PhonepayPlus, the regulator of premium rate services (PRS) in the UK, has today published a research paper focusing on the consumer experience of PRS and other micropayments called Understanding Consumer Journeys: Premium rate service and micropayment markets.
A full copy of the research can be found on the PhonepayPlus website.
PhonepayPlus stated that the aim of the research was to gather feedback from consumers who had used premium rate services, about their experiences in obtaining information about the services they had used and in resolving any issues that they had with their bill containing PRS.
The findings from Understanding Consumer Journeys aim to identify and quantify any issues and allow PhonepayPlus to assist the PRS industry to improve the consumers experience.
Highlights from the study, conducted by Jigsaw Research, found that:
– Over a quarter (26%) of those who contact PhonepayPlus make seven or more contacts about their issue with organisations without resolution, and another 37% have made contact between three and six times.
– On average, complainants to PhonepayPlus have been charged £32.14 by the PRS they complain about.
– 62% of PhonepayPlus complainants held the company behind the service responsible for their issue, a further 33% consider that their phone provider is responsible.
– A mystery shopping exercise revealed that many users would have difficulty getting through to the provider of the service.
– The mystery shopping exercise also showed that users contacting their phone network would not be put at ease by that contact.
The research also found several positives:
– The number of unnecessary complaint journeys have reduced and become somewhat more straightforward since the previous research in 2009.
– 59% were satisfied with PhonepayPlus handling of their complaint
– There were examples of good practice amongst the industry’s own customer services
In a statement released today by PhonepayPlus, they encouraged a joint approach throughout the market towards improving the consumer experience when using premium rate services.
AIME will provide a briefing document for Members summarising the research.