Mobile operators failing customers

UK major mobile operators are suffering in terms of online reputation as customers fail to be satisfied by service.

The Kaizo Advocacy Index, a bi-annual audit of online reputation for key brands including mobile operators, has been launched to coincide with this week’s merger of Orange and T-Mobile, which respectively scored the lowest and second lowest in the Index.

Of the mobile brands, Vodafone came top (12%), followed by 3 Mobile (6%), O2 (3%), T-Mobile (2%) and Orange (-10%).

News of the merger of Orange and T-Mobile led to a mixed response online. Positive assertions that the union: “Will increase the power and range of the signal for users of both networks and ensure a good signal,” were offset by more immediate issues around reception, with one customer tweeting: “I know that Orange and T mobile have merged, but why has my Orange mobile reception become so crap!”

Rhodri Harries, managing director, Kaizo, said: “The next few weeks will be absolutely crucial for Orange and T-Mobile. The threat of redundancies will inevitably create bad feeling which is likely to translate into negative comments expressed through online news and social media. It is, however, how the brands manage and respond to this and the positive messages about improved connectivity which will dictate online reputation in the longer term.”

Although scoring the highest of the mobile operators, Vodafone still only managed 12%, a significant drop from the 38% it scored six months previously. This downturn is largely attributable to recurring negative online articles regarding internal staff payment issues.

Orange dropped to the bottom of the ranking, largely due to a delay in the roll out of the Android 2.2 software update for the HTC Desire.

O2 has launched an eco mobile rating scheme, which is, according to the firm, the UK’s first sustainable rating system for mobile phones, though the many negative comments surrounding service issues resulted in a barely positive score overall.

Harries continued: “It is clear from this report that mobile brands must do more to deal with customers efficiently to avoid the levels of overall frustration currently displayed online. Additionally innovations and new ways of involving positive customers in social media campaigns will help to put the bad experiences into context.”

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