MCA Con­sumer Per­cep­tions Sur­vey re­ports strong take up of bun­dles

The Malta Business Weekly - - NEWS -

The Malta Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Au­thor­ity is pub­lish­ing the find­ings of a sur­vey gaug­ing con­sumer per­cep­tions based on their ex­pe­ri­ence in pur­chas­ing bun­dles in Malta. Key themes re­late to the com­po­si­tion of bun­dles, level of sat­is­fac­tion with the ser­vice, con­sumer sen­si­tiv­i­ties to price changes and propen­sity to switch.

The sur­vey was car­ried out by EMCS on be­half of the MCA via tele­phone in­ter­views, with the num­ber of ran­domly se­lected re­spon­dents to­talling 840.

Strong take-up of bun­dles, mainly triple-play

96% of all sur­vey re­spon­dents say they have a bun­dle sub­scrip­tion. Triple-play sub­scrip­tions are the most pop­u­lar, with 45% of re­spon­dents sub­scribed to a bun­dle say­ing that their sub­scrip­tion en­com­passes three elec­tronic com­mu­ni­ca­tion ser­vices, typ­i­cally fea­tur­ing pay-TV, fixed broad­band and fixed tele­phony.

A fur­ther 36% of re­spon­dents on a bun­dle sub­scrip­tion say they opted for a quad-play of­fer con­sist­ing of mo­bile tele­phony along­side the afore­men­tioned elec­tronic com­mu­ni­ca­tions ser­vices.

Mean­while, 19% of sur­vey re­spon­dents, sub­scribed to a bun­dle, say that the dual-play op­tion is their pre­ferred choice.

Dis­counts and sin­gle billing drive take-up of bun­dles

59% of re­spon­dents with a bun­dle sub­scrip­tion say that the avail­abil­ity of dis­counts and pro­mo­tional of­fers were the main rea­son for their se­lec­tion of a bun­dle in­stead of stand-alone prod­ucts. Another 34% of re­spon­dents with a bun­dle sub­scrip­tion say that sin­gle billing with bundling was very con­ve­nient and cer­tainly a pos­i­tive fea­ture of bun­dles.

Sub­scribers to bun­dles gen­er­ally know their monthly ex­pen­di­ture

Re­spon­dents sub­scribed to a bun­dle are gen­er­ally knowl­edge- able on their monthly ex­pen­di­ture pat­terns with al­most four out of ev­ery five re­spon­dents say­ing they know their av­er­age monthly ex­pen­di­ture on their bun­dle sub­scrip­tion.

As for the amount spent on the bun­dle sub­scrip­tion, 52% of re­spon­dents say that, on av­er­age, their monthly ex­pen­di­ture ranges from €30 to €49.99. This per­cent­age is 13 points lower than re­ported in 2015. An ad­di­tional 31% of re­spon­dents say they spend more than €50 per month on their bun­dle sub­scrip­tions, up by 10 per­cent­age points from what was re­ported in 2015.

40% of re­spon­dents know­ing their monthly ex­pen­di­ture deemed their monthly ac­cess fee to be ex­pen­sive while 42% con­sid­ered it rea­son­able. The re­main­ing 18% were un­able to clas­sify their per­cep­tion of their monthly ex­pen­di­ture on the bun­dle sub­scrip­tion.

High sat­is­fac­tion lev­els, but marginally down from 2015

75% of re­spon­dents say they were gen­er­ally sat­is­fied or very sat­is­fied with the qual­ity of ser­vice of their bun­dle sub­scrip­tion. How­ever, al­beit sat­is­fac­tion lev­els still ex­hibit a good show­ing, the 2017 sat­is­fac­tion rate is 4 per­cent­age points lower than that recorded in 2015.

Only 4% of re­spon­dents with a bun­dle sub­scrip­tion deemed their qual­ity of ser­vice to be un­sat­is­fac­tory, while another 21% felt in­dif­fer­ent to this pa­ram­e­ter. Fre­quent dis­con­nec­tions and bad cus­tomer ser­vice were men­tioned promi­nently by re­spon­dents ex­press­ing dis­sat­is­fac­tion with the qual­ity of ser­vice.

Mean­while, 64% of re­spon­dents ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a fault with their bun­dle sub­scrip­tion say that they were sat­is­fied with the level of re­sponse pro­vided by their op­er­a­tor to ad­dress the fault.

Switch­ing not pop­u­lar, even in the event of a price in­crease

Just 2% of re­spon­dents with a bun­dle sub­scrip­tion have switched ser­vice provider dur­ing the last two years, which is 7 per­cent­age points less than what was recorded in the 2015 sur­vey.

More­over, sur­vey data shows that few re­spon­dents would ac­tu­ally switch their bun­dle sub­scrip­tion from their cur­rent ser­vice provider if monthly ac­cess fees were to go up by 10%.

42% say that, not­with­stand­ing a 10% price in­crease, they would keep their cur­rent sub­scrip­tion, although 21% say that would stay with the same provider but go for a cheaper op­tion.

32% of re­spon­dents would switch to a new ser­vice provider, while the re­main­ing 5% would switch to a stand-alone ser­vice, with their cur­rent provider or al­ter­na­tive op­er­a­tor.

Back­ground to the sur­vey func­tion at the MCA

The MCA has been car­ry­ing out the Con­sumer Per­cep­tion Sur­veys on a two-yearly in­ter­val since 2008. The aim is to gather in­for­ma­tion on the level of con­sumer sat­is­fac­tion with the prod­ucts and ser­vices on of­fer and the ex­tent to which ser­vice providers ad­dress the de­mands of their clients. Given that these sur­veys have been car­ried out for a num­ber of years, sur­vey find­ings are in­dica­tive of de­vel­op­ments in the needs of the end-user and how lo­cal ser­vice providers deal with chang­ing pref­er­ences.

The re­sults of these sur­veys also serve as an ad­di­tional source of in­for­ma­tion for the MCA’s reg­u­la­tory de­ci­sions, in or­der to en­sure an en­vi­ron­ment that is con­ducive to sus­tain­able com­pe­ti­tion and in­vest­ment in view of the grow­ing de­mands of the fu­ture.

Method­ol­ogy and Field­work

The method­ol­ogy used to carry out this sur­vey, in­clud­ing the sam­pling, ques­tion­naire de­sign, field­work and weight­ing pro­cesses fol­lows the same ap­proach adopted when car­ry­ing out sim­i­lar sur­veys in pre­vi­ous years.

The re­search method­ol­ogy in­volved the use of tele­phone com­puter-as­sisted in­ter­view­ing.

Con­sumers sam­pled were strat­i­fied ac­cord­ing to the age com­po­si­tion of the Mal­tese pop­u­la­tion.

More­over, the in­ter­views were dis­trib­uted among Malta’s six of­fi­cial ge­o­graphic re­gions and car­ried out across dif­fer­ent so­cio eco­nomic cat­e­gories of the Mal­tese pop­u­la­tion.

For a more com­pre­hen­sive pic­ture of sur­vey find­ings, a pre­sen­ta­tion en­com­pass­ing the main sur­vey find­ings is avail­able on the MCA web­site.

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