POSTAL and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) director-general Gift Machengete has said telecoms operators should take consumers’ grievances seriously so that they improve on service delivery.

Speaking at the launch of the 2018 Consumer Satisfaction Survey Report, Machengete said Potraz would advance and safeguard the interests of consumers through various initiatives.

“This is why we are prepared to go for broke in order to ensure that the interests of consumers are advanced and safely guarded through various initiatives that include ensuring universal access to services at affordable prices and at the highest quality, both in terms of service delivery and customer experience; empowering consumers through education and awareness campaigns as well as conducting consumer satisfaction surveys,” he said.

In the 2018 survey, usage of fixed telephone services declined as only 2% of household consumers claimed to be using fixed telephone services compared to 3,1% recorded in the 2015 survey.

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Usage, however, remained high among corporate consumers to the level of 53%, though that was a decline from the 74% usage reported in 2015.

Courier services usage on the market declined significantly, as 2% of household consumers were using the services compared to 2,4% recorded in the 2015 survey. Usage of mobile telephone services declined to 93% among household consumers from 99% recorded in the 2015 survey.

In the survey, usage of mobile telephone services declined significantly among corporate consumers to 53%, compared to 74% reported in 2015.

Usage of internet and data services on the market grew significantly, as 34% of household consumers were using internet and data services in 2018, compared to the 29% recorded in the 2015 survey.

Internet and data services usage remained very high among corporate consumers at 86%, compared to 83% reported in 2015.

Mobile network operators (MNOs) were largely used for data by household consumers: Econet (72%) and NetOne (15%).

Corporate consumers were skewed to internet service providers and internet access providers TelOne (35%), Liquid Telecom (15%) and ZOL (9%).

“All MNOs should always monitor critical network parameters, such as network quality, network availability and voice quality. MNOs should invest in technological innovation to bring more convenience through self-help mechanisms,” the survey noted.

As for internet and data services consumers recommended the need for education around usage of internet, especially among household consumers.