NFP Research Shows Consumers Not Getting Best Telecommunication Deals
8 September 2011 at 10:58 am
New research shows that consumers are not getting the best telecommunications deals available because they are confused and frustrated by the information and advertising coming from telecommunications companies.
Consumers are often delaying purchasing, delegating decision making to others, or remaining with current carriers in order to avoid the process of researching and comparing and contrasting their different options.
The research report, a joint project between the Centre for Sustainable and Responsible Organisations (CSaRO), Deakin University, and the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) was released at the ACCAN national conference being held in Sydney from September 7-8.
Dr Paul Harrison from Deakin University says consumers need all the help that can to reduce likelihood that they’ll experience confusion, information overload, frustration, stress, in-decision and inertia as they navigate the telecommunications market.
Dr Harrison says the research supports the suggestion that major reforms are needed to ensure customer care in the telecommunications market.
The report puts forward some key recommendations to protect consumers, such as the introduction of a single page critical information sheet, clearer pricing information in advertisements and better complaints management. More research is also suggested into whether bundle bills are working for consumers, and whether unit pricing, as was introduced in supermarkets, would be helpful to consumers.
Harrison says Australia needs to move beyond a reactive approach to telecommunications problems.
He says waiting for consumers to complain is a dangerous way to run an essential service. With the advent of the NBN, better smart phone technology, thousands of apps and government pushing services online, the technology will simply get more and more complex.
He says that by understanding consumer behaviour and motivations, they can move beyond simply responding, to actually anticipating problems that might lie ahead.
Pro Bono Australia is a media partner of the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network National Conference on Our Broadband Future, 7-8 September 2011.
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