The mobiles industry has taken a beating lately. Coverage is nowhere near where it should be and Vodafone is facing massive fines for billing discrepancies and poor customer service.
It’s a tough market to please. These days, everyone expects excellent coverage but the truth is there are still 525 black spots or not spots throughout the UK.
The British Infrastructure Group recently revealed mobile coverage is not getting better with overseas visitors with cross-network roaming benefitting from better coverage than UK citizens who rely on their single mobile network operators (MNOs).
MPs have called this situation “unacceptable” and have called for an amendment to the Government’s digital economy bill to allow Ofcom to fine MNOs that have not met the targets of a 2014 agreement to aim for 90% mobile UK coverage by December 2017.
The agreement had given the four large network operators MNOs a chance to fix mobile black spots in return for the Government not pursuing a system of national roaming.
Then add in Vodafone’s £3.7 million fine from Ofcom for their failure to credit the accounts of some 10,452 pay-as-you-go customers after they paid to top up between December 2013 and April 2015. The regulator said Vodafone did not act quickly enough to identify or address the issue, which has stemmed from a migration to a new billing system. Vodafone has also been fined £925,000 for poor complaints handling.
The mobile industry is licking its wounds!
But are there are positives to be found. The uSwitch Mobile Awards 2016, which was voted for by more than 5,000 consumers and a judging panel of journalists, did reveal some happy customers. Three, O2 and Tesco Mobile were the most consistent performers with the most placings.
Meanwhile, Ofcom’s report on the voice and data 3G and 4G performance of the UK’s top four mobile network operators – O2, EE, Three and Vodafone – in November and December of 2015 in Cardiff, Edinburgh, Liverpool, London and Norwich, revealed a consistency from all with EE coming out top for download speed and web browsing performance. However, it must be noted that this report was about cities where mobile coverage is often stronger.
As a mobile virtual network operator, we endeavour to find the best coverage possible for our customers. We offer bespoke mobile connectivity solutions that reflect the diversity of business needs. We also take full responsibility for all aspects of customer service, billing and operational aspects, such as number porting.
We recognise it’s not an easy ride out in the mobiles market right now but with these issues all being brought to light, change must surely be afoot and the customers should be the benefactors.
Here’s hoping for better in 2017.