The majority of South Africans say cellphone costs are excessive, the results of a survey released on Friday by TNS Research Surveys show.
The survey found 56% of metro adults said cellphone companies had not been charging a fair price for their services while 27% were satisfied with current rates. The remainder — around 13% — gave a “don’t know” response.
Younger people were more likely to agree that prices were fair than were older people (33% for those under the age of 49 years compared with just 19% for those over 60 years) — as were those in the lower to middle income groups.
“The most critical are those in upper income groups,” the survey said.
The survey found there were also some differences by area, with West Rand and Durban people showing the highest level of dissent at 67% and 64% respectively.
While 27% feared if cellphone companies cut their charges, service would get worse, 47% disagreed — with 26% giving a “don’t know” response. “Hence, about half the metro population do not expect service levels to drop — a clear indication that many people do see cellphone costs as iniquitous.”
People in Soweto and Bloemfontein were the most anxious about poorer service (45% and 50% respectively).
The wealthier were the least likely to expect a drop in service levels if costs drop where 55% expect no such drop.
In terms of area, people on the East and West Rand, Pretoria and Durban were the least likely to expect such a drop.
“Given the considerable mentions made in the media about cellphone costs and the interconnection fee, it is to be expected that many people will feel that costs have been too high,” TNS Research Surveys said.
“What is perhaps surprising is that as many as 27% feel that costs are fair, showing how much a part of people’s lives cellphones have become.”
However, it was the wealthier parts of society who were the most critical — and who expected the most in terms of continued service levels. — Sapa
- Image credit: Chrisdlugosz