O2 scores in JD Power satisfaction survey

O2 ranks highest in customer satisfaction with mobile telephone service in both the pre-pay and contract service sectors, according to the JD Power 2006 UK Mobile Telephone Customer Satisfaction Study.  
This is the first time that O2 has topped both sectors, achieving 738 points in pre-pay (on a 1,000-point scale). Vodafone was second with 729, Virgin Mobile a point behind.
O2 toppled Orange from the top spot in the contract sector with 740 points. Orange scored 730 this time.
With improvements recorded in all customer satisfaction factors in both segments, overall satisfaction within the pre-pay sector has increased 8 points (723) from 2005, and satisfaction among contract customers has increased 6 points (729). JD Power says these increases are driven most significantly by improvements in call quality/coverage in the pre-pay segment and customer service in the contract segment.
The study also points up several interesting usage patterns:
n Mobile owners are now making more calls with the average number of weekly calls made by pre-pay customers rising from 11 in 2005 to 14 in 2006. The average number of text messages has risen from 26 to 27. Among contract customers, calls have increased from 31 in 2005 to 35 in 2006 and text messages have risen from 30 to 32.
n Despite higher usage, monthly expenditure continues to fall. Pre-pay customers paid an average of £19.29 per month (down from £21.48 a year ago) while contract customers paid £40.44 (down from £41.81).
n Overall satisfaction has improved in both segments (8 point increase in pre-pay and 6 point increase in contract). This has been driven most significantly by improvements in call quality/coverage in pre-pay and customer service in contract.
n Pre-pay and contract providers offering customer incentives achieved higher rankings than providers who did not.
n More mobile owners than ever are now on a contract tariff (40% up from 35% in 2005) – this trend reflects the increasingly attractive offers by contract providers.
n More than one-third of customers received some form of incentive or reward from their network provider to encourage loyalty, most frequently some extra call time.
n Ownership of video phones has doubled in the last year from 20% in 2005 to 40%. However, fewer than 7% of customers actually use the video calling feature – down from 11% in 2005.
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