OCU analyses the customer service provided by the main telephone operators24 nov. 2016
In the November issue of its Compra Maestra magazine, the Consumers and Users Organisation published the results of a study carried out during September and October in which the quality of the customer service provided by a total of 14 telephone operators was evaluated. The main elements included in this study were: the speed of the customer service, the truthfulness of the information provided and the efficiency of the operations carried out.
The first conclusion drawn from this study is that the customer service provided via telephone is the area which needs the most improvement. Six out of the 14 companies studied (Movistar, Orange, Euskaltel, Telecable, Vodafone and Lycamobile) received unsatisfactory marks due to the lengthy amount of time customers are kept on hold and the poor technical quality of the calls (difficulty hearing the agent). On the other hand, Pepephone and R clearly stand out positively with regard to these aspects.
When consumers contact these companies via email or chat, Yoigo, Tuenti, Pepephone and Amena have the quickest response times while those for R, Movistar and Lycamobile are considered to be too long. As far as the quality of these companies’ websites and client areas is concerned, Amena, Vodafone and Orange are the operators that offer the widest range of online operations and queries.
With regard to in-store customer service, only seven of the companies studied have their own physical shops. One noteworthy fact is that, in the analysed cases, the agents asked customers only about their current calling plan and did not enquire as to their consumption and use habits. In OCU’s opinion, this step is essential in order to be able to provide an adequate service and consultation.
In addition to the analysis of the various customer service channels offered by these companies, OCU also evaluated the quality of the information they provided. Along these lines, the information concerning the rates of the plans offered was, generally speaking, clear and accurate. This was also true for information regarding how to access the client area of their respective websites and how a consumer can use their mobile when travelling abroad. The information on how to restrict calls to 905 numbers was less satisfactory, being considered incomplete or confusing in some cases. The responses offered by Tuenti and Simyo were unsatisfactory and Movistar did not provide any information at all with regard to this issue.
Finally, the study analysed the ease with which operations could be carried out via these customer service channels. The steps needed to sign up for service were, in general, quite easy in that they could be carried out via telephone for all carriers with the exception of Vodafone, Tuenti and Lycamobile. These three operators did not allow customers to register through this channel. Contrarily, several negative cases are worth mention: the excessively long time spent on hold with Eskaltel, the request for additional documentation such as current paystubs with Telecable or R’s demand for a 200€ deposit in order to process registration. Orange received the worst score in this area due to the poor quality of the information given regarding receiving a SIM card, a lack of information as to the location where the SIM card could be picked up, the length of time customers had to wait in shops and errors made when entering clients’ personal information.
As for the steps required to cancel service, OCU’s analysis has shown that, even though consumers signed up for service via telephone, some companies continue to demand that additional documentation be sent or actions be taken when clients communicate their desire to cancel their service. Movistar required clients to send a letter via post, Orange demanded consumers fill out an online form and Euskaltel and Telecable asked their customers to send a copy of their national identity card along with the request to cancel their service via email. Moreover, cases in which companies (in this case Yoigo, Lowi and Simyo) informed their clients that despite having requested the cancellation of their service before the end of the month, they would be charged for the entire month were also detected. The responses of Movistar, Orange, Amena and Masmovil when asked about this issue were similar. OCU reminds consumers that this type of practise is in direct violation of the current regulations in force which expressly prohibit charging for services that have not been provided.
OCU is an independent non-profit organisation thanks to the support of its more than 300,000 members. As a consumer organisation, OCU’s purpose is to contribute and influence in order to fight for the wellbeing of Spanish consumers. It works transparently and offers useful, relevant content and information so consumers can make well-informed decisions when hiring services and purchasing products.
For more information, please contact Eva Jiménez (media). Telephone: 91 722 60 61