Data-Driven Regulation

Arcep publishes its Observatory of customer satisfaction with internet service providers and mobile operators

Arcep is publishing the first edition of its “Customer satisfaction observatory” in this new format and under a new title, based on a survey conducted by IFOP in November 2020 of a representative sample of 4,010 respondents. Its goal is to reflect customers’ experience and views, and deliver satisfaction indicators on:

  • overall satisfaction with fixed and mobile operators,
  • satisfaction with customer service,
  • satisfaction with the quality of service provided by the main fixed and mobile operators and ISPs, and the types of problem customers have encountered.

The level of overall satisfaction with mobile operators is higher (average score of 7.7) than it is with fixed internet service providers (ISP) who scored an average 7.3.

Respondents’ overall satisfaction is relatively good, particularly with their mobile operator: only 13% of respondents gave their operator a score of five out of 10 or less, 53% gave them a score of between 6 and 8, and more a third (35%) a score of 9 or 10.

Combined overall satisfaction with fixed internet access and mobile services reveal relatively small gaps between the different operators.

75% of customer service complaints were resolved [1]

  • When aggregating responses regarding mobile operators and fixed ISPs, 66% of respondents who are SFR customers report having had an issue with their operator over the last 12 months, compared to 56% of Bouygues Telecom customers, 60% of Orange customers and 60% of Free customers.
  • 79% of the problems with a fixed ISP were resolved after having contacted customer service. Respondents say ISPs’ customer service is efficient even though, in more than a third of all cases, customers say they had to contact customer service several times before their problem was resolved.
  • 74% of the problems with a mobile operator were resolved after having contacted customer service. Respondents say mobile operators’ customer service is efficient even though, in more than half of the cases, customers had to contact customer service more than once for their problem to be resolved.
  • Customer services’ median resolution times for outages and malfunctions varied between two and four days, depending on the operator.

On fixed networks, 61% of respondents stated they had had a problem with their internet service provider over the past 12 months.

  • More specifically, 44% say they had encountered quality issues with their fixed access service as a whole (internet, phone, TV). Of that group, 35% only had internet quality issues, which is the most commonly cited source of complaint.
  • Respondents with fibre access reported fewer problems than those with an ADSL connection.

Types of problems encountered with fixed access providers

On mobile networks, 44% of respondents stated they had had a problem with their operator over the past 12 months.

  • Spam calls was the most frequently encountered issue (23% of respondents) ahead of internet network quality (19% of respondents).

Arcep will publish an annual update of its Customer satisfaction observatory

Every year, Arcep will publish, an updated version of its Customer satisfaction observatory to coincide with the annual scorecard for its “J’alerte l’Arcep” customer reporting tool. The next observatory, pertaining to 2021, will therefore be presented alongside the annual scorecard for the “J’alerte l’Arcep” platform in Q1 2022.

Changes to the customer QoS observatory to more accurately reflect users’ quality of experience

Up until 2018, Arcep provided the public[1] with the results of the customer quality of service indicators published by operators themselves. These indicators, extracted from operators’ information systems, were audited and certified by an independent entity.

In 2018, Arcep began a process for obtaining more reliable indicators and associated measurements in concert with operators. Even if the current quality of service mechanism, based on indicators used by operators’ information systems, remains relevant for tracking the evolution of a given operator’s quality of service, there is room for improvement. The disparities in operators’ information systems and the methodologies they use to measure customers’ quality of experience make it difficult to compare their findings. This was the springboard for an investigative process with operators on how to improve the observatory in a way that would take users’ actual experience more fully into account.

As a result, Arcep now employs an outside entity to conduct a satisfaction survey on a representative sample of users, and substantiates this change in methodology with a change in mechanism, which is now the “Customer satisfaction observatory”.

The publication of this observatory aligns with Arcep’s data-driven approach to regulation, which seeks to empower users to make informed choices, and so steer the market in the right direction.

[1] Issues that were still being resolved at the time of polling are counted as “unresolved” but may have subsequently been resolved, without Arcep having been able to take that into account.


Associated document

Customer satisfaction observatory