MCA Consumer Perceptions Survey reports strong take up of bundles
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.