Virgin Mobile has been named the best mobile phone operator for customer satisfaction by one of the UK’s most authoritative consumer surveys. The MVNO (mobile virtual network operator), now part of Virgin Media, topped both the pre-pay and contract polls.
The tenth JD Power Survey measures overall satisfaction in the pre-pay sector based on performance in six categories: image, offerings and promotions, call quality/coverage, cost, handset, and customer service. Satisfaction in the contract market includes the additional factor of billing.
In pre-pay, Virgin moved up from third last year with an overall score of 724 points on a 1,000-point scale. O2 was second (699) and Tesco Mobile third (696), while Vodafone, Orange and T-Mobile all scored below the industry average of 677.
Virgin (730) finished well ahead of O2 (683) in the contract survey but Orange (651) again scored below the industry average of 675.
The survey also found that almost half of those questioned received some form of reward or incentive from their network provider to encourage loyalty. Director of service industries research at JD Power Caspar Tearle says: “With increasing numbers of consumers reporting their intention to switch providers, it’s becoming even more important for operators to reward existing customers for their loyalty.”
However, the survey revealed that the average number of weekly calls made by pre-pay customers has dropped from 14 in 2006 to 10 this year. Among contract customers, the number of calls made per week has dropped from 35 last year to 27 in 2007.