01.And the winner is...
TPG has been awarded Best Value Mobile Phone Service in the 2011 CHOICE Awards.
This award was voted for by our CHOICE members. The carrier had strong results across a range of quality of service indicators in our survey, indicating that when presented with a compelling alternative with good value and customer support, some people will vote with their feet.
Although TPG is more broadly known as an ISP, the company has been offering mobile phone service plans for almost three years. The most telling findings of the survey are that those CHOICE members who use TPG for their mobile phone intend staying with them and a majority have been using TPG for well over a year.
TPG is the top performer in a number of categories, including
- customer support
- overall quality of service
- likelihood of staying
For value for money and the likelihood of the customer recommending the service to others, TPG stood out as significantly superior to its nearest competitor.
No contract plans mean you can walk away from a TPG phone plan if you’re not satisfied, and although you are provided with a lower rate for bundling the mobile phone service with a TPG internet package, the charges and conditions are clearly shown on the TPG website. However, Telstra still has the widest coverage, so check TPG’s available coverage areas to ensure you will be satisfied with the network quality in your area. See the results of our ISP satisfaction survey.
CHOICE also surveyed members about their internet service provider (ISP) as part of the awards process, but we did not get a clear winner. This may reflect the volatile nature of the industry, with many network providers, including the major ones, attracting criticism for the quality of service as well as their customer service.
However, a group of smaller ISPs, including Internode, Westnet, Adam Internet and iiNet, scored consistently high for questions relating to customer support, quality of service, value for money, likelihood of staying with the ISP and recommending that ISP to someone else.
TPG scored well in most areas, although only average for customer support. Being able to provide a full service, such as a combined landline and mobile phone plan, seems to be an effective means to gain market share, with 40% of Telstra and 25% of Optus customers citing bundle deals as a major consideration when choosing their ISP.
As the lines between mobile phone services and mobile online access become increasingly blurred, the ability to provide a one-SIM-fits-all solution may be something to watch out for in the future. See the results of our 2009 ISP satisfaction survey.