By Keri Algar

SYDNEY, NSW: With more smartphones and tablets due to enter the Australian market in the fourth quarter it pays to know which mobile carriers are satisfying consumers, and why.

Virgin Mobile has scored top marks in a consumer satisfaction survey conducted nationally by independent ratings company, Canstar Blue. Vodafone came in second being pipped at the post across the five categories of price, service, accessibility, billing and network coverage.

Vodafone was closely followed by 3, Optus and finally Telstra, who was voted by customers as the least satisfactory mobile carrier for missing the mark on service, coverage and billing, said Rebecca Logan, Canstar Blue Manager.

“A number of customers complained about incorrect accounts and contracts that were hard to understand or had hidden fees,” said Logan.

“Customers told us they were frustrated at times with communication problems when dealing with call centre operators. When it comes to technical and billing details, customers want to understand and be understood.”

Differences in ranking on network coverage were related to the customer profile of the different providers. For example, Virgin Mobile has a largely city-based clientele, as opposed to Telstra, which had a broad spread of customers across regional and CBD areas, said Logan.