Broadband users would pay more for ISP with Australian call centre

Australians appear to be frustrated with broadband providers whose customer service, billing, or technical support services are based offshore, with 66% of users willing to pay more for Australian-based customer service.

In a recent poll from Compare Broadband, visitors were asked, “How much more would you pay for a broadband provider whose customer service is based in Australia?”

Exactly two-thirds (66%) of the total 334 poll respondents said they would pay anywhere between $5 and $20 extra per month on their broadband bill just to speak to a representative based in Australia.

22% (72 votes) of voters said they would pay $20 more each month on their broadband bill for an Australian-based call centre, 25% (83 votes) said they’d pay $5 more, while 15% (50 votes) would pay an extra $10 and 4% (15 votes) would pay $15 for the ‘privilege’. Only 34% (112 votes) of people said, “I wouldn’t pay more” for the onshore service.

Scott Kennedy, General Manager of Compare Broadband, said: “As unlimited data plans become the norm, ISPs need to differentiate themselves in other ways. Price is a major factor and I expect ‘free content’ to play a big part moving forward but I’m surprised consumers are prepared to pay more for Australia-based customer support. Broadband providers with support in Australia should be making more of song and dance about it.”

For broadband providers like Netspace, Westnet, Internode and iPrimus, whose call centres are based on Australia’s mainland, this result suggests a new opportunity for marketing the advantages of an onshore service.

The poll’s conclusion could also be an impetus for ISPs whose customer support teams are based offshore to consider adding at least one onshore call centre.

With the recent battle of the ever growing gigabyte and ever decreasing monthly cost of broadband plans, broadband plans have been marketed primarily on their size and cost. However, the poll suggests customers still place a high value on customer service from an Australian-based representative.