Bahrain: TWENTY per cent of telephone users in Bahrain are dissatisfied with the service they get, according to a new survey.
It found that almost half (48pc) were also unhappy with the handling of customer complaints, including waiting times in shops or when contacting call centres.
The low levels of customer satisfaction are documented in a Consumer Experience Survey conducted by the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), which was released yesterday.
It covered 1,520 randomly selected customers of Bahrain’s main telecom providers.
Participants were asked for their levels of satisfaction with telecoms services, call centres, shops, complaint handling, bills and home broadband experience.
They rated their experience on a scale of one to 10, with one indicating complete dissatisfaction and 10 full satisfaction.
The findings showed that only 31pc of customers were satisfied with their mobile providers, while 21pc were dissatisfied and the rest were neutral.
Meanwhile, 24pc of postpaid mobile customers were unhappy that tariffs were not clearly communicated.
“Network indoors coverage, data quality and download threshold were key dissatisfaction drivers across the three (mobile) providers,” concluded the survey.
Taking part in the survey were 680 Bahrainis, 76 Arabs of other nationalities, 688 Asian expatriates and 76 Westerners aged between 15 and 59.
Thirty-six per cent were dissatisfied with call centre waiting times, while 30pc were unhappy with agents’ ability to solve problems at the first attempt.
It found 54pc of Batelco customers were unhappy with their complaint handling experience, followed by 45pc of VIVA customers and 43pc of Zain customers.
However, it also found that only 13pc of respondents actually submitted a
Twenty-eight per cent of those surveyed were unhappy with tariff plans and 27pc claimed they faced hidden costs, but more than half of postpaid mobile customers admitted they didn’t read their service contracts.
Those who did “suffered a little to understand it and found it unfair”, according to the TRA survey.
They were also asked about home broadband supplied by the three main providers and fourth operator Menatelecom.
A total of 75pc had wireless broadband subscriptions, while 25pc had fixed connections – with Batelco dominating the fixed home broadband market.
Overall only 29pc of consumers stated they were satisfied with their home broadband, while 28pc described themselves as dissatisfied and the rest taking a “neutral” position.
Batelco continues to dominate the fixed line telephone market, accounting for 82pc of subscribers – most of whom were happy with the service.
People in the Northern Governorate, which incorporates villages along Budaiya Highway and surrounding areas, were found to be the least satisfied with their mobile services, compared to people living in other governorates.
“The impressive growth in telecommunications services during the past years has led to an increasing demand for accurate data and statistics on the telecommunications sector,” said TRA consumer affairs and media acting director Taiba Albinali.
“Indicators and statistical data are critical in order to design, monitor and evaluate policies.
“They support the development and the implementation of evidence-based regulation and policy.”
She said the results of the survey would influence TRA policy.
“This survey touches upon multiple levels of consumer touch points and measures the full journey of consumer experience,” she said.
“The results have identified some areas of concerns to consumers that need to be addressed collectively by TRA and service providers to ensure that residential consumers in the kingdom are enjoying a better experience.”