customers
Providing responses to customers
  • Products and services information
  • Tariffs and availability dates
  • On-line ordering and order tracking
  • “View my bill” and on-line payment options
  • Help desks
  • Feedback & complaints

Examples: see

self help service to customers
“Self-help” service to customers
  • Web-based:
    • on-line services browsing
    • on-line ordering
    • on-line billing, bill checking and payment
    • on-line tracking of orders and fault restoration
    • on-line reconfiguration of billing and payment options
regulator s role in encouraging competitive comparison websites
Regulator’s role in encouraging competitive comparison websites
  • The UK regulator Ofcom has promoted price transparency for consumers through its “Ofcom Price Assurance Standard” (Ofcom PASS)
  • PASS is designed to ensure independent, accurate and up-to-date price information
  • Any public website providing price comparisons which displays the Ofcom PASS logo certifies its compliance with a code of practice
  • The market is changing as competition matures
  • Incumbents are establishing their position as profitable wholesalers as well as retailers
  • Next generation networks
  • Heavy investment in customer service
  • The customer is benefiting from a wide choice of single and “packaged” market offerings
  • Challenging regulatory implications
c sar alierta chairman of telef nica may 2006
César AliertaChairman of Telefόnica (May 2006)

“We have all transformed ourselves. This is a new sector. Broadband over fixed and wireless phones is the future”

“By 2009, Telefonica expects to be earning 85 per cent of its income from content downloads, data transmission and mobile services”