Most businesses to shop around for better mobile value in 2014

Business market set for major shake-up says research by Three

December 31 2013: Two thirds of Irish businesses are going to shop around among mobile phone providers for better value in 2014 according to new research which shows most companies don’t understand their mobile phone tariffs and believe they could get better value with a new company.

One in four businesses (24%) switched mobile phone provider in 2013 seeking better value and 65% say they will shop around in 2014 for this reason, the research shows.  The proportion that will consider change is highest among larger businesses with 10 handsets or more (75%).

The survey was conducted by the independent polling company Behaviour and Attitudes among 350 businesses across Ireland and was quota controlled to reflect correctly the proportions of businesses of different sizes in Ireland. Three commissioned the research because, according to Eoin MacManus, Business and Wholesale Director at Three:  “Telecommunications providers have to listen to their customers and to the market. We thought it would be useful to survey all businesses to understand what aspects of their service they are happy with and what they are unhappy with.”

The results show that 54% of business customers say they don’t understand their mobile phone tariffs and find them confusing. This lack of understanding was at its highest (56%) among small businesses with three handsets or less, and in Dublin (60%).  As well as those seeking to find better value, 53% said they would shop around in 2014 for better customer service, 52% for more transparent and straightforward tariffs and 44% for better coverage.

While two thirds will seek better value, more than one in three already believe that they can find it. 37% of business owners and managers said they believe they could get better value if they switched mobile network provider, with this view again most prevalent among smaller businesses (39%) and in Dublin (43%).

“Business customers have traditionally been slower than personal customers to switch provider, but this research identifies a trend we have been noticing over the past year”, according to MacManus. “Businesses are waking up to the fact that mobile costs are a significant part of their overall business costs and it pays to take the time to ensure you are getting the service you need at the most competitive price.”

He said Three had been making inroads into the business market over the past year and that price, predictability and easy-to-understand tariffs are the key things businesses want. “It looks as if we are about to see a lot of businesses examining their existing contracts and considering other options, and there will be a lot of business won and lost during 2014”, said MacManus.