Best and worst mobile networks in South Africa

South African mobile operators – except for Cell C – have slipped in their service levels towards subscribers, according to the latest South African Customer Satisfaction Index (SAcsi) report.

Despite the drop, Vodacom has emerged as the industry leader for customer satisfaction, with a score of 76.7.

MTN was rated on par with the industry average at 75.6, while Cell C and other operators, including Telkom Mobile, scored below par at 72.9 and 69.4, respectively.

There were no changes in the overall level of expectations for the large network providers compared to last year’s results – Vodacom subscribers still have the highest expectations, with Cell C scoring below the industry average.

Operator Sample SAcsi score Change from 2014
Vodacom 1 101 76.7 -1.1
MTN 721 75.6 -2.3
Industry Average 2 195 75.4 -1.3
Cell C 332 72.9 +1.1
Other 41 69.4 -4.9

“This is one of the only industries we have measured in which all service providers surveyed are meeting the expectations of their customers on issues of overall quality, meeting individual needs and things not going wrong with the provider,” said Professor Adré Schreuder, founder of SAcsi and CEO of Consulta.

“Cell C showed a significant improvement in the perceived quality of its offering, although the brand still lags behind in the overall industry score. MTN and Vodacom showed no change from the previous results,” Schreuder said.

Cell C managed to decrease the number of problems experienced by subscribers by 8% since the previous SAcsi measure, while its complaint handling efficiency has also improved and is now the best in the industry, SAcsi said.

Schreuder said that around 20% of complaints in the industry centre on billing issues.

Perceived value

Perceived value, which describes the perception of price given the quality and the perceived quality given the price, is four points lower at 74.8 out of 100, SAcsi said.

“Cell C is regarded as the industry leader when it comes to perceived value, with Vodacom regarded as the most expensive, although customers indicate that Vodacom offers the best quality product,” Schreuder said.

“This clearly signals a preference for quality at a fair price, rather than a having to accept poor quality at a low price,” he said.

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Best and worst mobile networks in South Africa