Survey: BigPond customers consider abandoning ISP

Nearly half of Telstra’s BigPond Internet customers are considering moving to another service provider, a new survey claims.

The BigPond feedback survey, conducted by independent communications consultants enRG and initially reported on the broadband user forum site, Whirlpool, was in response to ongoing problems with the ISP’s email services that started in October.

The survey was sent out to 700 randomly selected BigPond users on October 28, 2003. Survey findings were based on responses from 171 BigPond users, 61 per cent of whom relied on their BigPond email account for business.

Of those respondents to the enRG survey, 92 per cent said they had recently been experiencing problems with their BigPond email account. Problems with delays in receiving emails proved the most common complaint at 79 per cent, while 63 per cent said they had also experienced delays in sending emails. A further 78 per cent said they had had problems connecting to the BigPond mail server.

Results for how long respondents had been experiencing problems with their BigPond email account were fairly evenly spread, with 30 per cent saying problems had been occurring over the past three weeks. Two weeks and four weeks was the next most recorded time period for email service issues (at 23 per cent and 16 per cent of respondents, respectively), while 12 per cent said they had been experiencing problems for more than eight weeks.

Commenting on the impact BigPond’s email problems had made upon their business practices, 47 per cent said they had suffered financial loss due to problems with their email. Nevertheless, 88 per cent said they would not be pursuing any legal action against Telstra.

Responses to BigPond’s decision to give all its customers two weeks rebate on their monthly usage bill were split almost evenly - 55 per cent said they thought the level of compensation was inadequate.

Almost 50 per cent of enRG’s survey respondents said they were considering moving to an alternate service provider. The survey found 24 per cent were displeased and 27 per cent seriously displeased with BigPond’s Internet services.

Prior to the recent bout of email service problems however, 36 per cent of survey respondents said they had been pleased with BigPond services, with an additional 23 per cent very pleased. About 18 per cent said they had been displeased overall with service levels, 6 per cent of whom had been seriously displeased.

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Nadia Cameron

Nadia Cameron

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