|Mobile phone and plan|
In the mobile phone and plan category, Virgin Mobile was a clear winner, ranking five stars in all but one section.
Canstar found that cost, coverage and data rank as important features for customers on a mobile phone and plan package, with 23 per cent of respondents ranking cost as the most important issue, followed by coverage (21 per cent) and data inclusions (12 per cent). Meanwhile, 85 per cent stated that they understand what their plan inclusions give them.
"With phone technology being updated so frequently, it's not surprising that a phone and plan package was the single most popular type of contract across the total of 2,676 Australians we surveyed, with around half of all survey respondents paying for a phone with their monthly plan," Canstar Blue head Megan Doyle commented.
"Of those we surveyed, just over 850 were using a prepaid SIM-only deal and just over 580 had a postpaid SIM-only deal. More than 1,200, though, had a plan that included a handset as well."
Among customers on long-term plans, future data use should be considered, with 18 per cent of respondents admitting they often exceed their monthly data allowance.
"The sharply growing market of both video and music streaming, as well as social media apps, mean that your data needs in even 12 months can change significantly," Doyle stated.
"So, if anything, overestimate your data needs when you're comparing plans. It's probably just as well that Pokemon Go isn't too data-intensive."
Doyle stated that "respondents had plenty of positive comments about their Virgin Mobile experience, with the value for money and customer service mentioned frequently".
"No doubt, Virgin Mobile's Data Rollover feature, announced in March 2015, is also a big drawcard for the 18 per cent of survey respondents that admit to exceeding their monthly data allowance," she stated.
In the mobile prepaid category, ALDImobile rated five stars in every section.
Canstar noted that in this category more than one in five Australians are recent converts, having switched from postpaid in the past two years, with saving money a priority for a solid majority of those customers.
"Hands down it's about price, with 88 per cent of those that had switched to prepaid doing so to save money and avoid bill shock," Doyle stated. "From our survey, network coverage is also an important consideration, with data allowance a distant third."
Canstar found that 65 per cent of Australians with a prepaid SIM-only mobile phone deal are happy with the value they get from their plan, with an average monthly spend of just over $28.
"Canstar Blue surveyed more than 2,600 Australians with a mobile phone, across prepaid SIM-only, phone and plan and postpaid SIM-only," Doyle commented. "Those with a prepaid SIM-only arrangement spend far less per month, on average, than those with a phone and SIM contract, and even those with a SIM-only postpaid contract."
Doyle stated it "is a really strong endorsement of ALDImobile from its customers".
"Our survey respondents had plenty of positive comments about their ALDImobile experience, with the good service, coverage and price coming up frequently," she commented.
Postpaid mobile SIM-only
In the postpaid mobile SIM-only category, amaysim rated five stars in five sections and four in the remaining two.
Canstar found that of customers with a BYO mobile phone, 88 per cent understand their plan inclusions, with just 9 per cent admitting that they exceed their data allowance.
"Interestingly, a couple of years ago 30 per cent of our survey respondents were telling us that the amount of call time included on their contract was the most important feature for them - now that barely rates a mention from our respondents," Doyle stated.
"Texts as well were very important two years ago, with 15 per cent of respondents rating this as the most important feature, but again, it barely rates a mention now."
Doyle noted this probably reflects changing consumer behaviour, with phone users increasingly likely to communicate via social media apps, but is more likely due to most plans now offering unlimited calls and texts.
Canstar found that 65 per cent of consumers with a postpaid SIM-only mobile phone deal are happy with the value they are getting from their plan, and currently spend an average of just over $43 per month.
Doyle stated that since its launch in 2010, amaysim has won many awards, stating "this customer satisfaction award is a terrific endorsement of its product and features".
"Our survey respondents had plenty of positive comments about their amaysim experience, with the value for money, ease of use and range of plans coming up frequently," she stated.