Wireless Bills in Canada Jumped an Average of 13% This Year

The average reported wireless monthly phone bill in Canada is a staggering $77, up a whopping 13%, or $9, in just one year, according to the J.D Power & Associates 2013 Canadian Wireless Total Ownership Experience Study.

The study found that those with data pay even more, an average of $86. Those without data—roughly half of all wireless customers—pay an average of $65.

Despite these sky-high prices, the highest of any developed nation in the world, wireless satisfaction is up overall. Overall customer satisfaction with the online sales experience is 737 (on a 1,000-point scale), a 46-point increase from 2012, while satisfaction with online customer care is 699, which is a 14-point improvement from 2012, according to the study.

There’s also been a noticeable shift to online-based, self-service tools. And the study finds that satisfaction with the purchase experience is higher among wireless customers who use their carrier’s online self-service options than among those who use the traditional call centre service and in-store customer care options.

“We see a sizable shift in behaviour, with customers opting to use online self-service tools to address issues with their services or device, and overall satisfaction is highest when customers use their carrier’s online chat function,” says Adrian Chung, account director at J.D. Power & Associates.  “It’s important for wireless carriers to continue focusing on improving their website’s functionality in order for customers to benefit from the convenience and timeliness of this service option, which is not only a more cost-effective way for carriers to interact with their customers, but also creates a more positive experience when a problem is encountered.”

Among smartphone owners, the devices most frequently used are manufactured by Apple (31%), Samsung (22%) and BlackBerry (22%). “Customers own Apple iPhones more than any other manufacturer’s device; however, the gap in device satisfaction is narrowing,” said Chung.  “We expect this trend to continue as newly introduced devices from Samsung and BlackBerry grow in market share.”

For a second consecutive year, SaskTel ranks highest in customer satisfaction among full-service carriers, with a score of 712, which is a 13-point improvement from 2012. Telus Mobility (699) follows SaskTel in the full-service segment rankings.

Among stand-alone carriers, Koodo Mobile ranks highest in customer satisfaction for a second consecutive year, with a score of 765, improving by 13 points from 2012. Virgin Mobile (744) follows Koodo Mobile in the stand-alone segment rankings.