Three out of four members of the public believe mobile phone firms could do more to help their customers control the amount they spend on bills, according to the latest PRWeek/OnePoll research.
The results come after industry regulator Ofcom urged mobile phone operators to allow their contracted customers to restrict how much they spend to avoid unexpectedly high bills.
Sixty-one per cent of those polled said they would set a bill price limit, while 74 per cent said they would sign up to receive text alerts when approaching this limit if they were allowed to do so by their provider.
Older respondents believed most strongly that the regulator should force mobile phone providers to protect their customers against high charges, with 76 per cent agreeing.
O2 was named as the mobile phone brand with the best overall reputation by 25 per cent of respondents, followed by Orange (18 per cent) and Vodafone (17 per cent).
Price was the most important factor when buying a phone, with 42 per cent of the vote. Length of contract was second highest at 18 per cent.
The youngest age group (18-24) had the strongest opinion about which mobile phone operator had the best reputation. Only 19 per cent said they had no opinion, compared with 35 per cent of the over-55s.
How I see it
Adrian Brady, CEO, Eulogy
Consumers are increasingly savvy and pricesensitive over their preferred choice of mobile phone provider. Forty-two per cent of respondents said price was the most important factor when choosing a contract. This shows why the mobile phone market is still hugely competitive, as consumers are less likely to remain brand loyal during tough economic times.
It also shows why mobile phone operators have focused attention on offering exclusive benefits to maintain loyalty, but they are under increasing pressure to deliver high standards of service.
PR can play an essential part in helping to communicate these messages and helping consumers to use and set 'usage alert' settings.
In the battle to communicate technological advances and work through the complexities of the tariff model, it is easy to forget that simple, somewhat old-fashioned tools, such as case studies of consumers benefitting from services, can play a role in the battle against future horror stories.