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CONSUMER SATISFACTION SURVEY FINAL REPORT May 2007 BY IPSOS INRA for THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION Health & Consumer

Protection Directorate - General _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ 2 | FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO Table of Contents Executive Summary ............................................................................. 8 A. GENERAL INTRODUCTION ...............................................................19 1. Context and objectives of the consumer satisfaction survey.....................19 2. Methodology ..............................................................................21 3. Satisfaction indicators ..................................................................23 3.1. Defining Consumer Satisfaction Indicators ....................................23 3.2. Structure of the final report.....................................................29 B. DESCRIPTIVE ANALYSIS OF THE SURVEY RESULTS ...................................30 1. Electricity supply ........................................................................30 1.1. Overall results .....................................................................30 1.2. Differences between EU Member States.......................................31 1.3. Differences by socio-economic group ..........................................33 1.4. Other key observations arising from the survey..............................34 1.5. Advanced analyses ................................................................35 2. Gas supply.................................................................................40 2.1. Overall results .....................................................................40 2.2. Differences between EU Member States.......................................41 2.3. Differences by socio-economic group ..........................................43 2.4. Other key observations arising directly from the survey ...................44 2.5. Advanced analyses ................................................................45 3. Water distribution .......................................................................50 3.1. Overall results .....................................................................50 3.2. Differences between EU Member States.......................................51 3.3. Differences by socio-economic group ..........................................53 3.4. Other key observations resulting directly from the survey.................54 3.5. Advanced analyses ................................................................55 4. Fixed telephone service ................................................................59 4.1. Overall results .....................................................................59 4.2. Differences between EU Member States.......................................60 4.3. Differences by socio-economic group ..........................................62 4.4. Other key observations arising directly from the survey ...................63

4.5. Advanced analyses ................................................................64 _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO | 3 5. Mobile phone service ....................................................................68 5.1. Overall results .....................................................................68 5.2. Differences between EU Member States.......................................69 5.3. Differences by socio-economic group ..........................................70 5.4. Other key observations arising directly from the survey ...................71 5.5. Advanced analyses ................................................................73 6. Urban transport ..........................................................................77 6.1 Overall results .....................................................................77 6.2. Differences between EU Member States.......................................78 6.3. Differences by socio-economic group ..........................................80 6.4. Other key observations arising directly from the survey ...................81 6.5. Advanced analyses ................................................................82 7. Extra-urban transport ...................................................................87 7.1. Overall results .....................................................................87 7.2. Differences between EU Member States.......................................88 7.3. Differences by socio-economic group ..........................................90 7.4. Other key observations arising directly from the survey ...................91 7.5. Advanced analyses ................................................................93 8. Air transport ..............................................................................97 8.1. Overall results .....................................................................97 8.2. Differences between EU Member States.......................................98 8.3. Differences by socio-economic characteristics ............................. 100 8.4. Other key observations arising directly from the survey ................. 101 8.5. Advanced analyses .............................................................. 102 9. Postal services.......................................................................... 106 9.1. Overall results ................................................................... 106 9.2. Differences between EU Member States..................................... 107 9.3. Differences by socio-economic characteristics ............................. 108 9.4. Other key observations arising directly from the survey ................. 109 9.5. Advanced analyses .............................................................. 110 10. Retail banking .......................................................................... 114 10.1. Overall results.................................................................. 114 10.2. Differences between EU Member States ................................... 115 10.3. Differences by socio-economic characteristics ........................... 116 10.4. Other key observations arising directly from the survey ................ 117 10.5. Advanced analyses............................................................. 118 _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ 4 | FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO 11. Insurance services ..................................................................... 122 11.1. Overall results.................................................................. 122 11.2. Differences between EU Member States ................................... 123

11.3. Differences by socio-economic characteristics ........................... 125 11.4. Other key observations resulting directly from the survey ............. 126 11.5. Advanced analyses............................................................. 127 C. DESCRIPTIVE ANALYSIS OF THE SURVEY RESULTS BY COUNTRY ................ 131 1. EU25 ..................................................................................... 132 2. Austria ................................................................................... 133 3. Belgium.................................................................................. 134 4. Cyprus ................................................................................... 135 5. Czech Republic ......................................................................... 136 6. Denmark................................................................................. 137 7. Estonia................................................................................... 138 8. Germany................................................................................. 139 9. Greece ................................................................................... 140 10. Finland................................................................................... 141 11. France ................................................................................... 142 12. Hungary.................................................................................. 143 13. Ireland ................................................................................... 144 14. Italy ...................................................................................... 145 15. Latvia .................................................................................... 146 16. Lithuania ................................................................................ 147 17. Luxembourg............................................................................. 148 18. Malta ..................................................................................... 149 19. Netherlands ............................................................................. 150 20. Poland ................................................................................... 151 21. Portugal ................................................................................. 152 22. Slovakia.................................................................................. 153 23. Slovenia ................................................................................. 154 24. Spain ..................................................................................... 155 25. Sweden .................................................................................. 156 26. United Kingdom ........................................................................ 157 _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO | 5 D. OVERALL FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS...................................... 158 1. Consumers’ overall satisfaction ..................................................... 158 1.1. Average score .................................................................... 158 1.2. Percentages of satisfied and dissatisfied consumers ...................... 159 2. Criteria that contribute to consumers’ overall satisfaction .................... 161 2.1. Consumers’ satisfaction with quality, pricing and image................. 161 2.2. The relative importance of Quality, Pricing and Image in consumers’ overall satisfaction with SGIs.................................................. 161 3. Differences between EU Member States ........................................... 163 3.1. Differences between EU15 and NMS10 countries........................... 163 3.2. Differences between individual Member States ............................ 164 4. Other key findings ..................................................................... 168

................................ Questionnaire and survey design . 3 Fixed telephony: percentage of satisfied vs...................................... 59 FT..................... 30 EL.1.. 168 4....................................... 31 EL....... dissatisfied consumers by country percentages (2006) ............................................ dissatisfied consumers by socio-economic category – percentages (2006) .percentages (2006) ....... 3 Electricity supply: proportion of satisfied vs..... 1 Water distribution: percentages of satisfied vs......................... dissatisfied consumers by country percentages (2006) ................. 169 4.........................................1............................... 53 WAT................ 2 Fixed telephone: percentage of satisfied vs................... 60 FT........ dissatisfied consumers by socioeconomic category ..... dissatisfied consumers by country percentages (2006) .......... 56 FT....................3............ 3 Gas supply: proportion of satisfied vs.................. 172 5.... 37 GAS...........................percentages (2006)................... 1 Electricity supply: proportion of satisfied vs...............................................2.........percentages (2006) ................................................. 2 Electricity supply: proportion of satisfied vs............................................ dissatisfied consumers ......................percentages (2006) ..... 3 Water supply: percentages of satisfied vs.............4............................................... Recommendations ........... 173 _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ 6 | FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO Table of graphs EL. 50 WAT............... dissatisfied consumers ............. 172 5.. 51 WAT..................... 33 EL................. 2 Gas supply: proportion of satisfied vs. 4 Two-dimensional analysis – Water .............. 170 5........ Opportunities for priority actions ................................................ dissatisfied consumers by socioeconomic category – percentage (2006) .............. dissatisfied consumers percentages (2006) ......... Areas for further research ............................. 1 Fixed telephony: percentage of satisfied vs........................... 40 GAS............................................. The socio-economic characteristics of consumers ............................................. 62 ...... dissatisfied consumers ......................................... 4 Two-dimensional analysis Electricity ...............2........................................................ 43 GAS............. dissatisfied consumers by country percentages (2006) ......... 47 WAT...... dissatisfied consumers by socioeconomic category percentages (2006) ..... 1 Gas supply: proportion of satisfied vs........................... Market issues ............. 4 Two-dimensional analysis Gas .................. 41 GAS........................................ 2 Water distribution: percentage of satisfied vs................

.. 1 Postal services: percentages of satisfied vs..... 4 Two-Dimensional analysis – Fixed telephone .................... 1 Extra-urban transport: percentages of satisfied vs.......................... dissatisfied consumers by country percentages (2006) ...................... 2 Urban transport: percentages of satisfied vs........percentages (2006)............................................................. dissatisfied consumers by socioeconomic category .............................. 3 Urban transport: percentages of satisfied vs.................................... 68 MP............... dissatisfied consumers by socioeconomic category ............................................... 97 AT. 69 MP........... 1 Mobile phone: percentage of satisfied vs....................................................................................... 3 Mobile phone: percentages of satisfied vs......... dissatisfied consumers by country percentages (2006) ...... 87 EUT.................................... dissatisfied consumers percentages (2006)......... dissatisfied consumers by country percentages (2006) . 78 UT........... 1 Urban transport: percentage of satisfied vs..percentages (2006) .............................................. dissatisfied consumers by socioeconomic category percentages (2006) .... 94 AT.......................... dissatisfied consumers by socioeconomic category .......... 4 Two-dimensional analysis – Air transport................................... 90 EUT.......... dissatisfied consumers by country percentages .... 65 MP... dissatisfied consumers ................................ 103 _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO | 7 PS....percentages (2006) .. 3 Air transport: percentages of satisfied vs............... 106 PS........ 2 Postal services: percentages of satisfied vs.percentages (2006)..................... dissatisfied consumers ... dissatisfied consumers ........... 77 UT. 4 Two-dimensional analysis – Urban transport. dissatisfied consumers .. 88 EUT............... 4 Two-dimensional analysis – Extra-urban transport ........... 2 Extra-urban transport: percentages of satisfied vs....................... 74 UT......................... 84 EUT.percentages (2006)................... 80 UT... 100 AT............. 3 Extra-urban transport: percentages of satisfied vs...................... 2 Air transport: percentages of satisfied vs.............. 70 MP........................FT..................percentages (2006)..............percentages (2006).................................................................................. 1 Air transport: percentages of satisfied vs............... 2 Mobile phone: percentages of satisfied vs............................................................................................ dissatisfied consumers by country percentages (2006) ............................... 98 AT..................................... 4 Two-dimensional analysis – Mobile phone.........

.......................................................... 122 INS.............................. 3 Insurance: percentages of satisfied vs......................percentages (2006) .... In 2005............................................... 111 RB........................................................ 107 PS.. 114 RB......... The consumer satisfaction survey was held in all of the 25 countries that were members of the European Union at that time and covered 11 ‘services of general interest’: .....................percentages (2006)... CONTEXT In 2003 and 2004 a pilot study on consumer satisfaction was carried out by INRA and Deloitte for the Health and Consumer Protection Directorate-General of the European Commission...... 2 Insurance: percentages of satisfied vs................ the European Commission’s Health and Consumer Protection Directorate-General launched a call for tender to prepare........................... was given this assignment together with Deloitte and some independent experts.......... 3 Retail banking: percentages of satisfied vs............................... 1 Retail banking: percentages of satisfied vs.... 128 _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ 8 | FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO Executive Summary 1................... dissatisfied consumers by socioeconomic category percentages (2006) ...... INRA.................... 116 RB......... dissatisfied consumers by socioeconomic category ... dissatisfied consumers by country percentages (2006) ...........Electricity Supply ............. 4 Two-dimensional analysis – Retail banking.......... dissatisfied consumers by socio-economic category percentages (2006) ... dissatisfied consumers ...... 1 Insurance: percentages of satisfied vs... 108 PS... dissatisfied consumers ...................... 125 INS........... 123 INS.................................... 4 Two-dimensional analysis – Postal services .... 3 Postal services: percentages of satisfied vs...................... implement and analyse an EU-wide consumer satisfaction survey using the methodology developed during the pilot study............................... dissatisfied consumers by country percentages (2006)............................. This aim of the study was to develop a methodology for producing consumer satisfaction indicators in the European Union and to carry out a pilot survey.................... 119 INS.......................................percentages (2006) .... 2 Retail banking: percentages of satisfied vs.................................. 4 Two-dimensional analysis Insurance........(2006)...... which has become part of the Ipsos Group.. 115 RB.............................

Extra-Urban Transport .Retail Banking .Mobile Telephony . ‘Satisfaction’ was defined as “the consumer’s assessment of a product or service in terms of the extent to which that product or service has met his/her needs or expectations”.Air Transport .91 . lasted 45 to 60 minutes each and covered 4 to 5 different services per respondent.Postal Services . as can be seen in the table below: Average score Air Transport 7.96 Mobile Telephony 7. Consumer satisfaction was measured both directly (‘observed satisfaction’) and after the responses to specific questions were statistically processed (‘calculated satisfaction’). There were on average 500 interviews per service and country.04 for Urban Transport to 7. The interviews were face-to-face. With the assistance of a Scientific Committee.000 interviews in the 25 EU member states.Water Distribution . For each service surveyed they gave an average score (on a scale from 1 to 10) ranging from 7. ‘consumers’ were defined as “people (18+) having used the service in the past 12 months”. The model developed during the pilot study allowed us to gain an understanding of the factors that contributed most to consumer (dis)satisfaction for each of the services. including over 29.Gas Supply .Insurance Services. took place at the respondents’ homes. EUROPEAN CONSUMERS ARE FAIRLY SATISFIED WITH SERVICES OF GENERAL INTEREST Overall. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO | 9 3. A ROBUST METHODOLOGY The questionnaire used for the pilot survey was slightly changed in line with the recommendations of the pilot study itself and the Commission’s requirement for the survey to be based on face-to-face rather than telephone interviews..96 for Air Transport. the survey was designed so that it would guarantee a sufficiently large sample size per service to run the satisfaction model whilst at the same time staying within the agreed budget. For the purposes of the survey. 2.Urban Transport . A robust and homogeneous methodology was used across countries and services.Fixed Telephony . European consumers appear to be fairly satisfied with services of general interest.

electricity. it usually means that they are very satisfied with it.9 52 45. 9 or 10 while “dissatisfied consumers” are people who gave the service a rating of 4 or less.Insurance services 7.They are least satisfied with extra-urban and urban transport.92 Retail Banking 7. The proportions of satisfied consumers are displayed in the following graph: 66.73 Gas supply 7.82 Water Distribution 7.European consumers are particularly satisfied with air transport.04 If consumers give a service a score of 8. ‘Satisfied consumers’ are people who gave the service a rating of 8. it is fair to say that: .42 Fixed Telephony 7. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ 10 | FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO 4.European consumers are less satisfied (or are more ‘neutral’ in their opinion) with utility services (gas.9 64. mobile telephony.30 Extra Urban Transport 7. Therefore.6 44.1 65. CONSUMERS IN THE EU25 ARE LEAST SATISFIED WITH URBAN AND EXTRA-URBAN TRANSPORT Another way of looking at overall satisfaction is to calculate the proportions of ‘satisfied consumers’ and ‘dissatisfied consumers’.6 52.4 63. looking at the average scores obtained for each service.64 Electricity supply 7.EU25 .5 Air transport Mobile phone Insurances Banking retail Water Gas Electricity Postal services Fixed phone Extra-urban transport Urban transport Overall.9 57. to what extent are you satisfied with your supplier? % satisfied customers .61 Postal Services 7.05 Urban Transport 7.2 57. insurance services and retail banking .1 60. water) .

5 3 Extra-urban transport Urban transport Fixed phone Postal services Water Electricity Banking retail Gas Mobile phone Air transport Insurances Overall. insurance services and retail banking.EU25 While EU consumers are least satisfied with urban and extra-urban transport. PRICE IS VERY IMPORTANT FOR EU CONSUMERS EU consumers were asked to evaluate each service according to three criteria: Quality.4 8.6 4. The only exceptions are urban and extra-urban transport: less than 5 consumers out of 10 said that they were satisfied with them. Image and Pricing. For each of these three criteria. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO | 11 A third way of looking at overall satisfaction is displaying the proportion of dissatisfied consumers: 10.3 4.3 9. The following table shows the average satisfaction scores for each criterion and each service. especially with air transport. mobile telephony.4 6. to what extent are you satisfied with your supplier? % dissatisfied customers .1 3. . only 10% of them said that they were dissatisfied with both services. they were asked to say whether they agreed or not (by giving a score from 1 to 10) with a list of statements.4 5.9 5. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ 12 | FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO 5.The majority of EU consumers said they were satisfied with most of the services surveyed.4 4.

7 7.5%) services. In other words. except .5 6. They tend to be less dissatisfied than the EU average with all the 11 services.0 6. insurance.0 6. Belgium Consumers tend to be more satisfied than the EU average with retail banking.3 7. insurance. mobile phone.1 7.e.4 Fixed Telephony 7. fixed telephony.8 7.0 7.8 Gas Supply 7.5 6.6 6. mobile telephony and water distribution. In other words.8 Air Transport 8.6 7.7 6.Service Quality Pricing Image Mobile Telephony 8. electricity.4 7.8 6.3 6. They tend also to be less dissatisfied than the EU average with all these services. mobile phone. for these services.0 7.2 Electricity Supply 7. reducing prices would have the greatest impact on overall consumer satisfaction. advanced statistical analyses show that pricing tends to be the main element that determines the extent to which consumers are satisfied with a service. electricity supply. gas. EU consumers tend to be more satisfied with the quality of service offered than the image of the service provider and the prices offered by their provider. On the other hand. especially air transport. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO | 13 6. insurance. This is the case in 6 out of 11 services surveyed i.5 8. urban transport and extra-urban transport.0 Retail Banking 8.4 7. However.2 Water Distribution 7.6 6. Trying to improve consumer satisfaction with a better quality service would have less of an impact on overall satisfaction.0 7. retail banking. water.9 Overall. fixed phone and urban and extra-urban transport and less satisfied with air transport and postal services. Results diverging from the EU average are found below: Austria Austrians tend to be more satisfied than the EU average with all 11 services evaluated.8 Urban Transport 7.3 Postal Services 7. retail banking and water distribution services. image is the key factor that determines consumer satisfaction for service providers for postal services.8 7.9 Insurance 8. Consumers are least satisfied with extra-urban (45. COMPARISON OF COUNTRY RESULTS A majority of EU25 consumers (more than 50%) are satisfied with 9 out of the 11 SGIs evaluated.4 Extra Urban Transport 7. consumers who believe their supplier has a negative image will tend to be less satisfied than those who believe their supplier has a positive image. Cyprus Consumers tend to be more satisfied than the EU average with all the services.6 7.6%) and urban transport (44.

8% of dissatisfied against 9. They tend to be more dissatisfied than the EU average with all the services except mobile phone. retail banking and gas distribution and less satisfied with fixed phone. mobile phone.urban transport (23% of satisfied against 44. they tend to be less dissatisfied than the EU average with urban and extra-urban transport and fixed phone. mobile phone. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ 14 | FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO Germany German consumers are most satisfied than the EU average with all the services except extra-urban transport. They tend to be more dissatisfied than the EU average with water and electricity distribution and less dissatisfied with postal services and extra-urban transport. Denmark Danes tend to be more satisfied than the EU average with the three utilities (water. They tend to be more dissatisfied than the EU average with postal services. consumers tend to be more satisfied than the EU average with gas distribution. gas distribution. insurance. fixed phone. retail banking. electricity and gas). France French consumers tend to be more satisfied than the EU average with extra-urban transport and less satisfied air transport. In addition. urban and extra-urban transport and less satisfied with water distribution. Finland Finns tend to be more satisfied than the EU average with all SGIs. urban and extra-urban transport. air transport.5% at the EU level). They tend to be more dissatisfied than the EU average extra-urban transport and less dissatisfied with fixed phone. water distribution and postal services. mobile phone. insurance. mobile phone. mobile phone and fixed phone and less satisfied with extra-urban services. retail banking. Greece In Greece. electricity. Czech Republic Consumers tend to be more satisfied than the EU average with air transport. They tend to be more dissatisfied than the EU average with water distribution and less dissatisfied with extraurban transport. They tend to be less dissatisfied than the EU average with extraurban transport. Hungary Hungarians tend to be more satisfied than the EU25 average with almost all SGIs except .4% at the EU level). Estonia Consumers in Estonia tend to be more satisfied than the EU average with retail banking. postal services. They tend to be more dissatisfied than the EU average with urban transport (53. insurance and extra-urban transport and less satisfied with electricity and fixed phone. postal services.

they tend to be more dissatisfied than the EU average with electricity. insurance.5%).7% against a EU25 average of 44. postal services.5% are satisfied against 60. However. Malta Consumers in Malta tend to be more satisfied than the EU average with mobile phone. retail banking. insurance and postal services and tend to be less satisfied with water and electricity distribution and urban transport. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO | 15 Italy Italians tend to be less satisfied than the EU average with all the SGIs. Ireland Consumers are more satisfied than the EU average with all the SGIs surveyed. They tend to be less dissatisfied than the EU average with postal services. fixed phone. except with water distribution (50. They tend to be more dissatisfied than the EU average with water distribution and less dissatisfied with urban and extra-urban transport and fixed phone. They tend to be less dissatisfied than the EU average with water. However. gas. they also tend to be less dissatisfied than the EU average with water distribution. retail banking. fixed phone. Latvia Latvians tend to be more satisfied than the EU average with all the SGIs. except with water distribution (where the proportion of satisfied is equal to the EU average). Luxembourg Consumers are more satisfied than the EU average with all the SGIs surveyed. air transport.2% at the EU level). They tend to be less dissatisfied than the EU average with fixed phone and more dissatisfied with insurance. Lithuania Lithuanians are more satisfied than the EU average with all the SGIs surveyed. Dutch consumers tend to be less satisfied than the EU average with all the SGIs. insurance. except with Air transport (where the proportion of satisfied is equal to the EU average). urban and extra-urban . Netherlands Just as with Italy. postal services and fixed phone. water and electricity distribution and urban transport. electricity and gas distribution. except with mobile phone and air transport (where the proportions of satisfied are in line with the EU average). urban and extraurban transport.with urban transport (37. fixed phone. urban and extraurban transport. postal services. They tend to be less dissatisfied than the EU average with gas and electricity distribution. postal services and extra-urban transport. insurance. fixed phone. fixed phone and extra-urban transport but are more dissatisfied with water distribution. They tend to be more dissatisfied than the EU average with urban and extra-urban transport. air transport.

retail banking. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ 16 | FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO Portugal Portuguese consumers tend to be more satisfied than the EU average with postal services and extra-urban transport and tend to be less satisfied with water. urban and extra-urban transport. consumers tend to be more satisfied than the EU average with postal services and insurance and tend to be less satisfied with fixed phone and urban transport. United Kingdom Consumers in the UK tend to be more satisfied than the EU average with fixed phone. retail banking. Slovenia Consumers are more satisfied than the EU average with all the SGIs surveyed. In addition. electricity and gas distribution and urban and extra-urban transport. air transport and urban/extra-urban transport and they tend to be more dissatisfied with water and electricity distribution and fixed phone. air transport. They tend to be less dissatisfied than the EU average with postal services. In addition. electricity and gas distribution. postal services and urban transport. fixed phone and extra-urban transport and tend to be less satisfied with air transport and postal services.transport. In addition. they tend to be less dissatisfied than the EU average with electricity and gas distribution and postal services. Spain Spaniards tend to be less satisfied than the EU average with insurance. retail banking. water and electricity distribution. except with urban transport (where the proportion of satisfied is in line with the EU average). They also tend to be less dissatisfied than the EU average with water and gas distribution and retail banking but tend to be more dissatisfied electricity. fixed phone and urban transport. gas. insurance and fixed phone. In addition. Poland In Poland. retail banking and extra-urban transport services. water. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ . gas. Sweden Consumers are more satisfied than the EU average with water distribution. they tend to be less dissatisfied than the EU average with postal services and extra-urban transport but tend to be more dissatisfied with air transport and mobile phone. mobile phone. mobile phone. water. they tend to be less dissatisfied than the EU average with fixed phone and extra-urban transport. They tend to be less dissatisfied than the EU average with air transport and tend to be more dissatisfied with fixed phone. Slovakia Slovaks tend to be more satisfied than the EU average with mobile phone and postal services and tend to be less satisfied with insurance. they tend to be more dissatisfied than the EU average with air transport. insurance. postal. gas and electricity distribution.

Image Consumer satisfaction with urban transport. Consequently. Actions designed to increase consumer satisfaction should therefore focus on these price components for maximum effect. mobile telephony. Urban and extra-urban transport . 8. changing from one supplier to another is often difficult. elements such as the reputation of the supplier. its willingness to put the client first and its flexibility are of great importance for consumers. where 3 consumers out of 4 think that they will stay with their current provider for the next 12 months. More specifically. insurance and especially air transport services. price levels are identified as the main issue in all the services. Making the consumers aware of the quality of the services they are using could improve satisfaction with these services in the long term. A very large majority of users prefer to deal with a national supplier (more than 90% of consumers). in these sectors. This is the case for most of the sectors.FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO | 17 7. and. long-term actions are appropriate in this area. Consumers tend to think they pay too much for services of general interest. except for air transport and fixed telephony. EU25 consumers tend to think that suppliers do not offer enough by way of special tariffs for specific target groups or specific usage. In addition. This statement tends to prove that consumers take quality of service for granted. retail banking and mobile telephone services (48% and 41% respectively). This is less the case for air transport services (60%). a large proportion of EU consumers (more than 5 out of 6) think that they will stay with their current provider for the next 12 months. The only exceptions are in fixed telephony. extra-urban transport and postal services is mostly influenced by the image their supplier has on the market. In these cases. pricing issues are major factors determining consumer satisfaction for most of the services surveyed. to a lesser extent. PRIORITY ACTIONS SHOULD FOCUS ON PRICING Pricing As mentioned earlier. at least 2 EU consumers out of 3 who can choose between at least 2 providers state that is easy to change. EU CONSUMERS FACE DIFFICULTIES WHEN IT COMES TO CHANGING SERVICE PROVIDER Overall. retail banking. Buying services from another country is only considered possible and even of potential interest in the case of air transport (4 consumers out 5). _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ 18 | FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO Quality Quality of service is the element that has the least influence on overall consumer satisfaction and yet people are most satisfied with this element when evaluating SGIs. Even in markets where there is more than one provider. Among these components.

a small preliminary study and small pilot survey could be undertaken in order to design and test the survey questions that should be included in the questionnaire. 9. Context and objectives of the consumer satisfaction survey Services of General Interest (SGIs) are of great importance in achieving the fundamental objectives of the European Union. air transport. accessible and affordable services of general interest meeting the needs of consumers is essential for the social and economic inclusion of all EU citizens and the territorial integrity of the EU. With the current survey approach. Actions to improve satisfaction could target the maintenance of transport networks and vehicles. this issue may have to be dealt with in another way. an analysis of complaints is difficult to carry out because of the low number of complaints made by the respondents. One hypothesis that emerges from the results of this survey is that consumer satisfaction in certain services – e. Moreover. understanding EU citizens’ perceptions of SGIs and the problems they have experienced . _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO | 19 A. This could help in predicting consumer behaviour towards changes in market structures and service offers. This would allow the Commission to answer the question as to where particular consumers have similar attitudes across sectors and countries. A final thought is that the way the survey and model has been constructed allows for its extension into other services and also the retailing of consumer goods. reliability of the services (frequency of service.) and the way the problems and questions raised by consumers are handled.g.Urban and extra-urban transport are clearly the services with which consumers are least satisfied. e. In order to test this hypothesis. this observation applies to almost all the countries. etc. The questionnaire survey and the underlying model and methodology could be used without major changes for future surveys. If the Commission were to consider the inclusion of new service categories in the future. Therefore. It might even lead to the definition of a typology for EU consumers. by asking other types of related questions for which the response rates are likely to be higher. Since the option of much larger sample sizes is likely to be rejected due to cost implications. a question on this topic might be included in future surveys.is affected by the extent to which people are familiar with the internet (since those who are may benefit more from certain services). Further investigation would need to be done to see whether there is a link between consumer satisfaction and the extent to which a sector has been liberalised. GENERAL INTRODUCTION 1. retail banking . RECOMMENDATIONS Overall. An interesting exercise would be to examine whether any form of statistical clustering of countries and/or services makes sense. The provision of high quality. the questionnaire and design of this survey appears to be robust.g. punctuality.

In 2003. focus groups) to measure consumer satisfaction with services of general interest. A special edition of ‘Consumers in Europe . For this purpose. population and sampling. data facilitates the monitoring and evaluation of EU and national policies. DG SANCO has been building up an 'evidence base' regarding services of general interest in order to improve policymaking and integrate consumer concerns into other EU policies.g. pilot survey on consumer satisfaction’. The assignment had three objectives: o To develop a methodology for the construction of consumer satisfaction indicators in the European Union. In addition.with SGIs through various studies and opinion surveys is one of the priorities of the Commission and in particular of the Directorate-General Health and Consumer Protection (DG SANCO). etc. o To analyse the outcomes of the pilot survey in order to indicate possible adaptations to the methodology developed in the first stage. which had become part of the Ipsos Group. Indeed. DG SANCO launched an open call for tender on the ‘Development of consumer satisfaction indicators. which acted as policy analysts and advisers and selected two independent experts to work on the pilot survey: Dominique Vanmarsenille and Professor Vanhoof (Hasselt University). is to be published in 2007. o To develop and carry out a pilot survey based on the proposed methodology. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ 20 | FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO Another open call for tender was launched in 2004 to prepare. DG SANCO has been carrying out regular quantitative surveys (e. INRA won this call.) and proposed statistical methods to be used and methods for calculating and presenting the consumer satisfaction indicators. Together with Deloitte. implement and analyse the consumer satisfaction survey using the methodology developed during the first assignment.Facts and Figures’. Eurobarometers) and qualitative studies (e.g. Qualitative studies are organised in connection with issues raised in Eurobarometers in order to have a better understanding of consumers’ views and cross-check Eurobarometer results. Data related to services of general interest are also made available in the publication entitled ‘Consumers in Europe Facts and Figures’. This methodology had to be practical and have a sound scientific basis. questionnaires. devoted to Services of General Interest. won the contract. In order to gather the most effective resources for this contract. INRA (now Ipsos Belgium). reflecting recent insights into consumer satisfaction and its measurement.g. survey methods. Ipsos decided to continue its partnership with Deloitte. The purpose of this pilot survey was to test the methodology and its underlying modelling and to propose a preliminary set of indicators. INRA and Deloitte developed an appropriate survey framework (e. .

retail banking and insurance. suppliers have . The scope of the project focuses on 11 services of general interest across all 25 EU members: gas. • Face to face data collection. water. gender. the services cost more than one can afford to pay) – accuracy (i. postal services.in other words the areas where improvements will produce the greatest gain in consumer satisfaction.e. • Price: price level – transparency (i. The indicators provide signals of whether SGIs are functioning properly and whether corrective regulatory or enforcement measures should be considered.e.The survey outcomes should serve as a tool to support EU consumer policy-making in SGIs. via sampling procedures based on a stratification of each country according to region and urbanisation degree. bus). • Representative random sample of users for each sector in the past 12 months.e. o identify priorities for improvement . at home. The questionnaire collects ‘observed’ dimensions (i.e. The indicators resulting from the survey ought to become a reference tool for EU policymakers in SGIs. The consumer satisfaction indicators proposed should be able to help EU policymakers define and review EU policy in these areas. it is easy to pay one’s supplier invoices) – affordability (i. air transport. fixed telephone.e. with interviews lasting an average of 55 minutes. Methodology Ipsos INRA applied a robust and homogeneous methodology across all the countries in order to guarantee a complete benchmark in terms of results: • 500 interviews per sector and per country (250 for sectors of low levels of usage). _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO | 21 2. urban transport (within towns/cities: tram. tariffs and invoices are clear and easy to understand) – payment process (i. o benchmark the performance of SGIs within a specific country or at the EU level. which would allow them to gauge both overall consumer satisfaction levels and to measure the specific elements that determine satisfaction levels in individual areas.e. rail/RER). extra urban transport (between towns/cities: rail. mobile telephone. easily observable criteria for consumers) among users and drivers of consumer satisfaction. o benchmark performance amongst EU member states within particular SGIs. what their main requirements are and how key service areas meet their expectations. electricity. o set goals for improvement and monitor progress. bus. the supplier’s invoices are correct) – commercial offer (i. age and occupation. The satisfaction indicators that were developed are sector-based and should enable DG SANCO to: o understand how consumers perceive certain SGIs. including common and specific items adapted for each sector: • Overall satisfaction with the service: overall satisfaction with the service – extent to which the requirements of consumers are met. underground.

1. the supplier offers high quality technical assistance) – handling questions and problems (i. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO | 23 3. The individual rating of each consumer satisfaction item is based on a 1 to 10 scale which allows consumers to carry out a nuanced evaluation. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ 22 | FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO • Commitment to the service (i. Regarded by the community of satisfaction research experts as the most academic and commonly accepted scale.e.e. the supplier puts always customers first) – state of the art (i.e. supplier respects the environment) – overall image. the analysis presented in this report provides the reader with two groups of indicators measuring consumers’ satisfaction towards SGI sectors: A.e. for price.e. helpful and friendly staff – confidentiality (i.e. supplier is technologically innovative) – environment (i. did the consumer communicate his/her problem) – satisfaction with the way the problems were solved. • Market and personal factors: enough competition – ability to move (change supplier) – accessibility of the services – cross-border purchasing – national preference (i. • Negative experiences with the services and complaints: number of problems experienced with suppliers – complaints (i. • Image: supplier’s reputation – relationship between supplier and customers – uniqueness of the supplier’s image – familiarity of customers with their supplier’s services – popularity of the supplier – flexibility of the supplier – supplier’s customer mindedness (i. calculating a consumer satisfaction level that integrates . Added value indicators.e.e. across sectors and over time. quality and image).e.e. the supplier shares their profit with consumers) – overall price. suppliers react promptly and appropriately) – availability of the supplier – professional. a prefer for dealing with a national supplier). reporting “direct consumer feedback” on their satisfaction levels in each sector both at overall and component levels (i. DEFINING CONSUMER SATISFACTION INDICATORS In order to take into consideration the complexity and multifaceted nature of consumer satisfaction. the supplier respects customers’ privacy/discretion when dealing with delicate problems) – investment and maintenance of infrastructures – points of sales – order ease (how easy it is to make an order or a booking) – transport comfort – transport network – overall quality. suppliers regularly inform their customers about their services and special tariffs) – technical support (i.e. the consumer will still use his/her service supplier/change supplier/stop using the service). • Quality: reliability of the service provided – service safety – offer relevance (i.attractive special tariffs for specific target groups) – profitability (i. Primary indicators. B. it is also the most consistent scale able to measure satisfaction across borders. the service meets consumers’ needs) – information (i.e. Satisfaction indicators 3.e.

we can more easily measure the percentage of satisfied and dissatisfied consumers for each sector and each criterion. quality and image) with their satisfaction. 2. On the basis of individual scores. people were asked to evaluate. we calculate two basic and complementary indicators that are commonly used in satisfaction research area: o Average levels of satisfaction: for each sector. NMS10). A) PRIMARY INDICATORS The first level of analysis aims to describe consumers’ feelings about services of general interest and about elements that constitute suppliers’ services as well as the problems encountered when using these services. Example: the average satisfaction score with sector x is 7.consumers’ expectations for each component (i. For each sector and all elements measured in the questionnaire (see Section 2). neutral and dissatisfied consumers. helping to identify and prioritise action that needs to be taken (i. In order to correct this standard bias the research community generally uses the ‘Top 3 – Bottom 4 model’ that says: ‘Consumers rating 1. the extent to which they are satisfied with their supplier. average scores are calculated for each sector. There is therefore an inherent bias in the use of 1-10 scales in satisfaction surveys. EU15.8 out of 10 o Levels of satisfaction and dissatisfaction: the research experts’ community widely admits that the average satisfaction score (as described above) is necessary but requires a complementary approach that helps distinguish between satisfied. 9 or 10 are considered as satisfied’ _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ 24 | FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO Based on this grouping rule. This analysis is built in such a way as to allow meaningful comparisons (and aggregations) of how consumers feel: across sectors in one member state. criteria raising high levels of expectation among consumers but showing current low levels of satisfaction). Typical distribution of satisfaction scores (1-10 scale) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Dissatisfaction =9% « Neutral » Satisfaction = 45% Average Satisfaction . in one sector across member states (EU25. 3 or 4 are considered as dissatisfied’ ‘Consumers rating 5. expectations towards price. 6 or 7 are considered as neutral’ ‘Consumers rating 8.e. The graph below shows the two complementary indicators of satisfaction (average / satisfied-dissatisfied) from a typical distribution of individual scores. As stated in most satisfaction surveys in Europe – and confirmed in this survey . on a scale from 1 (not satisfied at all) to 10 (fully satisfied).the average value of satisfaction on a 10 point-scale is not the arithmetical average of 5 but is closer to 7. and (at a later stage) over time.e.

Example: 60% of men and 40% of women are satisfied with sector x. B1) Satisfaction model A statistical model has been specifically built for DG SANCO and was previously validated during the pilot stage. B) ADDED VALUE INDICATORS While the main objective of the first level of analysis was to measure key satisfaction indicators and give an overall picture of a given service sector/country. This model offers a range of possible added-value analysis and allows especially to explain the contribution of observed variables to overall satisfaction. if the regression coefficients are the following: 0. the higher consumers’ expectations are.4 (price). These weightings can take a value ranging from 0 to 1.= 7. Example: On average. It will also be a useful tool for monitoring consumer satisfaction by country/sector over time and for evaluating the impact of a policy on consumer satisfaction. The more a weighting is close to 1. For example. commitment – complaints The model helps explain the level of overall satisfaction observed for a given sector with the help of the above-mentioned variables.25 (quality). consumers have experienced 3 problems with their supplier in the last 12 months.).35 (image) and 0. occupation level etc. allowing us to determine the levels of consumers’ expectations.7 In addition.e. o Breakdown analysis by consumer demographic profile (age. . which could be used to determine the areas of priority and the appropriate actions to be taken in order to improve satisfaction in a given sector/country. or. other key indicators are provided in the analysis: o Average numbers of consumer complaints. This means that price is the variable that contributes to satisfaction most. In other words. 0. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO | 25 The results of this advanced analysis will provide useful information for the Commission and DG SANCO in particular. the second level intends to make use of more advanced statistical methods in order determine the interaction of these key indicators so as to explain consumers’ overall satisfaction.e. In the rest of the section we set out details of the two statistical tools that were used: the satisfaction model and the two-dimensional analysis. in other words. the more the variable is contributing to overall satisfaction. gender. the model indicates the level of contribution made by each variable to overall satisfaction. variables explaining satisfaction: (perceived) quality – (perceived) price – image • Performance indicators: variables that are a consequence of satisfaction i. Contribution of observed variables to overall satisfaction The satisfaction model uses two types of variables: • Driving factors i. which determines the weight of each variable. This contribution is calculated through a regression analysis.

This means that price accounts for 40% of the observed satisfaction. Here again.25 for quality and 0. as in the following hypothetical example: In the fixed phone sector within the EU25.e.i. This mapping system is particularly useful in providing a visual representation of priority areas for improvement for the European Commission and DG SANCO to take into account. In other words. As mentioned before. price. The relationship between overall satisfaction and the above-mentioned variables provides useful information for policy-making. image). The model also indicates the variables that are a consequence of satisfaction and the contribution of overall satisfaction to these variables for a given sector. 0. if price reaches a low satisfaction score. on a simple mapping system that takes into account: ƒ the score of each variable on a 10-point scale (satisfaction). Policy-makers should then focus their attention on price as it contributes to dissatisfaction and consequently to complaints. The aim of this analysis is to summarise the opportunities for action (i.35 for image. areas where the SGI performs well and where no action is required). In addition. quality accounts for 25% of it and image 35%. it therefore becomes a priority area of action for policy-makers to increase the overall satisfaction of the sector. let’s suppose that complaints are the main consequence of this low level of satisfaction. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO | 27 . price contributes most to overall satisfaction. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ 26 | FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO For example. let’s suppose that. an increase of 10% in consumer satisfaction regarding prices would improve the overall consumer satisfaction level to 33% Æ Policymakers’ efforts could therefore be focused first on price transparency and information.40 for price. where consumers’ expectations are the highest. weightings are calculated in order to quantify the contribution of the overall satisfaction to the commitment and complaints level.of the 3 drivers of satisfaction (quality. areas where the SGI does not perform so well and where actions to change the situation are needed in order to improve consumer satisfaction) and areas where no action is needed (i. this is the most important factor. these coefficients express the importance (contribution) of each of these 3 drivers in the overall satisfaction. the level of satisfaction is low and that price is the variable that contributes most to this level of satisfaction.e.e. This said. The regression coefficient can have a value from 0 to 1. for a given sector. The model can also be used to set and test further hypotheses and assess the potential impact of actions. B2) Two-dimensional analysis The two-dimensional analysis is one of the most common approaches to be carried out on consumer satisfaction data and helps in the presentation of the final results. ƒ the regression coefficient – in other words consumers’ expectation levels . Example: let’s suppose that we find regression coefficients of 0.

7.e.8) Ideal situation Payment process (7. .e. Although these are not priority areas.35 for IMAGE and 0.25 for QUALITY • Average score: 6.the lower left quadrant corresponds to a low importance area i. i.5) Customer mindedness (6. In addition.25) Satisfaction - . Example: For a given sector. Attention should not be focused on these variables as they are secondary factors. 0.e.the upper right quadrant corresponds to an ideal situation.The lower right quadrant corresponds to a long-term action i.25 for reputation (IMAGE) and 6. a situation where the item’s satisfaction scores are above average whereas expectations are quite low for these variables. This quadrant defines the policy areas where action could have a longer term effect on overall consumer satisfaction. these contribute most to consumer satisfaction. 6. a situation where the item’s satisfaction scores are below average and expectations are quite low for these variables. situation where the item’s satisfaction scores are below average whereas consumers expectations for these variables are quite high (i. This is not a priority for the moment. these variables contribute a large amount to overall satisfaction). Consumers are not very satisfied with the items falling into this quadrant whereas these are important items for them. This quadrant defines the policy areas where action will have a small effect on overall consumer satisfaction. we find the following: • Satisfaction scores: 5.8 for customer mindedness (IMAGE) • Regression coefficient: 0.9 for payment process (PRICE). . an area where no action is needed.e.e. This is a situation where the item’s satisfaction scores are above average and consumer expectations are quite high for these variables. there may be an opportunity for raising consumer’s awareness about the importance of these items.the upper left quadrant corresponds to a priority action i. .5 for staff professionalism (QUALITY).83 _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ 28 | FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO Expectations + Priority actions Price level (5.Four quadrants are formed: .5 for price level (PRICE) and 7. Consumers are very satisfied with the items falling into this quadrant.9) Reputation (7.4 for PRICE. Consumers are quite satisfied with the items falling into this quadrant but these items do not contribute much to the overall satisfaction.0 for points of sale (QUALITY) and 7. This quadrant defines the policy areas where action will have the greatest effect on overall consumer satisfaction. This quadrant defines the policy areas where action will have the least effect on overall consumer satisfaction.

No action is required in these areas. The last part of this report will highlight the main findings of the survey. consumers are quite satisfied with payment process and reputation as these items obtained satisfaction scores above the average. 3. Staff professionalism performs very well as the satisfaction score is above the average. STRUCTURE OF THE FINAL REPORT The first part will present a descriptive analysis of the survey results for each sector .0) Long-term actions Staff professionalism (7. These two items are of high importance to consumers (they make a considerable contribution to overall satisfaction) whereas they obtain low satisfaction scores (compared to the average). An action in these two areas would have the greatest effect on consumer satisfaction.2. Advanced analysis based on the satisfaction model will complete this descriptive part.5) Satisfaction + Expectations Price level and customer mindedness are two priority areas for the sector given as an example. The results of the survey will be analysed by socio-economic group.Low importance area Points of sale (6. Communication in this area should raise consumer awareness of the importance of this item. Action taken in the area of point of sales would have little effect on consumer satisfaction as people’s expectations in this area are low. These two items correspond to an ideal situation as they play an important role in consumer satisfaction. For the moment. We will also conclude with recommendations for future improvements and research. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ 30 | FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO B. DESCRIPTIVE ANALYSIS OF THE SURVEY RESULTS 1. Electricity supply . this item is of less importance (it does not contribute much to overall satisfaction).at the EU and country level for each of the main topics assessed by the respondents. In the second part we use graphs to show the percentage of consumers who are satisfied or dissatisfied with the eleven SGIs (services of general interest) by country and for the EU25 as a whole. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO | 29 On the other hand.

to what extent are you satisfied with your electricity supplier? % Satisfied vs.4 41.8 36.6 5.percentages (2006) 62.5 57.8 53.6 (on a scale of 1 to 10).3 . Compared to the EU15. DIFFERENCES BETWEEN EU MEMBER STATES The following graph shows the percentage of satisfied and dissatisfied consumers per country: EL.2 58. there are relatively more satisfied consumers (those giving a score from 8 to 10) in the new member states (62%) but also relatively more dissatisfied consumers (7% of respondents gave a score from 1 to 4).1. 2 Electricity supply: proportion of satisfied vs.7 56. Dissatisfied _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO | 31 1.2.1 52.2 56.1.7 47 48.9 57.6 58. OVERALL RESULTS EU consumers are fairly satisfied with electricity supply: the average score at EU25 level is 7.3 0 20 40 60 80 100 EU25 EU15 NMS10 Satisfied Dissatisfied Overall. The percentages of satisfied and dissatisfied consumers are displayed in the following graph: EL. This result suggests that consumers from the new member states pay more attention to this service than EU15 consumers but it could also point to higher differences in quality and/or perception levels within these countries.1 42.3 6. dissatisfied consumers . dissatisfied consumers by country percentages (2006) 34.5 4. 1 Electricity supply: proportion of satisfied vs.

6 8.8 0 20 40 60 80 100 IT .3 63.6 12.3 6.8 72.9 5.6 72.4 2.7 6.5 4.5 78.4 3.1 6.1 71.1 73.6 2.1 4.5 11.4 62.2 73.6 9.9 79.4 4 17.1 2.2 3.4 3.5 71.9 60.2 70.5 8.7 73.5 81.5 2.1 6.4 8.2 2 1.2 6.3 6.5 2.2 65.59.4 9.

the Netherlands. Denmark. Estonia. Ireland. Cyprus.PT NL ES MT EL SK SE EU15 EU25 UK CZ PL FR NMS10 FI BE CY LU EE HU DE LV IE SI DK AT LT Satisfied Dissatisfied Overall. The first group includes countries where consumers are more satisfied than the EU25 on average. Austria. the proportion of satisfied consumers ranges from 35 % (Italy) to 82 % (Lithuania). Most of the new member states (6 out of the 10) are in this first group. Portugal and Italy. Slovenia. Luxembourg. Dissatisfied (% by country) At country level. 2. Latvia. Greece. . The second group contains countries where consumers are less satisfied than the EU25 on average: Slovakia. In Portugal and Italy less than 40% of consumers say they are satisfied with their electricity supply. Germany. Malta. these are: Lithuania. Belgium and Finland. to what extent are you satisfied with your electricity supplier? Satisfied vs. In descending order. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ 32 | FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO Based on the proportion of satisfied consumers. EU countries can be divided into two groups: 1. Hungary. Spain.

DIFFERENCES BY SOCIO-ECONOMIC GROUP The following graph displays the proportion of satisfied and dissatisfied consumers for different socio-economic groups: EL.6 57. Luxembourg. Denmark.8 60.7 54.3.7 3.9 5. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO | 33 1.The survey results also show that the proportion of dissatisfied consumers in Malta.9 3.2 4. At the other extreme fewer than 3% of consumers say they are dissatisfied in Lithuania.3 56 59.5 6.5 62 56.6 57.4 6.8 52.9 5 5.5 58.5 6. Portugal and Sweden is higher than 10% (it is even 17 % in Malta). dissatisfied consumers by socioeconomic category – percentage (2006) 57.6 4.5 4.6 8. Germany and Slovenia.9 . Belgium.7 5.4 3.7 60 55. Austria.6 58. 3 Electricity supply: proportion of satisfied vs.7 5.6 5.3 59 56.3 50.

Managers (62%). consumers who completed their secondary school studies tend to be more satisfied than those who dropped out of school early. retired consumers (61%) and blue collar workers (60%) tend to be more satisfied than those belonging to other professional categories while the selfemployed and house-persons are the least satisfied. more than 7 consumers out of 10 consider their electricity provider to have a positive image overall (as against an EU25 average of 51%). to what extent are you satisfied with your electricity supplier? % by socio-demographics Gender Age Education Occupation _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ 34 | FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO In terms of occupation. Cyprus. B) OVERALL QUALITY . The unemployed tend to be more dissatisfied than the others with respect to electricity supply. 2. Lastly. 1. 31% in Portugal and Malta.5. Only 28% of consumers in the Netherlands.5 Men Women 18-34 35-54 55+ Up to 15 years 16-19 years 20 years + Still studying Self-employed Managers Other white collars Blue collars Students House-persons Unemployed Retired Satisfied Dissatisfied Overall. 33% in Italy and 35% in Spain and Sweden consider their electricity provider to have a positive image overall. In terms of age.4. Luxembourg and Ireland. the graph shows the following results: 1. OTHER KEY OBSERVATIONS ARISING FROM THE SURVEY A) OVERALL IMAGE In Austria. people over 55 years old are more satisfied (60%) than the other categories and than the EU25 on average.

C) OVERALL PRICE Only 35% of consumers say that their provider’s prices are fair given the services provided. Spain. when asked about changing their provider. consumers are less convinced that this would be easy to do: only 54% believe that there are no barriers. almost two thirds of consumers think that there is enough competition. ADVANCED ANALYSES A) CRITERIA THAT CONTRIBUTE TO CONSUMERS’ OVERALL SATISFACTION As mentioned at the beginning of this report. whereas only 28% of Czech consumers think so. Danes. The weighting of each of these criteria (regression coefficient 1 . _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO | 35 E) MARKET AND PERSONAL FACTORS More than 8 consumers out of 10 prefer to deal with a national electricity provider. The same proportion think that the services of these providers are available for everybody and available everywhere. 22% of Danes. only 23% of EU consumers think that it is possible to buy electricity from an electricity supplier outside their country. The only exception is Belgium. This contribution to consumers’ overall satisfaction is calculated through a regression analysis which determines the relative weighting of quality. D) COMMITMENT In countries where consumers have the choice between electricity providers. it is important to determine the criteria or elements that influence and explain consumers’ overall satisfaction. Slovenia. The Czechs. Germany. Belgium. Luxembourg. where only 46% say they are committed to their supplier. 1. In the UK and the Netherlands. Finland and Germany are the only countries where an absolute majority (from 50% to 52%) agrees with this statement. pricing and image in overall satisfaction. A majority (41%) of them could not give an answer. in Austria. the vast majority of consumers have no intention of changing supplier in the short run (within a year).5. pricing and image. These criteria are quality.For the majority of EU25 consumers (57%). Sweden and the UK.e. However. 35% of Austrians and 36% of Belgians believe that it is easy to change from one supplier to another. Austrians are the most satisfied consumers as far as the overall quality of electricity distribution is concerned (80% of consumers say they are satisfied). the Czech Republic. In liberalised markets. 18% of Czechs. before taking any action to improve consumers’ overall satisfaction. Austrians and Belgians are the least convinced. Finland. this idea is shared by 84% and 77% of users respectively. i. Finally. their electricity provider offers a quality service. the Netherlands. Denmark.

e.314 Pricing 0. pricing and image (marked as ‘Satisfaction’ on the X-axis of the map) • The weighting or contribution of each criterion (quality. The diagram on the following page shows the areas where priority actions are needed in .this weighting represents the extent to which each criterion is important to consumers (marked as ‘Importance’ on the Y-axis of the map). The aim is to determine: • the areas where the SGI does not perform well and where actions to change the situation is needed in order to improve consumers’ satisfaction.493 1 These weightings can take a value ranging from 0 to 1. However. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ 36 | FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO The regression coefficients show that all three factors are important.) calculated for the electricity supply service is shown in the following table: Regression coefficients Quality 0. the main (or remaining) factor that influences consumer satisfaction and choice of supplier is price – all other factors are considered to be good enough. This is done by mean of a diagram taking into account the following information: • The average satisfaction score given by consumers to each criterion related to quality. pricing has the biggest impact on satisfaction (i. Another part of the explanation is probably that. with 0 meaning that the criteria has no influence on overall satisfaction and 1 meaning that it contributes fully to overall satisfaction. another advanced analysis needs to be performed: the twodimensional analysis. consumers’ expectations as to price are higher than for quality and image). In other words. efforts to improve consumers’ overall satisfaction with the electricity supply service need to be focused on pricing issues to a large extent and then on image and quality. B) OPPORTUNITIES FOR ACTION In order to define precise and concrete actions to improve consumers’ satisfaction with the electricity supply service. • the areas where the SGI performs well and where no action is needed. This result can be partially explained by the fact that in the electricity market the price elasticity of demand is low (an increase in the electricity price level causes a less than proportional decrease in domestic demand). pricing and image) to consumers’ satisfaction . in a mature market with few differentiated products.302 Image 0.

74) Ideal situation Payment process (7. 4 Two-dimensional analysis .05) Overall price (6.22) Familiarity (7.29) Questions/problem handling (7.86) Uniqueness (6.34) Availability (7.64) Information (6.43) Relationship (7.69) Order ease (7.38 Reputation (7.15) Ease (7.37) Popularity (7.96) Offer relevance (7.Electricity Importance + Priority actions Transparency (7.56) Long term actions Safety (8.49) Overall image(7.81) Environmentally friendly actions (7.order to improve consumers’ satisfaction with the electricity supply service.53) Technical support (7.71) Confidentiality (7.27) Satisfaction Low importance area Points of sale (6.89) Overall quality (7.07) Customer service mentality (6. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO | 37 EL.56) Commercial offer (6.92) Accuracy (7.58) Staff professionalism (7.75) State of the art technology (7.41) Price level (5.11) Reliability( 7.55) Infrastructure (7.29) Satisfaction + .

any action that would lead to an increase of 10% of consumers who are satisfied with the price of their electricity supply service would lead to an increase of 5% in overall consumers’ satisfaction with this service.g. • commercial offers i. On the other hand. related to price calculation or energy-savings tools).Importance _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ 38 | FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO OVERALL OBSERVATIONS In the previous section. to receive more information about their supplier’s services and expect their supplier to take environmental concerns into account. Given the weighting of the pricing criteria (near to 0. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO | 39 QUALITY . To a lesser extent. even in liberalised markets. it is only now that major electricity providers are beginning to feel the need to advertise and invest in their image or in added value information services (e. In this context of newly competitive markets. • the transparency of tariffs. consumers are not fully satisfied with price issues. consumers expect to deal with their supplier in a flexible way. • Improve suppliers’ customer service mentality. Therefore.e. SPECIFIC AREAS OF INTEREST PRICING The elements of pricing that consumers are particularly dissatisfied with and that need special attention are: • the price level charged by suppliers for electricity distribution services. IMAGE Overall consumers’ satisfaction can also be improved by taking measures that would: • increase the differentiation between electricity providers . there are not enough attractive special tariffs for specific groups of consumers. No particular action needs to be taken in these areas. the competition is still limited (former state-owned suppliers continue to have most of the market share). In addition. consumers are satisfied with the different options they are given to pay their invoices (‘payment process’) and the accuracy of the invoices received from their supplier. the diagram shows that perceived price is the element that has the greatest influence on consumer satisfaction with their electricity supply service.consumers expect their electricity provider to have a ‘unique’ image that others do not have. it can be assumed that most of the opportunities for improvement are related to improving consumers’ perception of price and that these improvements would consequently influence overall consumers’ satisfaction with this service. These observations might be explained by the fact that member states’ domestic markets are not yet fully liberalised and that.5).

percentages (2006) 60. Gas supply 2.9 4.6 57.9 6. rating their satisfaction between 5 and 7 . since they are used to receiving electricity on a reliable and constant basis. Nevertheless. In most of these countries fewer consumers take a ‘neutral’ position (i. their needs are sufficiently met and there are not many opportunities for improvement in this area. priority actions that need to be taken in electricity supply in order to increase consumer satisfaction are as follows: o increase the number of special tariffs and the transparency of tariffs on the one hand and decrease the price level on the other hand. This does not mean that consumers show little interest in the quality of electricity or related services they receive. dissatisfied consumers . But it could be explained by the fact that. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ 40 | FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO 2. CONCLUSIONS Considering these statements. o the accuracy of invoices and the ease of the payment process. The following graph shows the percentage of satisfied and dissatisfied consumers at EU level: GAS. 1 Gas supply: proportion of satisfied vs. On the other hand.4 0 20 40 60 80 100 EU25 EU15 NMS10 Satisfied Dissatisfied Overall. OVERALL RESULTS EU consumers are fairly satisfied with their gas suppliers: the average score at EU25 level is 7. consumers tend to be satisfied with the quality of service provided by their electricity provider. o strengthen the supplier image by developing a unique image and improving customer service mentalities.6 on a scale from 1 to 10. the type of relationship between consumers and suppliers and the fact that suppliers deliver their products and services via state of the art technologies. Dissatisfied Questions not asked for that service in Cyprus and Malta The above graph shows that both the percentages of satisfied and dissatisfied consumers are higher in the ten new member states (considered as group). the following positive elements need to be maintained: o the popularity and the reputation of suppliers. quality does not have a major influence on consumers’ overall satisfaction with this service.1.e. to what extent are you satisfied with your gas supplier? % Satisfied vs.As mentioned earlier.2 4 57.

3 47.7 74.6 10.6 47.5 4.8 84.9 4. DIFFERENCES BETWEEN EU MEMBER STATES The percentages of satisfied and dissatisfied consumers in EU countries 2 are shown in the graph below: GAS.2 77.9 64.9 58.2 57.out of 10).4 43.9 60.1 75.9 76.2.1 4 4.8 4.1 .1 69.5 68.2 58.3 69.9 65. This finding is similar to the results for electricity supply.9 81.5 57.8 6. dissatisfied consumers by country percentages (2006) 36.5 87.2 67.6 77.4 3.5 64. 2 Gas supply: proportion of satisfied vs. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO | 41 2.4 4.7 49.3 58.

6 1.5 3.8 2.9 0.2 2.6 4.9.2 2.6 1.4 1.9 2.7 3.7 4.1 1.1 15 0 20 40 60 80 100 IT SK NL ES PT EU15 EU25 FR UK PL NMS10 CZ HU BE LV EE LU DE SE AT FI SI DK IE LT EL Satisfied Dissatisfied .7 1.7 1.

Luxembourg.4 % (Italy) to 87. The first group is made up of countries in which consumers are more satisfied than EU25 consumers are on average: Greece. Based on the percentage of satisfied consumers. These countries are followed by Denmark. Slovenia. EU countries can be organised into two groups: 3. 4. Spain. the Czech Republic and Hungary have also relatively high percentages of satisfied consumers. Finland. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO | 43 2. Dissatisfied (% by country) Questions not asked for that service in Cyprus and Malta 2 There is no gas distribution infrastructure in Malta or Cyprus. Ireland . the percentage of consumers who are satisfied with their gas supply service ranges from 36. Czech Republic and Hungary. Lithuania. Hungary and the Czech Republic (from 64 to 70%).6 55. the Netherlands and Slovakia (from 43% to 49% of satisfied consumers) and Italy. Belgium. Remarkably. The second group is made up of countries in which consumers are less satisfied than the EU25 average: Portugal. The highest percentages of dissatisfied consumers are to be found in three new member states: Slovakia. respectively. 3 Gas supply: proportion of satisfied vs. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ 42 | FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO At country level. As already noted.6 .3. which has the lowest percentage of satisfied consumers (36%). dissatisfied consumers by socio-economic category – percentages (2006) 58. These countries have therefore been left out of the comparisons.4 % (Greece).2 57.with very high percentages of satisfied consumers (from 82 to 87%). Latvia. six of the ten new member states are in this group. to what extent are you satisfied with your gas supplier? Satisfied vs.7 57. DIFFERENCES BY SOCIO-ECONOMIC GROUP The following graph shows the percentages of satisfied and dissatisfied consumers according to their socio-economic category: GAS. with. Estonia.2 60 54.Overall. Austria and Sweden (from 74 to 78%) and finally Germany. 15%. 10% and 9% of dissatisfied consumers.

4 Men Women 18-34 35-54 55+ Up to 15 years 16-19 years 20 years + Still studying Self-employed Managers Other white collars Blue collars Students House-persons Unemployed Retired Satisfied .4 4.7 4.5 5.2 6.4 4.5 6.8 48 51 62.2 4.1 4.4 51 60.2 59.2 56.5 4.59.7 59.6 58.9 55.6 3.1 3.5 4.6 7.4 4.5 4.7 4.4 4.

Slovenia. 30% in Italy. Ireland. Slovakia. to what extent are you satisfied with your gas supplier? % by socio-demographics Questions not asked for that service in Cyprus and Malta Gender Age Education Occupation _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ 44 | FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO When the figures are broken down by socio-economic group. Respondents who have been at school up until the age of 15 (or less) are somewhat less satisfied (55% are satisfied) than those who have finished secondary school. their provider’s prices are considered fair given the services provided. D) COMMITMENT More than 8 consumers out of 10 who have the choice between several gas suppliers (i. Only 25% in Sweden. There is no significant difference between men and women in terms of how far they are satisfied with their gas supply services. B) OVERALL QUALITY For the majority of EU25 consumers (59%). Portugal. Belgium. 32% in the Netherlands and 39% in Portugal and Spain think that their gas provider has a positive image overall. Ireland. 2. OTHER KEY OBSERVATIONS ARISING DIRECTLY FROM THE SURVEY A) OVERALL IMAGE In Greece. Slovenia and the UK) will keep their supplier in the next 12 months. whether in the EU15 or in NMS10. Finland. C) OVERALL PRICE For a small percentage of EU citizens. Luxembourg. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO | 45 . Spain. France.Dissatisfied Overall. Austria. Slovenia and Greece. Ireland. their gas provider offers a quality service. more than 7 consumers out of 10 see their gas provider as having a positive image overall (against an EU25 average of 49%). Lithuania. The Greeks are the most satisfied consumers as far as the overall quality of gas distribution is concerned (88% of ‘satisfied’ consumers). on the other hand. are the only countries where an absolute majority (from 51% to 63%) agrees with this statement. This percentage is the lowest (16%) in Slovakia. managers (62%) and house persons (61%) appear to be those who are most satisfied with their gas supplies. Finland. the Netherlands.e. Greece. respondents over 55 years old are clearly the most satisfied consumers – 60% of them rated their satisfaction equal to or greater then 8 out of 10.4. In terms of age groups. Luxembourg and Finland.

2. consumers expect to receive a safe and reliable (e. quality is the criterion that is regarded by consumers as the most important when they evaluate their gas supply service. EU consumers have different views: 42% believe that there are no barriers. 78% of French people and 74% of Slovaks do not think that there is enough competition in their country. While 87% of British people.488 Image 0. With regard to changing provider. In other words. In particular. especially in France (76%) and in Slovakia (71%). The UK (80%) and Portugal (79%) are the countries where the greatest percentage of people agree with this statement. according to 68% of EU gas users and especially in the new member states (75% against 67% in the EU15). _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ 46 | FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO B) OPPORTUNITIES FOR ACTION . pricing and image in consumers’ overall satisfaction (regression coefficient 3 ) calculated for the gas supply service is shown in the following table: Regression coefficients Quality 0.g. when asked whether they think it is possible to buy gas distribution services from a supplier outside their country. consumers’ overall satisfaction will be mostly influenced by how far they are satisfied with the quality of their gas supply service. In addition. 3 These co-efficients can have a value ranging from 0 to 1. Their services are available for everybody and everywhere. a majority could not give an answer (40%) and 38% said they did not think it is possible.276 Pricing 0.5.E) MARKET AND PERSONAL FACTORS Almost 8 EU consumers out of 10 prefer to deal with national gas providers. with 0 meaning that the criteria has no influence on overall satisfaction and 1 meaning that it has a major influence on overall satisfaction. A similar percentage disagrees with this statement. 79% of Portuguese people and 67% of Dutch people agree with the fact that there is enough competition in their country. especially in the EU15 (43% as against 22% in the NMS10). ADVANCED ANALYSES A) CRITERIA THAT CONTRIBUTE TO CONSUMERS’ OVERALL SATISFACTION The relative weight or importance of quality. no disruptions in the gas supply) service.204 As can be seen.

another advanced analysis needs to be carried out in order to define precise and concrete actions that can be taken to improve consumers’ satisfaction with gas supply service.1) Customer mentality (6.85) Overall quality (7.As mentioned earlier.5) Technical support (7.87) Order ease (7.31) . This is done by mapping out the results of the surveys by taking into account the following information: • the average satisfaction score given by consumers for each criterion related to quality. This weight represents how far each criterion is regarded as important by consumers (marked as ‘Importance’ on the diagram.38) Availability (7. • the areas where the SGI performs well and where no action is needed.69) Infrastructure (7. the X-axis).2) Familiarity (7. pricing and image) to consumer satisfaction.07) Offer relevance (7.7) Staff professionalism (7. pricing and image (marked as ‘Satisfaction’ on the diagram. the Y-axis).67) Ideal situation Safety (8.48) Environment friendly (7.42) Questions/problem handling (7.76) Confidentiality (7.11) Reliability (8.Gas Importance + Priority actions Points of sale (6. 4 Two-dimensional analysis . This is called a two-dimensional analysis: The aim is to determine: • the areas where the SGI does not perform well and where actions to change the situation are needed to improve consumer satisfaction.91) Uniqueness (6. • The weight or contribution of each criterion (quality.79) Information (6.24) Reputation (7. The diagram on the following page shows the areas in which priority actions are needed to improve consumer satisfaction with their gas supply service _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO | 47 GAS.14) Ease (7.

• Customer service mentality: suppliers need to put the client first. i. • reliability of service: their supplier offers a reliable service i. Consumers seem to be satisfied with: • safety of service: their supplier provides them with a safe service.45) State of the art (7.98) Overall price (6. Consumers are looking for more differentiation among gas suppliers. • point of sale: consumers would like to have a point of sale near to their home.3 respectively) while price is substantially below average levels of satisfaction (with a score of 6. This is an encouraging observation in a sector where safety and continuity of service are of paramount importance from a consumer’s point of view. all the time and without disruptions in the supply. IMAGE Similarly to the electricity supply sector.91) Price level (5.42) Overall image (7.Popularity (7. • infrastructure: their supplier invests in modernising their infrastructure.8 and 7. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ 48 | FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO SPECIFIC AREAS OF INTEREST QUALITY The elements of quality that consumers are particularly dissatisfied with and that need special attention are: • the information provided by gas suppliers: apparently consumers do not receive regular information about their supplier’s services and special tariffs. the areas where action needs to be taken to improve consumers levels of satisfaction are: • building a unique supplier’s image (uniqueness): consumers need to have a gas supplier with an image that is different from the others. .41) Commercial offer (5.58) Relationship (7. gain good scores (7.4). Variables that have the greatest impact on consumers’ overall satisfaction. On the other hand.34) Satisfaction Low importance area Transparency (6.37) Satisfaction + Importance OVERALL OBSERVATIONS The average satisfaction rating for all the variables is 7. it works well.93) Accuracy (7.e.74) Long term actions Payment process (7.2.e. quality and image.

5 4. no specific action is needed to change this situation.• Familiarity: consumers need to know about the services of their supplier and understand what their supplier does. o in terms of image. They do not have much of an impact on consumers’ overall satisfaction. Although these elements are a source of dissatisfaction for consumers. the EU of 15 member states prior to the 2004 accession of ten new member states and the ten new member states that joined in 2004: WAT. improving customer service mentality. quality of the infrastructure. order ease. increasing environmental care. o boost the supplier’s image by developing a unique image. popularity. PRICE Consumers are dissatisfied with the following elements of pricing: • price level: their provider does not offer reasonable or competitive prices. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ 50 | FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO 3.9 60. staff professionalism. they are not considered of great importance. On the other hand. confidentiality. the main areas that the gas supply can be improved so as to increase consumer satisfaction are as follows: o increase the quality of services and products by informing consumers better and being more ‘consumer-focused’.4 . reliability. the safety. • transparency: tariffs and invoices are not clear or easy to understand. boosting the consumer’s familiarity with and the flexibility of the supplier. broken down into the EU of 25 member states.1. relationship and respect for the use state of the art technology in the delivery of gas and related services. questions/problems handling and availability. Therefore. 1 Water distribution: percentages of satisfied vs. it is important to maintain the strengths (high satisfaction combined with high importance) of gas supply: o in terms of quality. The following graph shows the percentages of satisfied and dissatisfied respondents in the water distribution sector.8 60. EU25 consumers give their water distribution service a satisfaction rating of 7. technical support.1 7. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO | 49 CONCLUSIONS Given the above. Water distribution 3.7 on a scale from 1 to 10.2 5. dissatisfied consumers percentages (2006) 59. • commercial offer: their supplier does not have attractive special tariffs for specific target groups or for specific usage. offer relevance. OVERALL RESULTS On average.

4 46.5 64.2 52.0 20 40 60 80 100 EU25 EU15 NMS10 Satisfied Dissatisfied Overall.6 71.5 72 73. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO | 51 3.5 . Dissatisfied More than 60% of EU25 consumers are satisfied with their water distribution service.6 59.2 59. DIFFERENCES BETWEEN EU MEMBER STATES The differences between EU member states in terms of percentages of satisfied and dissatisfied consumers are displayed in the following graph: WAT.8 59 59.7 60. 2 Water distribution: percentage of satisfied vs. there are more dissatisfied consumers in the new member states than in the EU15 (7.9% of them being dissatisfied in the NMS10 against 4.1 59.3 70.8% in the EU15). There is no significant difference between the percentage of satisfied consumers in the EU15 and the percentage of satisfied consumers in the NMS10. to what extent are you satisfied with your water supplier? % Satisfied vs.2.8 53. dissatisfied consumers by countrypercentages (2006) 40.5 51.2 60.9 50.5 52 52. However.4 56.1 53.

8 86.9 1.9 84.79.4 8.3 2.8 3.2 2.7 12.6 2.6 80.9 9 8.7 83 83.6 9.3 4.5 6.8 0.2 1 1.6 8.4 4.9 14.6 11.1 0 20 40 60 80 100 IT ES LV EE FR PT SK MT NL PL EL .8 8.4 7.3 1 7.5 5.8 7.4 8 4.5 5.

France. Denmark. and Spain and Italy. Spain. as well as Greece. Germany. The countries where consumers are least satisfied with their water distribution service are the Netherlands. Cyprus Sweden and Finland (with percentages of satisfied consumers ranging from 80% to 87%). Italy and Lithuania with a percentage of dissatisfied consumers between 8% and 10%. while most of the southern European countries are in the second group (Italy. Germany. Latvia (with the percentage of satisfied consumers ranging from 50% to 53%). Slovenia. Slovakia. Ireland and Hungary (from 71% to 73. Slovakia. Malta). Most of the northern European countries are in the first group of countries with high percentages of satisfied consumers (Denmark. Estonia (12%) and Latvia (12%).5%). Portugal. Estonia. there are a number of countries where the percentages of dissatisfied consumers are relatively high: Malta (14%). Finland). Malta. the Czech Republic. In several countries with average or lower numbers of satisfied consumers. o Luxembourg. Sweden. consumers in the two following groups tend to be more satisfied with their water distribution service: o Austria. Portugal. Dissatisfied (% by country) _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ 52 | FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO Compared to the EU average. Portugal. Compared to other utility services. where only 40% to 47% of respondents say they are satisfied with their water distribution service. the percentage .NMS10 CZ LT UK EU25 EU15 BE HU IE SI LU FI SE CY DE DK AT Satisfied Dissatisfied Overall. to what extent are you satisfied with your water supplier? Satisfied vs.

3 62.9 .3.9 5.2 4. 3 Water supply: percentages of satisfied vs.2 5.7 57.6 4.8 4.1 52.of dissatisfied consumers is also very low: the figures range from 0.8 61. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO | 53 3.2 5.5% in Sweden.2 63 60.6 62. consumers tend to be relatively neutral as there are both low percentages of satisfied consumers and low percentages of dissatisfied consumers in these countries.9 4.4 5.2 6.5 7.7 60 60.5% in Belgium to 1. dissatisfied consumers by socioeconomic category percentages (2006) 59. DIFFERENCES BY SOCIO-ECONOMIC GROUP The following graph shows the percentages of satisfied and dissatisfied consumers according to their socio-economic category: WAT.1 59. In the Netherlands.8 4.6 5.3 61 60.3 60.5 63.9 5.2 5.6 61 54.

as for the two other utility sectors.4. men are slightly more satisfied with their water distribution than woman (61% versus 59%). In terms of education levels. where fewer than 4 .7 5 5 Men Women 18-34 35-54 55+ Up to 15 years 16-19 years 20 years + Still studying Self-employed Managers Other white collars Blue collars Students House-persons Unemployed Retired Satisfied Dissatisfied Overall. Finally. 3. OTHER KEY OBSERVATIONS RESULTING DIRECTLY FROM THE SURVEY A) OVERALL IMAGE In Austria. Malta. Finland and Luxembourg. Consumers saw their water provider as having the least positive image in France and in most of the southern European countries (Italy. only the respondents who stopped studying at the age of 15 or before are less satisfied (55%) than the average population. to what extent are you satisfied with your water supplier? % by socio-demographics Gender Age Education Occupation _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ 54 | FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO The extent to which consumers are satisfied with their water distribution service cannot be explained by their professional occupation or age.6. Portugal and Spain). Cyprus. The only professional category where the number of satisfied consumers is significantly lower than the average is the selfemployed category (53%). 7 consumers out of 10 see their water provider as having a positive image overall (against an EU25 average of 49%).

Luxembourg. Italy and France (26% each). D) COMMITMENT In the 3 countries where the market for water distribution is liberalised. Germany. there are considerable differences across the EU. a large percentage of EU25 consumers (72%) think that their water provider services are available for everybody. ADVANCED ANALYSES A) CRITERIA THAT CONTRIBUTE TO CONSUMERS’ OVERALL SATISIFACTION As can be seen from the table below. Although consumers in Finland. Austria. a quarter of users believe that this is a possibility. On the other hand. This is the case in Slovakia (22%). In six countries. France and Latvia. In Finland. on the other hand. B) OVERALL QUALITY The majority of EU25 consumers (58%) said that their water provider offers a quality service overall. fewer than 30% of consumers think that their water provider prices are fair in terms of the service provided (against an EU25 average of 38%). Malta (23%). France and Latvia have a choice between several suppliers. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO | 55 E) MARKET AND PERSONAL FACTORS Overall. In Spain. pricing has the greatest impact on consumers’ overall satisfaction. Finland. C) OVERALL PRICE With regard to consumers’ attitudes to price. 3. more than 50% of consumers in Finland. only 44% of respondents agreed with the statement. i. A small percentage of EU consumers (14%) believe that there is a possibility of buying water distribution services from another country. Slovenia. followed by image and quality. Regression coefficients . only a small percentage of them believe that there is enough competition (13% on average and only 4% in Latvia). 9 consumers out of 10 said they will still use their supplier in the next 12 months. In the new member states.consumers out of 10 said they felt that their water provider had a positive image.e. Hungary and Ireland think that their water provider prices are fair in terms of the service provided. even fewer consumers find it easy to change from one supplier to another (8% on average). Portugal and Spain (29% each). this percentage comes to 82% (as against 70% in the EU15).5. Denmark. Austrians are the most satisfied consumers as far as the overall quality of water distribution is concerned (83% are ‘satisfied consumers’) whereas Italians are again at the opposite end of the spectrum (38% are ‘satisfied consumers’). Moreover. Cyprus.

77) Price level (6. WAT.42) Overall image (7.12) Customer mentality (6.48) Relationship (7.97) Uniqueness (6. • the areas where the SGI is performing well and where no action is needed. pricing and image) to consumers’ satisfaction .342 Image 0.370 Pricing 0.78) State of the art (7.37) Reputation (7. which takes into account the following information: • the average satisfaction score given by consumers to each criterion related to quality. The aim is to determine: • the areas where the SGI is not performing well and where action to change the situation is needed in order to improve consumers’ satisfaction. efforts to improve consumers’ overall satisfaction with their water distribution service need to be focused on pricing issues to a large extent.this weighting gives an indication as to how important each criterion is to consumers (marked as ‘Importance’ on the Y-axis of the map).55) Popularity (7.58) Ideal situation Payment process (7. the two-dimensional analysis. needs to be carried out in order to define precise and concrete actions to improve consumers’ satisfaction with their water distribution supply. • the weighting or contribution of each criterion (quality.23) Environment friendly (7. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ 56 | FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO This is done via a diagram.Quality 0. 4 Two-dimensional analysis – Water Importance + Priority actions Overall price (6.21) Commercial offer (5. B) OPPORTUNITIES FOR ACTION Another advanced analysis. pricing and image (marked as ‘Satisfaction’ on the X-axis of the map).32) Satisfaction Low importance area Availability (7. followed by image and quality issues.47) Transparency (7.97) Accuracy (7.434 Therefore.19) Ease (7.19) .13) Familiarity (7.

SPECIFIC AREAS OF INTEREST PRICE Consumers are less satisfied with the price of their water distribution service and the special tariffs offered by their supplier than with other elements of pricing.69) Overall quality (7. the position of the ‘state of the art’ item on the diagram suggests that consumers expect water distributors to take new technologies more into account and to . Therefore.88) Information (5. are tariffs and invoices clear and easy to understand).e. ‘accuracy’ (i. it is clear that this is again the area in which priority actions might be undertaken. In addition. the diagram shows that the element that has the greatest influence on consumer satisfaction with water distribution service is their perception of price levels.19) Points of sale (6.Technical support (7. consumers are satisfied with ‘payment process’ (i.92) Long term actions Reliability ( 7.38) Questions/problem handling (7.86) Offer relevance (7.27) Satisfaction + Importance _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO | 57 OVERALL OBSERVATIONS In the previous section. In addition. it can be assumed that most of the opportunities for improvement are related to improving consumers’ perception of price and that these improvements would in turn have an impact on overall consumers’ satisfaction with this service. This might be explained by the fact that the water distribution service is not liberalised in most of the countries. is it easy to pay invoices). No particular action is needed in these areas. On the other hand. Taking into account that this pricing is the criterion that has the biggest impact on consumers’ overall satisfaction.e. which does not need to differentiate itself from another competitor.82) Order ease (7.52) Infrastructure (7. consumers are not fully satisfied with pricing issues.94) Safety (7.78) Confidentiality (7.e. are invoices correct) and ‘transparency’ (i. Generally there is only one supplier.64) Staff professionalism (7. IMAGE The average satisfaction score that respondents give to ‘uniqueness’ and ‘customer service mentality’ is quite low compared to other elements related to the supplier’s image.

1 7. Fixed telephone service 4.3 out of 10). 1 Fixed telephony: percentage of satisfied vs. • ‘points of sale’: there is no agency near to their home. This request could be linked to their wish for ICT (information and communications technology) to be used when they order services and for meter reading procedures. Average satisfaction is slightly higher in the EU15 than in the NMS10. strengthening consumers’ sense of ‘familiarity’ with their water distributors and better use of new technologies (state of the art) to help consumers when they order a service and with meter readings. consumers are less satisfied with their fixed telephone service (rating of 7. the areas in which priority actions might be taken are as follows: o Pricing: bringing the price down whilst developing better and/or more commercial offers for specific target groups (or providing better information on the existing special tariffs). how much limestone or nitrate it contains). compared to other SGIs.percentages (2006) 51. this can be explained by a bigger percentage of dissatisfied consumers in the NMS10 than in the EU15. • ‘availability’: consumers cannot reach their supplier when they need to. repairs.6 52. which might reflect the confidence consumers have in the quality of the water distribution services that are being delivered. FT. As can be seen in the graph below. o Image: increasing the focus on consumers and improving the image of the uniqueness of the supplier. OVERALL RESULTS Overall. This suggests that consumers would be interested in receiving more information about.4 12. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO | 59 4.g.improve their ability to innovate. On the other hand. the characteristics of the water they use and drink (e. • ‘technical support’: their supplier does not offer a high quality technical service when it comes to new installation. CONCLUSIONS Given these statements.6 .1. consumers are relatively satisfied with their supplier in terms of the reliability and safety of the service provided. etc. for instance. dissatisfied consumers . _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ 58 | FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO QUALITY The elements of quality that consumers are least satisfied with and that need special attention are: • ‘information’: they do not think that their supplier provides them with regular information about their services and offers.

4 65. dissatisfied consumers by country percentages (2006) 27.8 60.2. DIFFERENCES BETWEEN EU MEMBER STATES The following graph shows the percentage of satisfied and dissatisfied respondents by country.4 52 52.4 72.2 49.5 68.7 70.9 61.52 8.1 65.3 14.4 29.5 68. 2 Fixed telephone: percentage of satisfied vs.7 36 39.4 0 20 40 60 80 100 EU25 EU15 NMS10 Satisfied Dissatisfied Overall.2 68.1 45.7 40.4 73 78.8 . Dissatisfied _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ 60 | FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO 4.7 45. to what extent are you satisfied with your fixed phone supplier? % Satisfied vs.1 53.1 59.3 51. FT.1 71 71.3 62 63.

1 4.6 2.4 13.3 10.6 9.7 5.2 3.3 7.4 6.1 0 20 40 60 80 100 IT PT ES NL CZ EL PL FR NMS-10 EU25 EU15 SK UK FI DK BE SE LV .5 4.6 3.9 4.3 9.6 8.6 5.1 7.2 6.5 3.5 6.3 23.6 1.6 12.7.7 2.4 7.7 20.7 3.

In addition. Sweden. . Ireland has the highest percentage of satisfied consumers (78%). Estonia. Latvia. countries with the lowest percentages of satisfied consumers are found in: Poland. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ 62 | FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO 4. Austria. Slovenia.3. Dissatisfied (% by country) _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO | 61 The percentages of satisfied and dissatisfied consumers vary considerably from one member state to another. Lithuania. to what extent are you satisfied with your fixed phone supplier? Satisfied vs. the Netherlands and Spain (between 35% and 40%) Portugal and Italy (less than 30% of satisfied consumers) Overall. Poland and Hungary is between 10% and 15%. Denmark. On the other hand. The countries with very high percentages of satisfied consumers by comparison with the EU25 average are Ireland. The member states with the lowest percentage of dissatisfied consumers are Ireland. Germany. Luxembourg. Greece (45% each) Czech Republic. Hungary. Belgium. consumers in the Czech Republic (23%) and Portugal (20%) are most dissatisfied with fixed telephone services by comparison with other SGIs. DIFFERENCES BY SOCIO-ECONOMIC GROUP The following graph shows the percentage of satisfied and dissatisfied consumers by socioeconomic category. Malta. The percentage of dissatisfied consumers in Italy. The difference between the highest (Ireland) and the lowest (Italy) percentages of satisfied consumers is greater than 50 percentage points. Austria and Malta (less than 3%). Cyprus. Finland and the UK. southern European countries (except Malta and Cyprus) appear to have the lowest percentages of satisfied consumers.HU CY SI LU AT EE DE LT MT IE Satisfied Dissatisfied Overall.

8 11 7.9 6.7 9.9 54.9 56 50 54.9 7.6 55.1 10.5 50. dissatisfied consumers by socioeconomic category percentages (2006) 51.9 7.5 42.5 8.9 58.3 51.4 49.FT. 3 Fixed telephony: percentage of satisfied vs.3 8.9 8.1 Men Women 18-34 35-54 55+ Up to 15 years 16-19 years 20 years + Still studying .3 50.9 7.5 41.9 8.7 7.1 6.1 40.6 47.8 8.3 52.4 52.9 5.8 13.

They are followed by unemployed people (55%). Italy (31%). Estonia. Spain (35%). retired people are relatively more satisfied (58%). Both groups are significantly more satisfied than the EU25 average.5%) are significantly less satisfied than the average. Cyprus. These two groups also include the highest percentage of dissatisfied consumers (over 10%). to what extent are you satisfied with your fixed phone supplier? % by socio-demographics Gender Age Education Occupation _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO | 63 Once again. blue collar workers (52%). as are white collar workers (55. B) OVERALL QUALITY More than 70% of users in Slovenia. the lowest percentages (less than 40%) of . Finally. Lithuania. Belgium. managers (51%) and house-persons (50%). Education does not seem to explain how far consumers are or are not satisfied with their fixed telephone service. the more satisfied he/she is with his/her fixed telephone service. Ireland. OTHER KEY OBSERVATIONS ARISING DIRECTLY FROM THE SURVEY A) OVERALL IMAGE Whereas fixed telephone operators enjoy a positive image in most EU countries. the older the consumer.Self-employed Managers Other white collars Blue collars Students House-persons Unemployed Retired Satisfied Dissatisfied Overall. The graph also shows that. students (41%) and self-employed people (40. At the other end of the spectrum. There are no differences between men and women in this respect. C) OVERALL PRICE Germany and Ireland are the countries where fixed telephone users are the most satisfied with the overall prices charged by their operator (61% of them are ‘satisfied’ in both countries).5%). Latvia. with results above 50%. 4. Germany and Hungary think that their fixed telephone provider offers a quality service overall whereas this is the case for only 33% of Italians and Portuguese and 47% of Dutch citizens.4. Netherlands and Sweden (39% each). Denmark. consumers from 6 countries take the opposite view: Portugal (25%).

Lithuania (43%) and the Czech Republic (46%) agree with it least. almost half of the users believe that it is possible.5. Irish. this is the case for more than 9 users out of 10. The lowest percentage of people agreeing with this statement can be found in Latvia (64%). Greece and Malta). in Ireland. Lithuania. Finally. especially in Ireland (81%). 77% of consumers said they will still use their fixed telephone supplier in the next 12 months. show the lowest level of commitment (61%). on the other hand. a lower percentage of EU25 users think (67% of EU25 consumers against 69% in the EU15 and 57% in the NMS10) that it would be easy to change from one operator to another. Spain. Portugal and the Netherlands this is true for more than 90% of users. 4. 35%. Indeed. The lowest percentages of people agreeing with this statement are to be found in Latvia. Regression coefficients Quality 0. followed by image and quality. think that fixed telephone services are available for everybody in their country. People in the Czech Republic and in Estonia. pricing issues have the biggest impact on consumers’ overall satisfaction. a large majority of EU25 citizens (80%) who use fixed telephone services prefer to deal with a national operator. However. Dutch and German consumers agree with this statement most (more than 80% in each country) whereas people in Latvia (32%). A small percentage of EU25 consumers (28%) believe that it is possible to buy fixed telephone services from another country. 75% of EU25 users (77% in the EU15 and 64% in the NMS10) believe that it is possible to get what they want from any fixed telephone supplier without a reduction in quality. ADVANCED ANALYSES A) CRITERIA THAT CONTRIBUTE TO CONSUMERS’ OVERALL SATISFACTION As shown in the table below. In Luxembourg and Greece. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ 64 | FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO E) MARKET AND PERSONAL FACTORS Most of the EU25 consumers (84%). In terms of competition. Malta (35%). In Greece.consumers satisfied with the prices they pay are to be found in most of the southern European countries (Portugal. Malta and Czech Republic (30%. Ireland.241 . especially in the EU15 (85% against 79% in the NMS10). However. D) COMMITMENT The level of commitment towards their current fixed telephone operators is relatively high in the European Union. Italy. 37% and 48% respectively).

• The weighting or contribution of each criterion (quality. pricing and image) to consumers’ satisfaction .63) Familiarity (7.15) Ease (6.15) Overall image (7.92) Overall price (6.64) Long term actions Order ease (7.25) Relationship (7.96) Reputation (6.07) Points of sale (6. The diagram is put together by taking into account the following information: • the average satisfaction score given by consumers to each criterion related to quality. pricing and image (marked as ‘Satisfaction’ on the X-axis of the diagram).428 Pricing 0. FT.this weighting gives an indication as to how important each criterion is to consumers (marked as ‘Importance’ on the Y-axis of the diagram).89) Uniqueness (6.74) Ideal situation Payment process (8.37) Transparency (7.27) Popularity (7.82) . people do not appear to have particular expectations regarding quality.Image 0.73) Price level (6.21) Environment friendly (7.03) Accuracy (7.76) Customer mentality (6. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO | 65 B) OPPORTUNITIES FOR ACTION The diagram below shows the areas where priority actions are needed to improve consumers’ satisfaction with the electricity supply service. This may be due to the fact that the quality of their fixed telephone service is taken for granted by consumers.65) State of the art (7.464 Given the low impact that this criterion has on consumer satisfaction. 4 Two-Dimensional analysis – Fixed telephone Importance + Priority actions Commercial offer (6.24) Satisfaction Low importance area Availability (7.21) Questions/problem handling (7.

efforts should be focused in these two areas in order to increase consumers’ overall satisfaction with their fixed telephone service. • have a good reputation.6) Overall quality (7. SPECIFIC AREAS OF INTEREST PRICE The level of price (‘price level’ in the diagram) for fixed telephone services is one of the main sources of dissatisfaction for EU25 consumers. consumers give a satisfaction score of 7. the pricing of fixed phone services is still a point of dissatisfaction for EU consumers. Canada or even Hong Kong. in spite of considerable price reductions since 2000. Voice over Internet Protocol).62) Confidentiality (7.47) Staff professionalism (7. competition between information technologies (e.e. Commercial offers from fixed telephone operators (the lack of special prices for specific target groups or specific usage) are also a source of dissatisfaction for consumers. All these factors make fixed telephony a basic service that consumers are not ready to pay much for any more. the price of telecommunications has been high in Europe compared to other countries such as the United States. IMAGE Consumer expect their fixed telephone operator to • have a unique image that other operators do not have • have a consumer service mentality. All of this could explain why. which is below the average. Historically.53) Offer relevance (7. At the same time. Recently. Consequently.Reliability( 7.3) Satisfaction + Importance _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ 66 | FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO OVERALL OBSERVATIONS The average satisfaction score that consumers give to all the items is 7. . several factors have raised the price consciousness of EU consumers (liberalisation of the telecoms industry has put the spotlight on the different tariffs charged by different operators in different countries. pricing and image are of high importance for consumers i. where local calls were free.68) Infrastructure (7. in a number of countries.35) Information (7. For fixed telephony.7 to those related to pricing.g. Both price level and commercial offers are two areas that need special attention and on which action for improvement should focus. they have the biggest impact on consumers’ overall satisfaction.37) Technical support (7.24 out of 10. Therefore. the penetration of mobile telephony has recently become higher than that of fixed telephony.2 to the elements related to image and 6.

1. Consequently. QUALITY As mentioned before. especially in the NMS10. on the evidence of the low satisfaction scores given by consumers. i. the great diversity of tariffs makes the assessment of the best offer and the most interesting supplier difficult for consumers. On the other hand. quality of service does not have a big impact on consumer satisfaction. It may just mean that quality is generally guaranteed and therefore consumers tend to take it for granted. This difference is clear from the much higher percentage of satisfied consumers in the NMS10. OVERALL RESULTS Amongst the 11 SGIs surveyed in this study. accuracy and quality of the payment process. the following are potential ways in which fixed telephony services could be improved: o decreasing the price level combined with increasing the quality and visibility of commercial tariffs. although operators are offering more and more tailor-made solutions in terms of tariffs and services (e. However. they would like to be able to deal with their operator easily. MP. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO | 67 It may well be that. according to the second quadrant of the diagram. Mobile phone service 5. o the overall quality of the services provided. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ 68 | FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO 5.8 3.• be flexible. mobile phone services are among the most appreciated.9 64. consumers think that their operator is popular. voice mail. there is no consensus in the overall opinion about a particular operator. They do not have particular expectations in this respect.g. Nevertheless.2 . o improving the overall image of the service providers in terms of reputation and customer service mentality. their operator is technologically advanced and has the ability to innovate.e. 1 Mobile phone: percentage of satisfied vs.percentages (2006) 72. This does not mean that quality is not important for consumers. their expectations are not being met in these areas. second call signal.4 4. In addition. the positive elements of the fixed phone services that must be maintained are: o the transparency. dissatisfied consumers . they are familiar with their operator (they understand what they do) and they are satisfied with the relationship they have with them. caller ID). • be environmentally-friendly. as shown in the graph below. forwarding. CONCLUSIONS Considering these observations and the fact that the criteria of image and pricing are the elements that have the most influence on consumers’ overall satisfaction.

65.9 4.1 0 20 40 60 80 100 EU25 EU15 NMS10 Satisfied Dissatisfied Overall, to what extent are you satisfied with your mobile phone supplier? % Satisfied vs. Dissatisfied _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO | 69 5.2. DIFFERENCES BETWEEN EU MEMBER STATES The following graph shows the percentages of satisfied and dissatisfied respondents for each of the countries: MP. 2 Mobile phone: percentages of satisfied vs. dissatisfied consumers by country percentages (2006) 41.7 49.7 51 55.3 64.4 65.9 67.2 67.5 68.8 69.2 70.9 71.4 71.7 72.7 72.8 73 73 73.8 74.4 76.4 76.8 78.3 79.1 79.6 79.9 82.9 83.5 83.9 8.7

2.5 6.4 4.1 3.4 2.6 3.4 2.7 6 4.8 3.4 4.1 2.6 5.8 1.3 2.4 2.8 1.7 3.6 2.3 2.5 2.1 2.9 0.7 4.1 3.9 4.2 2.6 0 20 40 60 80 100 ES IT NL FR EU15 EU25 PL UK PT LU EL DK SE FI NMS10 SK IE CZ

BE AT SI EE LT MT LV HU DE CY Satisfied Dissatisfied Overall, to what extent are you satisfied with your mobile phone supplier? Satisfied vs. Dissatisfied (% by country) Most countries have higher percentages of satisfied consumers than the EU25 does on average. This is especially the case for Cyprus, Belgium and Hungary. The lowest percentages of satisfied consumers are to be found in France (55%), the Netherlands and Italy (about 50%) and finally Spain (42%). _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ 70 | FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO 5.3. DIFFERENCES BY SOCIO-ECONOMIC GROUP The following graph shows the percentages of satisfied and dissatisfied consumers by socioeconomic category: MP. 3 Mobile phone: percentages of satisfied vs. dissatisfied consumers by socioeconomic category percentages (2006) 65.5 66.4 65.4 65.7 67 62.2 66.3 67.4 65.2 60 69.7 67.2 67 63.9 65.7 65.6 65.4 4 4.6

2 3 5 4.8 4.4 3. Gender Age Education Occupation _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO | 71 5.3 3.9 4. OTHER KEY OBSERVATIONS ARISING DIRECTLY FROM THE SURVEY A) OVERALL IMAGE . to what extent are you satisfied with your mobile phone supplier? % by socio-demographics The only socio-demographic group characteristic that has an influence on consumer satisfaction is their level of education.5 4. the more they tend to be satisfied with their mobile phone services.2 Men Women 18-34 35-54 55+ Up to 15 years 16-19 years 20 years + Still studying Self-employed Managers Other white collars Blue collars Students House-persons Unemployed Retired Satisfied Dissatisfied Overall.2 4.5 3.2 3.1 3. The more consumers are educated.4.4.9 4.2 4.

the percentage of people who are satisfied with their operator’s prices ranges from 60% to 77%. Latvia. Indeed. the Czech Republic. C) OVERALL PRICE Mobile phone users are relatively satisfied with their operator’s prices (55% of consumers in the EU25 are satisfied). Greece. Cyprus. users in the new member states are also more satisfied with the services provided by their operator than users in the EU15 are (80% for the former against 69% for the latter). 84% of consumers say they will still use their mobile telephone supplier in the next 12 months. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ 72 | FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO E) MARKET AND PERSONAL FACTORS Most of the EU25 consumers (88%) think that mobile telephone services are available for . Hungary and Germany. in countries such as Ireland. Lithuania. this percentage falls below 50%: Spain (26%). Dutch people are more satisfied with their supplier’s quality of service (56%) than with its overall image in the market (48%). Latvia. Slovakia and Slovenia. Austria. In Cyprus. Malta. In the EU15. Germans are the first to think that their mobile phone operator enjoys a good overall reputation (82%). less than 50% of Spaniards and Dutch people say that their mobile phone operator has a good reputation (44% and 48% respectively). Poland. Slovenia. Indeed. In the new member states. The results by country are similar to the overall picture across the EU.Operators in the new member states enjoy a more positive image than those in the EU15 do. This is especially the case in the new member states (65% against 53% in the EU15). Estonia. Italy and Spain are the two countries where the lowest percentage of people satisfied with the overall quality of their mobile phone provider are to be found (47% and 43% respectively). At the individual country level. the Netherlands (42%). their mobile provider has a good overall reputation in the market (against 66% in the EU15). Finland. In 6 countries. Czech Republic and Hungary. the level of commitment is higher than 90%. B) OVERALL QUALITY In terms of quality. for 80% of those in the NMS10. Italy (39%). Lithuania. France and Portugal (44% each) as well as Sweden (46%). At the other extreme. which is the highest score compared to the EU average (7%). 76% say they will keep their provider but 15% will not. Hungary. This is especially the case for the Czech Republic. 88% say they will still use their mobile telephone supplier in the next 12 months. Denmark. In Denmark. In Portugal. Latvia. D) COMMITMENT The level of commitment towards mobile telephone operators is relatively high in the European Union. almost a quarter could not make up their minds (24% of ‘don’t knows’ against an EU average of 9%).

this weighting gives an indication as to how important .435 B) ASSESSMENT OF DIFFERENT VARIABLES It is important to consider the following information. followed by quality in third place. consumers’ biggest expectations regard pricing first. i. a large majority of EU25 citizens (79%) who use mobile telephone services prefer to deal with an operator in their country. The lowest percentage of people agreeing with this statement is to be found in Cyprus (60%). in order to define precise and concrete actions to improve consumers’ satisfaction with their mobile phone service: • the average satisfaction score given by consumers to each criterion related to quality. ADVANCED ANALYSES A) CRITERIA THAT CONTRIBUTE TO CONSUMERS’ OVERALL SATISFACTION As shown in the table below. Germans and Portuguese (93%). only 23% of Danes. which is reported in the diagram on the next page.278 Image 0. pricing and image) to consumers’ satisfaction .e. • The weighting or contribution of each criterion (quality. 89% of EU25 users (90% in the EU15 and 86% in the NMS10) believe that there is enough competition on the mobile phone market. Latvians and British people (95% each). Finally. Spaniards (91%) and Polish (90%) whereas in Malta it is only the case for 52% of consumers. The second most important criterion is image. pricing is the criterion that has the biggest impact on consumers’ overall satisfaction.335 Pricing 0. pricing and image (marked as ‘Satisfaction’ on the X-axis of the diagram). However. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO | 73 5. as only 54% and 60% respectively say that there are no barriers. Regression coefficients Quality 0. A larger percentage of EU25 consumers (41%) believe that there is a possibility of buying mobile telephone services from another country than it is the case for fixed telephony (28%). This is especially the case for Greeks (98%).5. In Greece and Ireland this is true for 98% and 96% of users respectively. In France and Denmark it appears to be more difficult than in other countries. Dutch people (94%).everybody in their country. 27% of Maltese and 28% of Lithuanians and Slovenians think that buying mobile telephone services from another country is possible. A lower percentage of EU25 users (78% of the EU25 as against 77% in EU15 and 82% in the NMS10) think that it would be easy to change from one operator to another. Estonians (97%).

19) Reputation (7. The areas where priority actions are needed to improve consumers’ satisfaction with their mobile phone services are set out in this diagram.07) Overall quality (8.73) Customer mentality (7.96) Satisfaction Low importance area Questions/problem handling (7.76) Safety (7.each criterion is to consumers (marked as ‘Importance’ on the Y-axis of the diagram).47) Price level (7.91) Satisfaction + Importance OVERALL OBSERVATIONS .85) State of the art (8.57) Environment friendly (7.76) Commercial offer (7.36) Confidentiality (8.93) Availability (7. 4 Two-dimensional analysis – Mobile phone Importance + Priority actions Transparency (7.72) Points of sale (7.1) Relationship (7.06) Ideal situation Payment process (8.15) Popularity (8.98) Information (7.74) Ease (7.93) Reliability( 7.5) Long term actions Order ease (8.28) Accuracy (7.08) Infrastructure (8. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ 74 | FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO MP.97) Overall image (7.34) Uniqueness (7.68) Overall price (7.77) Familiarity (7.05) Staff professionalism (8) Offer relevance (7.

In addition. Although consumers are not happy with the way operators deal with their problems and questions. QUALITY There is no particular need for improvement in the short term. which is of high importance to them. • transparency of tariffs and invoices: they are not clear and not easy to understand. mobile phone operators do not meet consumers’ expectations. the following are the main opportunities for action that could increase consumer satisfaction: . products. Consumers expect more differentiation between providers. These elements have a low impact on consumers’ overall satisfaction. These elements are two areas of interest where immediate action is needed to improve consumers’ overall satisfaction with mobile phone services. IMAGE Another source of discontent for consumers is the fact that their provider has no unique image. obtained a lower satisfaction score (7. consumers find it difficult to distinguish between the specificities of the providers and to make the best choice.Consumers are very satisfied with all the elements regarding quality of service and image of their mobile phone operator.1 and for image (8.5). consumers believe that operators are technologically innovative. which is the main element of importance for consumers overall. given the many providers. In this respect.0) while price. • commercial offer: there are not enough attractive special tariffs for specific target groups or for specific usage. This observation suggests that efforts should be made to maintain this situation. consumers are concerned about the environment and the effect mobile services have on the environment. This might be explained by the fact that. priority actions should be taken in this area. services and tariff plans on the market. On the other hand. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ 76 | FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO CONCLUSIONS Given the above. Given the fact that pricing is the criterion of highest importance for consumers. these elements are of less importance for them given the distance between points of sale and their home and the safety of mobile phone services. The average score given by respondents for the quality criterion is 8. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO | 75 SPECIFIC AREAS OF INTEREST PRICE The elements of pricing which do not meet consumers’ expectations are the following: • the price level of mobile phone services.

4 0 20 40 60 80 100 EU25 EU15 NMS10 Satisfied Dissatisfied Overall. o improving the customer service mentality. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO | 77 6. o flexibility in the payment process. consumers in the new member states are less satisfied with this SGI than EU15 consumers are. o strengthening the image of the operators. 40. There are also more dissatisfied consumers in the NMS10 compared to EU15. 1 Urban transport: percentage of satisfied vs. o raising operators’ awareness of environmental issues which translate into appropriate measures in this field.4 44. dissatisfied consumers . DIFFERENCES BETWEEN EU MEMBER STATES The following graph shows the percentages of satisfied and dissatisfied consumers by . making it easy for consumers to pay their invoices.3 14. bringing more differentiation onto the market so that operators get a unique image for consumers as well as a good reputation. As shown in the graph below.percentages (2006) 40.3% of NMS10 consumers are satisfied while 45.7 45.o bringing down prices whilst increasing the range of attractive special tariffs for specific target groups or specific usage.1 OVERALL RESULTS Urban transport is the SGI with which consumers in the EU are least satisfied. On the other hand. to what extent are you satisfied with your urban transport supplier? % Satisfied vs. items with which consumers are most satisfied and that must be preserved are: o the use of new technologies and the capacity to innovate.2.2% of EU15 consumers are satisfied. UT. the proportion of dissatisfied consumers is the highest compared to other SGIs. Urban transport 6. The EU25 average is 7.2 8. Indeed.5 9. o quality of service.0 on a scale from 1 to 10. Dissatisfied _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ 78 | FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO 6. In addition.

1 42.4 57.4 49.3 40.7 35.7 9.5 40.4 42.9 23 25 29.2 10.7 22.7 18.8 17.7 52.7 5.7 10.5 61 62 63.4 33.3 53.3 14.1 16. UT.2 49. dissatisfied consumers by country percentages (2006) 21.1 57.3 44.7 39.country.4 8.9 13.6 31.7 43.4 37.4 .2 39.6 57.2 46.7 15.9 65. 2 Urban transport: percentages of satisfied vs.5 45.8 6.5 3.

9 6.8 8 3.12.4 7.2 4.8 0 20 40 60 80 100 SK CY NL MT IT ES HU PL SE NMS10 PT DK CZ UK EU25 EU15 SI FR EE DE EL BE LT LU AT LV FI IE Satisfied Dissatisfied Overall.8 9. to what extent are you satisfied with your urban transport supplier? .9 7.4 7.2 10.2 5 5 53.

Austria. The most satisfied consumers are to be found in Ireland. Belgium. fewer than 4 consumers out of 10 are satisfied with urban transport. Lithuania.2 38. the Netherlands.8 11. The percentages of satisfied consumers in these countries are higher than the EU25 average and range from 65. Germany. Spain. Cyprus and Slovakia. Finland.3 8. 3 Urban transport: percentages of satisfied vs. In Slovakia.6% in Ireland to 46.2 48.2 . Malta. Latvia. The highest percentages of dissatisfied consumers are in Malta (54%) and Slovakia (31.3. Greece.1 8.7 40. On the other hand.6 7. Estonia. dissatisfied consumers by socioeconomic category percentages (2006) 43.6 45.7 40.3 51.5 48 35. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ 80 | FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO 6. France and Slovenia.8 55.3 9. Luxembourg.3 42.3 39.5 45. Hungary. in Sweden. Dissatisfied (% by country) _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO | 79 Satisfaction with urban transport varies from country to country in the EU25.5%). Poland.6 34. only 22% are satisfied with this SGI. Italy.9 46.4 9.4% in Slovenia.2 46.Satisfied vs.7 42. DIFFERENCES BY SOCIO-ECONOMIC GROUP The following graph shows the percentages of satisfied and dissatisfied consumers by socioeconomic group: UT.

5 14 11.4 9 Men Women 18-34 35-54 55+ Up to 15 years 16-19 years 20 years + Still studying Self-employed Managers Other white collars Blue collars Students House-persons Unemployed Retired Satisfied Dissatisfied Overall. The older the respondents.10.5 7. The highest percentage of dissatisfied consumers is among the self-employed (14%). consumers who left secondary school early and those who stopped studying between 16 and 19 years appear to be the most satisfied (around 47%) compared to those who kept on studying after they were 20 years old (43%).5 8 8. They are followed by the unemployed and blue collar workers. There is no significant difference between men and women in terms of how far they are .2 8. to what extent are you satisfied with your urban transport supplier? % by socio-demographics Gender Age Education Occupation _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO | 81 Retired consumers are once again the most satisfied consumers (55%) compared to other socio-economic groups. the more satisfied they are with this SGI.1 9.6 13. Consumers’ ages tends to be an element that might explain satisfaction with urban transport. In terms of education levels.4 12.

_______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ 82 | FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO E) MARKET AND PERSONAL FACTORS Most of the EU25 users (69%). Lithuania. In the first two countries mentioned. the results by country show similar profiles of responses to what has been observed in the EU as a whole. Netherlands. France (83%). Greece. The percentage of dissatisfied people is relatively high in the European Union (14%). according to more than 50% of users. D) COMMITMENT In countries where people can have a choice between urban transport companies (i. especially in Denmark (41%). this is the case for only 24% of users in Cyprus and 47% in Sweden. especially in Sweden (84%).4. Sweden and the UK) a large majority of users (89%) have no intention of changing service provider in the short run (within a year). Overall. France. more than 5 users out of 10 feel that it would not be easy to change from one urban transport company to another. the Netherlands (72%) and Slovakia (71%) whereas in Portugal and Ireland. users tend to have the opposite feeling (58% and 53% respectively saying that there is not enough competition). However. Slovakia. especially in the NMS10 (77% against 67% in the EU15) think that urban transport services are available for everybody in their country. Finland. Portugal. Slovakia and Denmark less than 20% of consumers see them as having a good reputation. Finland. Slovakia (18%). Greece.satisfied with urban transport. In terms of competition. Indeed. In Cyprus. Slovakia (36%) and Hungary (25%). Ireland. Belgium. 56% of users in both countries said prices were fair (against an EU25 average of 35%). A small percentage of EU25 users (15%) think that it is possible to buy urban transport . OTHER KEY OBSERVATIONS ARISING DIRECTLY FROM THE SURVEY A) OVERALL IMAGE Operators in Ireland. Portugal (19%) and Denmark (20%). Austria. the majority of EU users of urban transport services do not think that there is enough competition (62%). the percentage of dissatisfied users is even greater than the percentage of satisfied users. 6. Latvia. In addition. B) OVERALL QUALITY In terms of quality of service.e. Belgium. The least satisfied are users in the Netherlands (17%). Malta. Germany and Luxembourg have a good reputation. users in the EU15 are more satisfied with their urban transport services than users in the NMS10 (44% for the former against 37% for the latter). C) OVERALL PRICE Users in Ireland and Latvia are the most satisfied with the prices they pay for urban transport services. Latvia.

this weighting gives an indication as to the importance of each criterion to consumers (marked as ‘Importance’ on the Y-axis of the diagram). if consumer satisfaction with image increased by 10% as a result of specific actions. the percentage of consumers satisfied with this SGI would increase by more than 5 percentage points. it is important to determine the priority areas that need special attention. ADVANCED ANALYSES A) CRITERIA THAT CONTRIBUTE TO CONSUMERS’ OVERALL SATISFACTION As can be seen in the following table. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ 84 | FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO . roughly in line with what has been observed for other services. which indicates the importance or weight of image in the overall satisfaction of consumers. As an example. This means that actions that would improve the image of urban transport companies would result in a bigger increase in the percentage of consumers satisfied with this SGI than if these actions were focused on pricing or quality. The diagram on the following page shows the areas where priority actions are needed to improve consumers’ overall satisfaction with urban transport. Finally. We also know that image and then pricing are criteria of importance for consumers. is greater than 0. the image of a given urban transport company is the most important criterion determining consumers’ overall satisfaction. pricing and image (marked as ‘Satisfaction’ on the X-axis of the diagram) • The weighting or contribution of each criterion (quality.516 Pricing 0.347 Image 0. Regression coefficients Quality 0. a large majority of EU25 citizens (77%) prefer to deal with a national operator when it comes to urban transport. The regression coefficient for image.394 _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO | 83 B) OPPORTUNITIES FOR ACTION As noted before. In order to design actions that would improve consumers’ overall satisfaction with urban transport. This is done by means of a diagram taking into account the following information: • the average satisfaction score given by consumers to each criterion related to quality. Actions focused on pricing would only increase the percentage of satisfied consumers by less than 4 percentage points. urban transport is the the SGI that satisfies consumers least.5. 6.5. pricing and image) to consumers’ satisfaction .services in another EU country.

72) Reputation (6.81) Environment friendly (6.88) State of the art (6.8) Technical support (6.46) Long term actions Order ease (7.03) Ideal situation Popularity (7.54) Customer mentality (6.89) Offer relevance (6.67) Commercial offer (7.87) Staff professionalism (6.35) Familiarity (7.UT.67) Ease (6.49) Availability (6.14) Satisfaction Low importance area Reliability (6.96) Comfort (6.59) Price level (6. 4 Two-dimensional analysis – Urban transport Importance + Priority actions Relationship (6.89) Safety (6.24) Information (5.33) Points of sale (7.84) Satisfaction + Importance _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO | 85 OVERALL OBSERVATIONS Consumers seem to be more satisfied with the quality of urban transport services and the .4) Uniqueness (6.82) Reputation (7.23) Transparency (7.77) Questions/problem handling (6.32) Payment process (7.07) Overall image (6.16) Overall quality (7) Infrastructure (6.28) Overall price (6.75) Network (7.

This observation does not necessarily imply that consumers do not see ‘safety’ or ‘comfort’ in urban transport as being important. • they also would like to have easier contact with these companies and request more flexibility. • these companies need have more of a ‘customer service mentality’. SPECIFIC AREAS OF INTEREST IMAGE Although urban transport companies seem to enjoy a positive image overall. It is therefore important to look into the elements of image and. the regression coefficient mentioned in the previous section showed that image and not pricing is the criterion consumers consider to be the most important. This might reflect the fact that consumers are more and more concerned about environmental issues and they feel that it is necessary to look for alternative solutions in terms of energy sources used in urban transport. The satisfaction scores given by respondents are 7. CONCLUSIONS Priority actions should be taken in the following areas in order to increase consumer satisfaction: .it is easy for them to buy tickets. The overall results suggest that consumers are positively satisfied with the point of sales . PRICING Although consumers feel that urban transport companies offer attractive special tariffs for specific targets and usage.image of urban transport companies than with pricing issues. The areas that need to be improved will be determined by looking at how far people are satisfied with the elements of image and pricing and how important they are for them. These are illustrated in the diagram on the previous page.6 respectively. However.0. using this service is still expensive. to a lesser extent. It might reflect the idea that consumers feel constantly satisfied and safe when using urban transport services. 6. pricing that need to be improved in order to increase consumers’ overall satisfaction with urban transport. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ 86 | FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO QUALITY There are no particular improvements to be introduced as priorities as far as quality of service is concerned. that invoices and tariffs are easy to understand and that payment of tickets is fairly easy.9 and 6. which does not seem to be being met by transport companies that they use. • transport companies need to have a good reputation. Consumers also see being ‘environmentally-friendly’ as an important criterion. 4 elements are sources of dissatisfaction among consumers: • urban transport companies do not seem to have a unique image – consumers expect more differentiation between theses companies.

3 9.0). o bringing down the prices of urban transport services. The percentage of dissatisfied consumers is also higher in these countries than in the EU15 (12% of them being dissatisfied as against 9.9% of them being dissatisfied in the EU15).1 12 45. Looking at the percentage of satisfied consumers in the EU25 (45. making consumers contact easier and improving the consumers’ relationship with their supplier and increasing urban transport’s awareness of environmental issues. the transparency of invoices and tariffs and commercial offers plus their ability to innovate (‘state of the art’). in the long run it would be appropriate to take the following measures to boost consumers’ overall satisfaction with urban transport: • raising consumers’ awareness of the high quality of transport infrastructure and network and the availability of many points of sale which can be found everywhere. items that give the most satisfaction level to consumers must be maintained. Dissatisfied Questions not asked for that service in Cyprus and Malta _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ 88 | FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO 7. Finally. such as: o the payment process. 1 Extra-urban transport: percentages of satisfied vs. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO | 87 7. OVERALL RESULTS Extra-urban transport is also one of the SGIs with which consumers are the least satisfied (average satisfaction score of 7. dissatisfied consumers percentages (2006) 47. improving customer service mentality. to what extent are you satisfied with your extra-urban transport supplier? % Satisfied vs.3 0 20 40 60 80 100 EU25 EU15 NMS10 Satisfied Dissatisfied Overall. All these actions should reinforce the overall reputation of these companies.9 45. EUT.6 10.o strengthening the supplier image by developing a unique image.6%) as shown in the graph below. On the other hand. Extra-urban transport 7. DIFFERENCES BETWEEN EU MEMBER STATES .1.2. it appears that consumers in the NMS10 are more satisfied with extra-urban transport services than consumers in the EU15 are.

3 4. dissatisfied consumers by country percentages (2006) 24 24.8 .4 43.6 7.2 7.2 28.9 6.5 52.5 42.1 49 50 51.1 16. 2 Extra-urban transport: percentages of satisfied vs.EUT.6 46.4 66.5 58 63.1 17 9.2 5.4 6 23.5 67.6 8.7 17.2 52.3 45.1 54.6 37.2 66.4 12 12.6 43.4 72.9 10.6 54.2 47.4 55.7 45.3 7.2 55.4 17.

to what extent are you satisfied with your extra-urban transport supplier? Satisfied vs.3 3.2 3. Dissatisfied (% by country) Questions not asked for that service in Cyprus and Malta _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO | 89 .3 4.5 5.4 3.6.3 4.5 6.3 18 0 20 40 60 80 100 NL IT SK DK DE ES CZ EU15 EU25 PL NMS10 AT HU SI BE FR SE LU UK PT EE EL LV LT FI IE Satisfied Dissatisfied Overall.

23% of Slovakians are dissatisfied consumers.6 31.7 9. with the percentage of satisfied consumers ranging from 63% to 67%. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ 90 | FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO 7.8 49.9 45.5 42. dissatisfied consumers by socioeconomic category .The most satisfied consumers are to be found in Ireland (72%).1 44. In Slovakia.7 49.2 46.5 52. Lithuania.5 10.2 12.percentages (2006) 45.6 8.7 17. Italy and the Netherlands the percentage of satisfied consumers is below 30%.3 48 43.3 42. and finally France and Belgium. with figures from 54% to 58%.3 45. Luxembourg and Sweden.8 31. 3 Extra-urban transport: percentages of satisfied vs. Germany and Austria – the percentage of dissatisfied consumers is between 13% and 18%. which are slightly above the average (52%). the Czech Republic.3. followed by consumers in Estonia.6 . the UK.5%).8 50. Hungary.8 45. In six other countries – Italy. Latvia and Greece.1 7. In Denmark the percentage of satisfied consumers is well below the average (37.1 49.2 11. Denmark. Finland.2 10. DIFFERENCES BY SOCIO-ECONOMIC GROUP The following graph shows the proportion of satisfied and dissatisfied consumers by socioeconomic group: EUT. Portugal.

4.1 6.4 Men Women 18-34 35-54 55+ Up to 15 years 16-19 years 20 years + Still studying Self-employed Managers Other white collars Blue collars Students House-persons Unemployed Retired Satisfied Dissatisfied Overall. to what extent are you satisfied with your extra-urban transport supplier? % by socio-demographics Questions not asked for that service in Cyprus and Malta Gender Age Education Occupation _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO | 91 The graph on the previous page shows that about half of retired people.1 16. the more satisfied they are. The earlier consumers left school.5 9.10.8 13. OTHER KEY OBSERVATIONS ARISING DIRECTLY FROM THE SURVEY . Men and women do not differ in this respect.6 6. 7. blue collar workers and house-persons are satisfied – which is significantly higher than the EU25 average for this sector. Age is also related to satisfaction: older consumers are more satisfied and there are more dissatisfied consumers among younger people. Around 40% of white collar workers and 30% of students are satisfied with this SGI.9 10.5 8.2 12.

the UK. In Denmark and the Netherlands. Italy. Indeed. the percentage is higher than it was for urban transport (15%). France. Luxembourg and Malta) a large majority of users (88%) have no intention of changing service provider in the short run (within a year). the Netherlands. Luxembourg. especially in Greece (91%). Greece. Portugal and Poland have a good reputation according to more than 50% of the users. Hungary. However. users in the new member states have a more positive assessment than users in the EU15: in the former group. 51% think that there is enough competition while only 44% of the latter group think that there is enough competition. Italy (18%). C) OVERALL PRICE Users in Ireland. this is the case for only 48% of users in Sweden. Estonia. B) OVERALL QUALITY Overall. Hungary and the UK are the most satisfied with the prices they pay for extra-urban transport services (more than 50% of users are satisfied). _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ 92 | FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO E) MARKET AND PERSONAL FACTORS Most of the EU25 users (70%) think that extra-urban transport services are available for everybody in their country. Belgium. Latvia. Slovenia. However. D) COMMITMENT In countries where people can choose between extra-urban transport companies (all except Cyprus. In terms of competition. Lithuania. Latvia. less than 20% think that the operators have a good reputation. Spain. Slovakia (22%) and Denmark (28%). Portugal and the UK think that there is enough competition. Greece. The least satisfied are users in the Netherlands (14%). Latvia. the percentage of dissatisfied users is even greater than that of satisfied users. However. In both countries mentioned. EU users of extra-urban transport services are split when asked to say whether there is enough competition in their country or not. the results by country show similar patterns of responses to what has been observed for the EU as a whole. . Poland. Germany. The majority of users in Austria. in particular in Denmark (34%) and Slovakia (33%). The percentage of dissatisfied people is relatively high in the European Union (15%). Denmark. A small percentage of EU users (30%) think that it is possible to buy extra-urban transport services across borders. Slovakia and Sweden do not think that there is enough competition while the majority of users in Estonia.A) OVERALL IMAGE Operators in Finland. Ireland. 46% answer that there is enough competition and the same percentage takes the opposite view. Ireland. Luxembourg.

We also know that image. consumers have the highest expectations when it comes to the image of extra-urban transport companies.55) Customer mentality (6. roughly in line with what has been observed for other services.532 Pricing 0. pricing and image) to consumers’ satisfaction . which takes into account the following information: • the average satisfaction score given by consumers to each criterion related to quality. B) OPPORTUNITIES FOR ACTION As noted before. a majority of EU25 citizens (75%) prefer to deal with a national operator when it comes to urban transport. Their overall satisfaction with this SGI is influenced to a great extent by this criterion.58) Reputation (6.8) .e.326 Image 0.Finally.81) Uniqueness (6. Pricing is the second most important criterion for consumers.384 As with urban transport. extra-urban transport is the SGI that satisfies consumers least.49) Transparency (6.5. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ 94 | FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO EUT. 4 Two-dimensional analysis – Extra-urban transport Importance + Priority actions Environment friendly (6.this weighting gives an indication as to how important each criterion is for consumers (marked as ‘Importance’ on the Y-axis of the diagram). This is done via a diagram. It is important to determine the areas that need special priority attention in order to design actions that would improve consumers’ overall satisfaction with extra-urban transport. the importance or weight in the overall consumers’ satisfaction) of the criteria of pricing. quality and image in extra-urban transport services are shown in the table below: Regression coefficients Quality 0. pricing and image (marked as ‘Satisfaction’ on the X-axis of the diagram) • The weighting or contribution of each criterion (quality. are important criteria for consumers. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO | 93 7. followed by pricing. The diagram on the following page shows the areas where priority actions are needed to improve consumers’ overall satisfaction with extra-urban transport. ADVANCED ANALYSES A) CRITERIA THAT CONTRIBUTE TO CONSUMERS’ OVERALL SATISFACTION The regression coefficients (i.57) Ease (6.

87) Offer relevance (6.06) Staff professionalism (7. this criterion is the second most important for consumers after image.93) Infrastructure (6. SPECIFIC AREAS OF INTEREST IMAGE Roughly in line with what was observed for urban transport. the elements with which consumers are the least satisfied but which are very important for them are: • ‘environmental-friendliness’. • ‘customer service mentality’. • ‘uniqueness’: companies do not have a unique image. And yet.37) Information (5. which is below the average satisfaction score.56) Network (7. they gave an average score of 6.83) Payment process (7.01) Points of sale (6. .03) Ideal situation Popularity (7.56) Commercial offer (7.98) State of the art (6.Overall price (6.31) Familiarity (7. Indeed.8) Reliability (6.02) Overall quality (7.2) Satisfaction Low importance area Technical support (6.34) Comfort (7.87) Satisfaction + Importance _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO | 95 OVERALL OBSERVATIONS Pricing is the main source of dissatisfaction among consumers.53) Availability (6.53) Long term actions Order ease (7.53) Price level (6.85) Overall image (6. • ‘reputation’.16) Safety (7.78) Questions/problem handling (6. • ‘ease’: it is not easy to deal with extra-urban transport companies.2) Relationship (6.5.

these actions might be taken with regard to transparency of tariffs and price levels. Air transport 8. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO | 97 8. It can be assumed that this result is linked to the insufficient visibility or availability of timetables and/or to the information provided to passengers in the event of delays or other problems.This result from the survey might be explained by the fact that extra-urban transport suffers from a bad image due to delays.g. On the other hand. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ 96 | FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO CONCLUSIONS Given these statements. Once again. are as follows: o the elements related to image are also the main drivers of overall satisfaction for extra-urban transport. But the survey results show that much effort is still required to improve the image of the sector and to increase consumer satisfaction. improving the flexibility of suppliers in terms of consumer contact and increasing attention to environmental considerations to improve the supplier’s reputation. such as comfort. o bringing down the prices of extra-urban transport services and improving the transparency of tariffs. people do not seem to have enough information about extra-urban transport. network. car. elements with which consumers are satisfied and that need to be maintained are: o the payment process and commercial offers. the use of extra-urban transport (especially train transport) fell in favour of other alternatives (e. OVERALL RESULTS . which are similar to the ones identified for urban transport. their expectations for improvement in these areas are also low. PRICE Pricing is one of the areas where action is most needed and where there are most opportunities for action. However. the capacity to innovate and the use of advanced technologies (‘state of the art’). limited comfort. Consequently. such as popularity.1. More specifically. the constant rise of mobility problems and the increase in petrol prices. improving customer service mentality. the quality of customer relationships. plane). Thanks to improvements in quality. safety. the way companies communicate about their activities to consumers. there has been a renewed interest in extra-urban transport. QUALITY Results related to quality of service are similar to what was observed for urban transport. infrastructure. the consumer seems to take quality for granted. low flexibility. Consumers seem satisfied with most of the important quality-related elements. etc. As in other services. strengthening the supplier image by developing a unique image. o several elements relating to the overall image of extra-urban transport services. suggested improvements needed to increase consumer satisfaction.

2 Air transport: percentages of satisfied vs.2. to what extent are you satisfied with your air transport supplier? % Satisfied vs.6 66.3). The graph below shows the percentages of satisfied and dissatisfied consumers: AT.8 . DIFFERENCES BETWEEN EU MEMBER STATES The graph below shows the same figures broken down by country: AT.7 62 62.1 66.1 52.1 65 65.0 out of 10).1 3.6 3. dissatisfied consumers by country percentages (2006) 45 51.Air transport is the service with which EU consumers are most satisfied (8. The average level of satisfaction is even higher in the new member states (8.6 73.1 59.6 67.6 64.5 0 20 40 60 80 100 EU25 EU15 NMS10 Satisfied Dissatisfied Overall.1 64.5 67 67. dissatisfied consumers . 1 Air transport: percentages of satisfied vs.9 56.percentages (2006) 72.5 3. mainly in the new member states (nearly 3 out of 4 consumers gave a score of 8 or higher).1 65.4 63.5 66. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ 98 | FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO 8. Dissatisfied The percentage of satisfied consumers is relatively high.7 68 72.

5 6.2 82.1 3.6 82.4 0 20 40 60 80 100 ES IT NL FR BE SK SE MT EE .2 5.6 3.5 2.9 5.75.5 83 83.1 2.7 3.4 1.7 76.7 2.5 3.9 3.2 4.3 3.9 0.5 3.6 3.2 6.7 1.2 0.6 4.9 3.2 77.6 4.1 1.5 78.5 1.8 3.4 8.1 2.

Hungary. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ 100 | FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO 8. dissatisfied consumers by socioeconomic category percentages (2006) . Cyprus. Austria. with satisfaction levels from 60% to 51% and. Finland. Spain with 45%. Lithuania. to what extent are you satisfied with your air transport supplier? Satisfied vs. substantially below this.3. France. 3 Air transport: percentages of satisfied vs. the Netherlands and Italy.PT DK EU15 EU25 LU IE UK PL LV NMS10 SI CZ EL FI LT AT HU CY DE Satisfied Dissatisfied Overall. Dissatisfied (% by country) _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO | 99 The satisfaction rates in countries with a score higher than the EU25 average range from 83% (Germany) to 74% (Slovenia). Spain has a relatively high dissatisfaction rate of 6%. which is somewhat paradoxical since these two countries are not in the group with the lowest satisfaction rates. DIFFERENCES BY SOCIO-ECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS The following graph shows the proportion of satisfied and dissatisfied consumers by socioeconomic category: AT. More ‘logically’. Only five countries drag the EU average down: Belgium. The highest percentages of dissatisfied consumers are in the Czech Republic (8%) and Slovakia (7%). Greece and the Czech Republic can also be found in this group.

7 63.1 3.1 3.4 2.8 64.7 69.1 4 4 3.3 60.5 3.8 2.5 66.3 2.65.4 61.7 70.7 66.5 2.9 71.1 62.1 3.4 64.5 5.8 66.7 64.9 5 4.5 67 67.6 64.9 3 Men Women 18-34 35-54 55+ Up to 15 years 16-19 years 20 years + Still studying Self-employed Managers Other white collars .1 3.8 2.

Finland and Czech Republic more than 8 users out of 10 see their air transport company as having a positive overall image (against an EU25 average of 65%). it appears that occasional users are relatively more satisfied. Germany (86%) and Finland (84%) are at the top of the list together with Hungary.g. managers are relatively less satisfied. if the percentage of respondents who answered the questions related to air transport is used as a proxy for frequency of use. Respondents aged 55 years and over are most satisfied (70%) . holiday. However. 8. with only 63% of respondents satisfied. especially in the new member states (76% against 67% in the EU15). to what extent are you satisfied with your air transport supplier? % by socio-demographics Gender Age Education Occupation _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO | 101 The professional categories that are most satisfied with air transport are blue collar workers (71%) and retired people (70%). On the other hand.4. the Czech Republic (87%). However. Education levels have very little impact on satisfaction. This result may be related to frequency of use of air transport but this question was not asked in the survey.the other age groups are equally satisfied (65%). Gender does not explain satisfaction levels. This could be due to the fact that they associate air transport with pleasurable events (e. where users are a little more convinced of the quality of services provided by their air transport company (83% against an NMS10 average of 76%) than its overall reputation on the market . in line with the EU25 average (4%). Again. respondents who did not complete secondary school and the ones who are still studying are once again significantly less satisfied than the others. OTHER KEY OBSERVATIONS ARISING DIRECTLY FROM THE SURVEY A) OVERALL IMAGE In Germany. the percentage of dissatisfied consumers is very low (7% and 6% respectively). B) OVERALL QUALITY The majority of users are satisfied with the overall quality of services.Blue collars Students House-persons Unemployed Retired Satisfied Dissatisfied Overall. Although in Spain and Italy less than 50% of users are satisfied with their air transport company. travel).

Latvia (67%). Finally. Greece. E) MARKET AND PERSONAL FACTORS Consumers’ preference for a national operator is less marked for air transport than for other services. Austria (66%). _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ 102 | FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO D) COMMITMENT Although the level of commitment to air transport companies is relatively high (76%). according to more than 80% of EU consumers. France (44%) and Malta (46%). it seems to be lower in the new member states (67%) than in the EU15 (77%). Czech Republic (72%). the Swedes and the Slovenians as a majority (more than 50%) said they do not prefer to deal with a national air transport company. Almost a fifth of Dutch users are dissatisfied with the prices charged by their air transport company (against an EU25 average of 12%).(79% against an NMS10 average of 77%). ADVANCED ANALYSES A) CRITERIA THAT CONTRIBUTE TO CONSUMERS’ OVERALL SATISFACTION The importance of pricing. In addition. the air transport company they use most has fair prices. Sweden (43%). Slovakia (64%) and Finland (61%). image and quality in the air transport service is shown by the following regression coefficients: Regression coefficients . The Greeks and Cypriots have the opposite opinion (more than 80% say they do prefer to deal with a national air transport company). Hungary (73%). This is less the case in Spain (34%). Ireland (71%). when asked whether they think it is possible to buy air transport services from a supplier outside their country. The least attached to national operators are the Danes. according to a majority of respondents in the EU25 and especially in the EU15 (83% as against 72% in the NMS10).5. UK (68%). services provided by air transport companies are available for everybody and everywhere. the Netherlands (37%). 8. C) OVERALL PRICE For a large percentage of users in Germany (77%). especially in the new member states (54% as against 61% in the EU15). Italy and Portugal (both 36%). 81% say that they think it is. Luxembourg and Germany said they will still use their air transport company in the next 12 months whereas in 56% in Slovakia and 59% in Hungary say they will still use their air transport company in the next 12 months. There seems to be enough competition and it seems to be easy to change from one air transport company to another. More than 80% of respondents in Finland. Portugal.

95) Offer relevance (7.24) Environment friendly (6.06) Technical support (8.22) Accuracy (8. image and quality. these factors are balanced: a reduction in one factor can be compensated by an increase in another (e.56) Information (6.g.4) Points of sale (6. the following diagram shows the relationship between observed satisfaction (X-axis) and the impact that these elements have on overall consumer satisfaction (‘Importance’. Y-axis).67) Availability (7.68) Ease (7.Quality 0.352 Pricing 0.24) Commercial offer (6. image and pricing impact on consumer satisfaction to almost the same extent.96) .01) Transparency (7.11) Infrastructure (8.6) Price level (7.24) Staff professionalism (8. AT.18) Confidentiality (8.83) Satisfaction Low importance area Customer mentality (7.32) Overall price (7. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO | 103 B) OPPORTUNITIES FOR ACTION For the elements of pricing.89) Payment process (8.4) Order ease (8.04) Overall quality (8) Network (7. quality.58) Uniqueness (7.95) Ideal situation Comfort (8.95) Reliability (7. a consumer is prepared to take an airline with a somewhat lower image provided that the price is lower).364 In the air transport service.369 Image 0.24) Safety (8. 4 Two-dimensional analysis – Air transport Importance + Priority actions Questions/problem handling (7. In the eyes of consumers.

as is often the case. This situation ought to improve in the future because of the recent legislation on EU passenger rights. the lack of information about services and the presence of nearby agencies are the main sources of dissatisfaction. questions/problem handling. This may seem surprising given the numerous possibilities to find cheap solutions and not to pay high prices. QUALITY In terms of quality. which indicates an ideal situation that needs to be maintained: easy means of payment (‘payment process’).9) than with pricing issues (7. items relating to technical matters produce very high scores. The concerns about information may be related to information provided in the event of late departures or cancellations. which corresponds to opportunities for priority actions: ‘commercial offers’ and ‘price level’. The reason might be that these possibilities are only available to some specific consumers.11) Relationship (8. Other components of the quality and below average satisfaction are ‘availability’ and. However. They will therefore have almost the same influence on consumers’ overall satisfaction. The survey results may therefore suggest that the digital divide continues to be a challenge if we are to deliver equal services to EU consumers via online commercial offer and booking facilities.9) Reputation (7. On the other hand. All these items are more or less related to service or to contact with the consumer. AREAS OF SPECIFIC INTEREST PRICE Two items related to pricing are found in the upper-left quadrant. IMAGE Working towards building a unique airline companies’ image and working on airline companies’ impact on the environment are their main areas for improvement.95) Overall image (7. Only the better informed and the more knowledgeable consumers find the best promotional offers. Other price-related items are in the upper-right quadrant. and.84) Satisfaction + Importance _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ 104 | FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO OVERALL OBSERVATION As mentioned previously. consumers seem to be more satisfied with the overall quality of service (average satisfaction score of 8) and image of air transporters (7. those who are familiar with the use of the internet. to a lesser extent. ‘accuracy’ of invoices and ‘transparency’ of tariffs.07) State of the art (7. including ‘safety’ and ‘reliability’ of service. The reason .Long term actions Popularity (8.6). the three criteria (quality. those who know where to find them.86) Familiarity (7. price and image) are almost as important as each other for consumers. i.e. which are important factors in air transport.

information and a customer service mentality. offer relevance. reliability. presence of nearby points of sale.2 on a 10-point scale. OVERALL RESULTS Postal services is one of the SGIs with which consumers are the least satisfied. o popularity. technological innovation. Strengths that should be maintained are: o comfort. 1 Postal services: percentages of satisfied vs. staff professionalism. quality of the infrastructure and technical support. Dissatisfied In the new member states. availability. consumers tend to be more satisfied than in the EU15.1. Consumers therefore usually choose the company that allows them to fly at the lowest price. o to work on parameters that could reduce the environmental impact of air transport and/or communicate on existing action in this domain. The percentage of dissatisfied consumers is also larger in the NMS10 than in the EU15. which should lead to lower perceived price levels. the network. they gave a score of 7.that consumers are concerned about uniqueness is that there are no big differences between airlines in terms of the product they deliver. which is similar to the rating they give to urban and extra-urban transport. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ 106 | FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO 9. accuracy and transparency. order ease. Indeed.7 7. safety.9 0 20 40 60 80 100 EU25 EU15 NMS10 Satisfied Dissatisfied Overall. The next graph shows the percentages of satisfied and dissatisfied consumers among the respondents: PS. This . relationship. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO | 105 CONCUSIONS Potential areas for improvement in air transport are: o to work on all the client relationship related items: handling questions and problems.9 6. Postal services 9. to what extent are you satisfied with your postal services supplier? % Satisfied vs. o to make commercial offers and special conditions easily available to everyone.5 6. dissatisfied consumers . o payment process. confidentiality.5 50.percentages (2006) 62. reputation and information provided to consumers about the airline companies’ activities.8 52.

DIFFERENCES BETWEEN EU MEMBER STATES The following graph presents the overall results for each EU member state: PS.8 52.8 46.8 69.9 . _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO | 107 9.7 71.7 50.8 10.7 62.8 44.7 64.1 47.5 67.3 2.5 47.observation implies that consumers in the NMS10 are less neutral or less indifferent towards postal services.9 55.2 21.9 58.5 59.4 61.4 67.5 51.7 11.6 6.7 43.5 74.5 3.7 10.8 52.9 66.8 57.3 61. dissatisfied consumers by country percentages (2006) 28.2 77 80. 2 Postal services: percentages of satisfied vs.7 70.8 6.2 81.7 7.2.

6 2.9 7.3 2.9.9 5.1 4 7.4 0 20 40 60 80 100 IT BE SE FR NL ES EU15 CZ DK EU25 UK AT DE SK PL MT NMS10 PT FI LU LV EL HU EE SI CY .8 3.8 1.6 4.2 2 6.6 5 5.2 7.6 5.5 3.2 7.8 8.

5 55.8 56.8%) and Italy (28. The highest percentages of dissatisfied consumers are in Sweden (21.2%). _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ 108 | FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO 9.7%).6 52.7%) and Italy (10. to what extent are you satisfied with your postal services supplier? Satisfied vs. the Czech Republic (10.5 54. consumers tend to be more satisfied than the EU25 average.7 5.7 6.7%).5%).7%). France (46.9 7 . Belgium (43.2 8. 3 Postal services: percentages of satisfied vs.3.8 50.2 52. The countries where less than 50% of consumers are satisfied are to be found in Spain (47. Sweden (44.4 53.LT IE Satisfied Dissatisfied Overall. the Netherlands (47.6 7. This is especially the case for Ireland and Lithuania.6%).7 48. Dissatisfied (% by country) In most of the EU25 countries (in 17 countries).4 51.4 54.2 50.1%). DIFFERENCES BY SOCIO-ECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS The following graph shows the percentage of satisfied and dissatisfied consumers by socioeconomic category: PS.9 51.9 55. with more than 80% of satisfied consumers.8%).7 53.7 51. Denmark (11. dissatisfied consumers by socioeconomic category percentages (2006) 51.4 52.

7.1 7.1 4.2 9.3 8 6.7 7.6 4.6 5.2 7.7 6.5 6.3 Men Women 18-34 35-54 55+ Up to 15 years 16-19 years 20 years + Still studying Self-employed Managers Other white collars Blue collars Students House-persons Unemployed Retired Satisfied Dissatisfied Overall, to what extent are you satisfied with your postal services supplier? % by socio-demographics Gender Age Education Occupation _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO | 109 Retired people (56.6%), blue collar workers (54.9%), the unemployed (53.8%) and housepersons are more satisfied than other consumers. Consumers who did not complete secondary school education are somewhat more satisfied (56%) with postal services than the other education groups. Consumers aged over 55 are once again the most satisfied group (55.5%) and the people aged between 35 and 54 are significantly less satisfied with postal services. There is no statistically significant difference between women and men in this respect. 9.4. OTHER KEY OBSERVATIONS ARISING DIRECTLY FROM THE

SURVEY A) OVERALL IMAGE The highest percentage of consumers in the NMS10 agreeing with the statement that postal services providers have a good reputation in the market are to be found in Slovenia (75% against an NMS average of 61%), Estonia and Lithuania (both 68%). In the EU15, Ireland (76% against an EU15 average of 46%), Greece (71%), Luxembourg (67%) and Finland (63%) have the highest percentage of consumers agreeing with the statement that postal services providers have a good reputation in the market. Only 21% of Swedes and 29% of Italians think so. In Sweden, 38% of consumers do not agree at all with this statement (against an EU25 average of 9%). B) OVERALL QUALITY 61% of consumers in the NMS10, as against 48% in the EU15, agree with the statement that their postal services provider offers good quality services. Results at country level are in line with what was observed across the EU as a whole. However, it is interesting to note that, in Sweden, 45% of consumers agree with this statement and 15% do not (against an EU25 average of 7%). This last result contrasts with what was observed for the EU as a whole. C) OVERALL PRICE Although only 39% of EU consumers think that their postal services provider’s prices are fair, the level of dissatisfaction with these prices is quite low (11%). Ireland (69%) and Greece (61%) are the countries where the highest percentages of satisfied consumers are to be found. In Italy (25%) and Sweden (26%), on the other hand, the lowest percentages of satisfied consumers are to be found. Again, in Sweden, 37% of people are dissatisfied with the prices charged for postal services. To a lesser extent, this is the case for 27% of Danes and 23% of Slovaks. It is also interesting to note that, in Italy, the level of dissatisfied consumers is lower than the average (8% against 11% in the EU25). D) COMMITMENT Given that consumers can choose between several suppliers in only two countries, survey results concerning this area are not meaningful. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ 110 | FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO E) MARKET AND PERSONAL FACTORS For almost 9 consumers out of 10 in the European Union, postal services are available for everybody and everywhere. In Sweden, this is the case for only 57% of the people. In this country, 37% disagree with this statement (against an EU average of 10%). A large percentage of people do not seem to think that it is possible to buy postal services in another EU country. Only 29% of EU citizens believe that it is possible (31% in the EU15

and 21% in the NMS10). Finally, 83% of EU consumers prefer to deal with a national postal services company. 9.5. ADVANCED ANALYSES A) CRITERIA THAT CONTRIBUTE TO CONSUMERS’ OVERALL SATISFACTION Image is the criterion that seems to contribute most to consumers’ overall satisfaction, as shown in the table below. This result seems quite logical for a proximity service such as the postal service. One might also assume that, given the level of confidence that consumers needs to have in a mail service provider, consumers pay particular attention to the reputation of their provider. Regression coefficients for the constructed variables Quality 0.327 Image 0.475 Pricing 0.394 B) OPPORTUNITIES FOR ACTION It is important to determine the areas where the SGI is not performing well and which are very important for consumers in order to define precise and concrete actions that need to be taken to improve consumers’ satisfaction with postal services. This is done via a diagram, which takes into account the following information: • the average satisfaction score given by consumers to each criterion related to quality, pricing and image (marked as ‘Satisfaction’ on the X-axis of the diagram) • the weighting or contribution of each criterion (quality, pricing and image) to consumers’ satisfaction - this weighting gives an indication as to how important each criterion is to consumers (marked as ‘Importance’ on the Y-axis of the diagram). The diagram on the following page shows the areas where priority actions are needed to improve consumers’ satisfaction with postal services. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO | 111 PS. 4 Two-dimensional analysis – Postal services Importance + Priority actions Uniqueness (7.12) Reputation (7.09) State of the art (7.01) Ease (6.95) Customer mentality (6.8) Overall price (6.81) Price level (6.5) Commercial offer (5.93) Ideal situation Popularity (7.88) Familiarity (7.53) Relationship (7.28) Environment friendly (7.26)

image and. well identified and well-known institution in all the countries.88) Accuracy (7. consumers are relatively more satisfied with quality (7.43) Reliability (7. have the most impact on consumers’ overall satisfaction. results tend to indicate that improvement is needed in the following important areas for consumers: • ‘uniqueness’: postal services providers need to build up a unique image to differentiate themselves from other providers.24) Payment process (7. • ‘environment’: they respect the environment as much as possible.54) Confidentiality (7.1.8). As mentioned previously.39) Satisfaction Low importance area Infrastructure (7. .04) Questions/problem handling (6. However.49) Offer relevance (7. to a lesser extent.95) Order ease (7.Overall image (7.93) Long term actions Points of sale (7. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ 112 | FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO SPECIFIC AREAS OF INTEREST IMAGE The elements related to the image of postal services that provide the most satisfaction to consumers are the following: • ‘popularity’: postal offices are well known and are popular.53) Transparency (7. price. These positive results are probably due to the fact that postal mail is an old.2) than with pricing issues (6.8) Availability (6.19) Satisfaction + Importance OVERALL OBSERVATIONS The average satisfaction score given by EU25 consumers is 7. • ‘state of the art’: they need to innovate in terms of new technologies.3) and image (7. • ‘reputation’: they need also to acquire a positive opinion among consumers. • ‘relationship’: people at postal offices are friendly with consumers. • ‘familiarity’: consumers know exactly what they do.46) Information (5. Compared to this average.31) Staff professionalism (7.39) Overall quality (7.

consumers are quite satisfied with the points of sale.1 4. However. o bringing down prices and delivering more commercial offers for specific target groups. dissatisfied consumers .1 4. they would like to have access to postal services when needed. consumers expect to receive more regular information about products and services. OVERALL RESULTS Overall. Lastly.6 0 20 40 60 80 100 EU25 . • ‘customer service mentality’: they should be more customer-oriented. hence confirming the good proximity service of the postal services. i. The following graph shows the percentages of satisfied and dissatisfied consumers: RB. On the other hand.1. o the popularity of the suppliers.5 63. the number of points of sale. QUALITY Interestingly. the actions to take to improve consumers’ overall satisfaction can be summarised as follows: o being more consumer-focused in delivering services and in the meantime improving the reputation of suppliers and improving suppliers’ image by providing new specific services or products and modernising postal services by using new technologies. at more convenient times. Retail banking 10.9 4.8 on a scale from 1 to 10). _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ 114 | FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO 10. They also expect their problems or questions to be dealt with quickly and adequately. the strengths of postal services must be maintained: o proximity. 1 Retail banking: percentages of satisfied vs. It is one of the SGIs with which consumers are the most satisfied.e.7 62. PRICE Two very important elements of price are a source of dissatisfaction among consumers: o ‘commercial offers’ o ‘price level’ _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO | 113 CONCLUSIONS Given the above.• ‘ease’: flexibility need to be improved. consumers appear to be quite satisfied with retail banking services in the EU25 (average satisfaction score of 7. accuracy and quality of the payment process.percentages (2006) 67. o the transparency.

DIFFERENCES BETWEEN EU MEMBER STATES The same percentages are shown by country in the graph below: RB. consumers in the new member states tend to be more satisfied with this SGI than in the EU15. dissatisfied consumers by country percentages (2006) 36.1 63.2 67.1 7.7 64.4 5.2 87.2.2 86.3 80.4 67.2 75.9 55.3 80.1 64.5 62 62. Dissatisfied Overall.7 50. to what extent are you satisfied with your banking retail supplier? % Satisfied vs.3 67.6 84. 2 Retail banking: percentages of satisfied vs.9 77.4 75.7 74.5 .2 77.EU15 NMS10 Satisfied Dissatisfied Overall.5 50.8 67. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO | 115 10.3 78.9 71.2 75.7 65.4 7.6 80.

1 2.7 2.6 2 1.9 0.2 5.9 0.6 2.3 0.1 0 20 40 60 80 100 IT NL ES FR PL EU15 EU25 SK PT EL UK CZ IE NMS10 DK HU SI LU BE MT .8 4.9 2.3 4 4.5 2.1 2.5 4.2 4.4.7 1.8 3.2 2.7 5.9 3.6 4.1 7.

dissatisfied consumers by socioeconomic category percentages (2006) 61.1 .8 63.1 64. Lithuania and Sweden.6 53.2 60.1 65. where more than 80% of consumers say they are satisfied. Estonia. DIFFERENCES BY SOCIO-ECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS The following graph shows the proportion of satisfied and dissatisfied consumers by socioeconomic category: RB.8 66.5 63.7 59.9 61. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ 116 | FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO 10.4 64.3 5.AT DE SE LT LV EE CY FI Satisfied Dissatisfied Overall. Cyprus.7% of Italians are satisfied with their banking services.5 64 60. This is especially the case for Finland.5 65. to what extent are you satisfied with your banking retail supplier? Satisfied vs. Latvia.5 5.9 54 60.5 5.9 64.3. Dissatisfied (% by country) In all the member states except in Italy a majority of consumers are satisfied with their banking services. 3 Retail banking: percentages of satisfied vs. Only 36.

.3 4. the extent to which consumers are satisfied with retail banking services cannot be explained by the occupations of consumers.7 3.3. Consumers who are still studying are also significantly less satisfied.3 5. to what extent are you satisfied with your retail banking supplier? % by socio-demographics Gender Age Education Occupation _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO | 117 Except for students.2 4.7 4.8 4. Consumers who stopped studying at 15 (or earlier) are significantly less satisfied with retail banking than those who left education when they were older.5 4.3 3. who are less satisfied than the average.5 4.6 Men Women 18-34 35-54 55+ Up to 15 years 16-19 years 20 years + Still studying Self-employed Managers Other white collars Blue collars Students House-persons Unemployed Retired Satisfied Dissatisfied Overall.2 5 4 5.4 5.

Consumers who are aged 55 or older are significantly more satisfied than the younger ones. Respondents aged between 18 and 34 are significantly less satisfied with the retail banking services than the EU25 average. Retail banking is the only SGI surveyed where women are significantly more satisfied than men (65% vs. 61%). 10.4. OTHER KEY OBSERVATIONS ARISING DIRECTLY FROM THE SURVEY A) OVERALL IMAGE The consumers who are most satisfied with their retail bank’s reputation are the Latvians (87%), the Estonians (86%), the Maltese (84%), the Finns (83%), the Cypriots and the Czechs (80% each). In Italy, France and Spain, this is the case for only 40%, 45% and 48% of consumers respectively. B) OVERALL QUALITY Overall, the results by country show similar patterns of responses to what has been observed for the EU as a whole. C) OVERALL PRICE More than 60% of consumers in Latvia, Estonia, Germany, Finland, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Hungary and Belgium are satisfied with the prices of retail banking services. The least satisfied are consumers in Italy (28%), the Netherlands (38%), Portugal (38%) and France (39%). The percentages of dissatisfied consumers in the Czech Republic (15% against 7% of EU25 consumers), Sweden (14%) and France (13%) are relatively high. D) COMMITMENT The level of commitment to a given current retail bank is very high in all EU countries (90%). People are not ready to change banks in the short term. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ 118 | FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO E) MARKET AND PERSONAL FACTORS Most of the EU25 users (86%) think that retail banking services are available for everybody in their country. In terms of competition, EU users of retail banking services believe that there is enough competition (87%) and that it is easy to change from one bank to another (80%). In addition, almost half of EU25 consumers think that it is possible to purchase services from a bank outside their country. However, they do not seem ready to do so as a great majority prefer national banks (83%). 10.5. ADVANCED ANALYSES A) CRITERIA THAT CONTRIBUTE TO CONSUMERS’ OVERALL SATISFACTION

As shown in the table below, the most important criterion for consumers is pricing followed by image. Consumers’ overall satisfaction is mostly explained by these two criteria. This result seems quite logical given that ‘pricing’ includes elements such as the profitability of the products and services (e.g. the interest rate paid for a mortgage loan), fixed costs of payments, services charges and financial gains on investments. The impact of ‘quality’ is much more modest, indicating that consumers take quality (reliability, safety, etc.) for granted and do not consider it as an important differentiating factor. Regression coefficients Quality 0.217 Image 0.381 Pricing 0.466 B) OPPORTUNITIES FOR ACTION The diagram on the following page shows the areas where priority actions are needed to improve consumers’ satisfaction with retail banking services. All the elements of pricing, image and quality have been plotted into the diagram using two axes: • the average satisfaction score given by consumers to each criterion related to quality, pricing and image (marked as ‘Satisfaction’ on the X axis of the diagram); • the weighting or contribution of each criterion (quality, pricing and image) to consumers’ satisfaction - this weighting gives an indication as to how important each criterion is to consumers (marked as ‘Importance’ on the Y axis of the diagram). _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO | 119 The diagram makes it possible to identify: • the areas where the SGI is not performing well and where action to change the situation is needed to improve consumers’ satisfaction; • the areas where the SGI is performing well and where no action is needed. RB. 4 Two-dimensional analysis – Retail banking Importance + Priority actions Transparency (7.71) Commercial offer (7.34) Overall price (7.30) Price level (7.07) Profitability (6.89) Reputation (7.72) State of the art (7.71) Ease (7.70) Environment friendly (7.56) Customer mentality (7.51) Uniqueness (7.02) Ideal situation

Payment process (8.14) Accuracy (7.85) Popularity (8.01) Relationship (7.99) Overall image (7.83) Familiarity (7.82) Satisfaction Low importance area Information (7.67) Availability (7.33) Long term actions Order ease (8.27) Confidentiality (8.24) Safety (8.21) Points of sale (8.14) Reliability (8.04) Staff professionalism (8.03) Overall quality (8.02) Offer relevance (7.87) Infrastructure (7.86) Questions/problem handling (7.82) Satisfaction + Importance _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ 120 | FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO OVERALL OBSERVATIONS As mentioned before, the average satisfaction score of all the elements assessed by consumers is 7.75, which puts retail among the SGIs with which consumers are most satisfied. In addition, the criteria that impact most on overall satisfaction are pricing and image, while quality seems to be less important in the eyes of consumers. The diagram shows that image and quality are the criteria with which consumers are most satisfied. Most of our suggested improvement opportunities will therefore concern pricing issues. SPECIFIC AREAS OF INTEREST PRICE In terms of pricing issues, consumers are most satisfied with everything that is related to the payment process (making payments for instance) and accuracy (of bank statements), which can be considered as important strengths in this sector. On the other hand, consumers are less satisfied with: • the ‘profitability’ of investments: savings and investments do not generate reasonable profits for consumers and loans are not offered at a good rate; • the transparency of tariffs;

• the level of tariffs.1. Insurance services 11. OVERALL RESULTS . CONCLUSIONS The most urgent actions to be taken to raise consumers’ overall levels of satisfaction in the retail banking service are related to: o information about products/services and information about the investments banks make with their clients’ savings. This may be due to the relative complexity of some banking products or to the high number of competitors in this sector. consumers do not think that banks have enough of a ‘customer service mentality’ and that they are not ‘environmentally-friendly’. He does not know exactly how the bank invests his money and what return it obtains. o banks providing consumers with clearer and better commercial offers. IMAGE Banks appear to suffer from not having a unique image (‘uniqueness’ in the diagram). Therefore. banks are seen as providing quality services. This may be explained by the fact that the consumer does not have access to the same information about the financial markets as a bank has. No particular action is needed to improve the quality of service as this criterion has the least impact on consumers’ overall satisfaction. Popularity. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ 122 | FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO 11. loans etc. This feeling is may be due to insufficient or inadequate information (often too complicated for the average consumer). In addition. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO | 121 QUALITY Overall. the consumer may have the feeling that commercial offers are not what they could be. On the other hand: o the accuracy and ease of the payment process must continue to be safeguarded. o the familiarity and popularity of the suppliers and the good relationship between their staff and their clients are strengths that can be used to carry out the actions that are needed.• the commercial offer: there are not enough attractive special offer for savings. due to a lack of transparency. o the availability and accessibility of the services (linked to the ‘digital divide’). price levels are too high (rates of loans) and the profitability of his investments is limited. Consumers are very satisfied with most of the elements relating to this criterion. relationship with the client and familiarity appear to be very important to consumers and to meet with consumer satisfaction.

Just as with banking services.2 67.3 .1 65. The following graph displays the proportion of satisfied and dissatisfied respondents: INS. 2 Insurance: percentages of satisfied vs.2.6 50. 1 Insurance: percentages of satisfied vs.6 70. DIFFERENCES BETWEEN EU MEMBER STATES The percentages of satisfied and dissatisfied consumers are shown in the following graph: INS.3 46.9 64.9 5.4 64.7 71.7 58.4 70. This is also one of the most highly rated SGIs among those surveyed.3 54. to what extent are you satisfied with your insurance supplier? % Satisfied vs.1 62. dissatisfied consumers .9 out of 10). _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO | 123 11.3 64.6 68.3 67.7 55.4 3 0 20 40 60 80 100 EU25 EU15 NMS10 Satisfied Dissatisfied Overall.6 2.percentages (2006) 62. EU25 consumers are very satisfied with insurance services (average satisfaction score of 7.6 64.1 67. dissatisfied consumers by country percentages (2006) 42. Dissatisfied Although there is no difference between the EU15 and the NMS10 in terms of their percentages of satisfied respondents. there are significantly more dissatisfied consumers in the NMS10 than in the EU15 (although the percentages are low).6 65.

6 2.3 9.5 1.3 7 3.1 81.2 2.5 1.7 1.7 75.2 75.9 2.4 4.8 2.1 2.1 79.4 3.5 9 5.4 0.3 4.3 81.8 4.2 3 3.8 4.9 1.6 3 1.6 73.1 1.8 3.73.9 74.7 76.5 2.3 5.3 74.4 0 20 40 60 80 100 IT NL PT ES PL SK NMS10 .

There is no country for which over 10% of consumers are dissatisfied. Finland. the UK. Dissatisfied (% by country) _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ 124 | FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO The countries where there are higher percentages of satisfied consumers than the EU average include the Czech Republic (65%) and Germany (81%). Slovakia (9%) and . Cyprus. The Netherlands and Italy are once again at the bottom of the list with 47% and 42% of satisfied consumers respectively. The figures for Greece. Estonia and Latvia have 71% or more consumers that are satisfied with insurances services. Austria. Sweden. to what extent are you satisfied with your insurance supplier? Satisfied vs. Ireland. Hungary. The three countries with the most dissatisfied consumers are the Czech Republic (9%). Germany. Malta. France and the Czech Republic are close to the EU average of 64%. Slovenia.Slovakia. Luxembourg. Poland. Spain and Portugal . Belgium.with rates between 50% and 58%.EU25 EU15 CZ FR SE MT UK EL LV EE HU DK SI BE LU FI LT AT CY IE DE Satisfied Dissatisfied Overall. Denmark. In this group. Then come four countries . Lithuania.

6 3.2 2.2 6.3 61.9 2.1 70 3.7 3.8 62.6 Men Women .3 63.3 62. dissatisfied consumers by socio-economic category percentages (2006) 63.Hungary (7%).6 5.9 2.1 1. 3 Insurance: percentages of satisfied vs.2 2.1 58.4 3.1 68.8 4.2 65.4 65.5 58.9 65.6 3.2 2.3.1 2.9 64.5 62.8 3. DIFFERENCES BY SOCIO-ECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS The following graph shows the percentages of satisfied and dissatisfied consumers by socioeconomic category: INS.5 65. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO | 125 11.7 64.4 2.6 55.

self-employed people and students. However. On the other hand. Gender does not significantly impact on satisfaction. 11. Older people are once again the most satisfied group. the percentage of people who disagree with the statement that their insurance company has a good reputation is very low in all countries (3% in the EU25). Once again.4. Levels of education have some influence on how satisfied consumers are: early school leavers and people who are still studying score significantly below the average (with 61% and 58% respectively). Austria. B) OVERALL QUALITY Overall. OTHER KEY OBSERVATIONS RESULTING DIRECTLY FROM THE SURVEY A) OVERALL IMAGE The consumers who are most satisfied with their insurance companies’ reputation are located in Ireland (77%). the least satisfied consumers are to be found in Portugal (41%). with percentages of satisfied consumers of 59% and 56% respectively. Czech Republic and Slovenia (76% each). the Netherlands and Sweden (48% each). Italy (44%). the results by country show similar patterns of responses to what has been .18-34 35-54 55+ Up to 15 years 16-19 years 20 years + Still studying Self-employed Managers Other white collars Blue collars Students House-persons Unemployed Retired Satisfied Dissatisfied Overall. Lithuania (74%). Spain (46%). to what extent are you satisfied with your insurance supplier? % by socio-demographics Gender Age Education Occupation _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ 126 | FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO Retired people are the only socio-economic category that is significantly more satisfied than the EU25 average (70%). Finland (73%) and Slovakia (71%). are below the EU average.

317 Pricing 0.239 Image 0. D) COMMITMENT The level of commitment to insurance companies is very high in all the EU countries (87%). Slovakia (45%) and France (47%). However. consumers see pricing as the most important criterion. The least satisfied consumers are from Italy (33%). Hungary.observed in the EU as a whole. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO | 127 E) MARKET AND PERSONAL FACTORS Most of the EU25 users (88%) think that insurance services are available for everybody in their country. Austria. Belgium. C) OVERALL PRICE More than 60% of consumers in Germany. Spain (38%) the Netherlands (40%).5. followed by image. Denmark and Slovenia are satisfied with the prices of insurance services.524 B) OPPORTUNITIES FOR ACTION The diagram on the following page shows the areas where priority actions are needed to improve consumers’ satisfaction with insurance services. There are relatively high percentages of dissatisfied consumers in Sweden and Portugal (16% each against an EU25 average of 6%). image and quality have been plotted into the diagram using . EU users of insurance services believe that there is enough competition (88%) and that it is easy to change from one insurance company to another (77%). ADVANCED ANALYSES A) CRITERIA THAT CONTRIBUTE TO CONSUMERS’ OVERALL SATISFACTION As shown in the table below. Ireland. it is interesting to note that Swedes have a much better assessment of the quality of services provided by their insurance company (67%) than of the insurance company’s reputation (48%). People tend to stay with their current insurance company and have no intention of changing in the short term. 11. They do not seem ready to do so as a large majority prefer national insurance companies (83%). A relatively small percentage of EU25 users think it is possible to purchase services from an insurance company outside their country (37%). Poland (42%). All the elements of pricing. Czech Republic. Sweden (43%). Regression coefficients Quality 0. Consumers’ overall satisfaction is mostly explained by these two criteria.

66) Satisfaction Low importance area Information (7.71) Reputation (7.28) Confidentiality (8. The diagram makes it possible to identify: • the areas where the SGI is not performing well and where action to change the situation is needed to improve consumers’ satisfaction. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ 128 | FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO INS.05) Overall quality (8.two axes: • the average satisfaction score given by consumers to each criterion related to quality.79) Familiarity (7.38) Price level (7.87) Ideal situation Payment process (8.27) Points of sale (7.Insurance Importance + Priority actions Overall price (7. • the weighting or contribution of each criterion (quality. pricing and image) to consumers’ satisfaction .23) Long term actions Order ease (8.19) Staff professionalism (8.48) Environment friendly (7.09) Safety (8.6) Customer mentality (7.99) Transparency (7.25) Accuracy (7.79) Popularity (7.21) Profitability (5.72) Ease (7.76) Relationship (7. pricing and image (marked as ‘Satisfaction’ on the X axis of the diagram). 4 Two-dimensional analysis . • the areas where the SGI is performing well and where no action is needed.34) Uniqueness (6.this weighting gives an indication as to how important each criterion is to consumers (marked as ‘Importance’ on the Y axis of the diagram).99) Overall image (7.31) Commercial offer (7.57) State of the art (7.01) Reliability (7.94) .

On the other hand. The variable ‘environment friendly’ can also be found in the same quadrant. which means that. for instance.64) Satisfaction + Importance _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO | 129 OVERALL OBSERVATIONS As mentioned previously. Indeed. • commercial offers: there are not enough attractive special tariffs for specific target groups or usage. The position of these variables in the table suggests that consumers are ready to pay for the risk cover but consider that the prices of insurance policies are too high and that the cost of the insurance cover does not give them a return in the long term. Consumers are particularly satisfied with image and quality: the average satisfaction scores are quite high compared to other sectors (8.Offer relevance (7. the position of the items ‘commercial offer’ and ‘profitability’ could refer to the feeling of some consumers that they are not being rewarded for their loyalty. IMAGE Our main observation is the position in the upper-left quadrant of the item ‘uniqueness’. the average satisfaction score of all the elements surveyed is 7. consumers tend to be satisfied with such items as tariff transparency.4 against an average satisfaction of 7.0 for quality and 7. the payment process or the possibilities offered by companies to pay their insurance policy. • price levels: prices for insurance policies are considered too expensive. expect a considerable reduction in their insurance policy in cases where they have never had an accident during a given period of time.65) whereas it is the main criterion determining consumers’ overall satisfaction. In addition. as with retail banking services.65.88) Availability (7.8 for image). SPECIFIC AREAS OF INTEREST PRICE The elements of pricing which are very important to consumers but with which they are dissatisfied are: • ‘profitability’: consumers do not think that insurance companies share their profits with their customers. consumers are least satisfied with pricing (a satisfaction score of 7.92) Questions/problem handling (7. they would. More particularly. These results tend to indicate that consumers understand and are in control of the insurance process. On the other hand. insurance statements or invoices are considered as being accurate. consumers do not see much differentiation between insurance companies. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ 130 | FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO .

These are the areas where no action is needed but where the current situation needs to be maintained. these two areas.e. respect for the environment and customer service mentality (through better use of ICT. the main opportunities for improvement lie in this area. the fact that the suppliers are technologically advanced companies and have the ability to innovate) also seem to be issues. to maintaining consumers’ satisfaction in these areas. rated their satisfaction in the range between 8 and 10. reputation and flexibility of suppliers by communicating these elements to the public and consequently contributing. which are a source of discontent for consumers. ‘customer service mentality’ and ‘state of the art’ (i. They are linked to price level. DESCRIPTIVE ANALYSIS OF THE SURVEY RESULTS BY COUNTRY In this chapter. consumers tend to think there is no insurance office/agency near to their home. on a scale from 1 to 10. transparency. Nevertheless. improvements in the information provided on products and services could help consumers have a better understanding of prices/tariffs and could thereby improve consumers’ overall satisfaction with insurance services. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO | 131 C. insurance services could take advantage of the quality and accuracy of payment processes. the main priorities are to work on the uniqueness of insurance companies. CONCLUSIONS Given that pricing issues are important to consumers. in the long run. good relationships between staff and clients. In terms of image. from the consumers’ point of view. popularity. ease and reputation) are in the upper-right quadrant. Contrary to the situation for retail banking. familiarity. However. On the other hand. In addition. The measurement of satisfaction is based on the percentage of respondents who. are not opportunities for priority actions but only actions that could be taken in the long run. we use graphs to show the percentage of consumers who are satisfied or dissatisfied with the eleven SGIs (services of general interest) by country and for the EU25 as a whole. familiarity. insurance companies do not seem to enjoy a high level of visibility. insurance services do not take sufficient advantage of the new information technology in order to provide an easier service to the client. commercial offers and to the fact that insurance companies share their profits with customers. This observation may mean that. The measurement of dissatisfaction is based on the percentage of respondents who rated their . Finally. all the other image-related elements (popularity. The lower average score (compared to the average score for ‘information’) might be related to the fact that consumers often do not fully understand what they perceive as complex insurance products.Finally. QUALITY Consumers give elements related to quality relatively high scores.

9 4. In this case. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ 132 | FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO 1.8% of consumers are dissatisfied with mobile phone whereas the EU average is 4.1 4.or the proportion is smaller than the EU average. EU25 44.9 57.6 10.either the proportion is greater than the EU average. the differences between the proportions of satisfied consumers and the EU average are statistically significant.9 4. The explanatory text below the graph will only highlight significant differences compared to the EU average.5 Urban transport Extra-urban transport Fixed phone Postal services Electricity . 2 situations can be observed on the graphs: .6 64.4 45.9 6. we cannot conclude that consumers in the Czech Republic are more dissatisfied with mobile phone than the EU average as the difference between these two proportions is not statistically significant.4 3 65. In addition.3 57. In this case. the differences observed on the graphs are not statistically significant. Statistical significance depends on a variety of factors such as sample size and observed percentages. we will say that consumers are more satisfied/dissatisfied than the EU average.5 9. these are greater than the EU average.3 52 8.1 3. For the other services.4 63. In other words. the proportions of satisfied/dissatisfied consumers of a given country can be considered equal to the EU average. 5.1 66. When comparing the proportion of satisfied/dissatisfied consumers to the EU average. For example: in the Czech Republic.2 5. .1%.6 5.4 60. This is the reason why the reader may perceive some discrepancies between what is shown on the graph and the text. In this case. Therefore.satisfaction equal to or less than 4. in some cases. we will say that consumers are less satisfied/dissatisfied than the EU average However.4 52. we will say that consumers in this country tend to be more dissatisfied than the EU average with all the services except mobile phone.

9 7.1 3.5 82.7 64.1 4.6 44.2 1.4 63.6 10.9 57.1 1.7 52.6 5.Gas Water Retail banking Insurance Mobile phone Air transport Satisfied Dissatisfied EU25 As can be seen in the graph above.9 4.1 76.5 2 66.1 57. Austria 45.6 57.4 2.4 75.4 86.6 77.1 2.9 4.5 9.4 3 76.9 6.9 2.3 49 12.1 60.2 52 8.8 65.5 EU25 Extra-urban transport Extra-urban transport EU25 Postal services Postal services EU25 Urban transport Urban transport EU25 Fixed phone Fixed phone EU25 Gas . the least satisfied.4 70. in general. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO | 133 2.3 79.2 5.3 3. urban and extra-urban transport are the services with which EU25 consumers are.8 1.4 61 7.

9 43.1 3.9 EU25 Postal services Postal services EU25 Extra-urban transport .4 45.4 52 8.9 66. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ 134 | FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO 3.1 64.4 65.9 4.1 74.4 65. They tend also to be less dissatisfied than the EU average with all these services.2 5.Gas EU25 Insurance Insurance EU25 Mobile phone Mobile phone EU25 Retail banking Retail banking EU25 Electricity Electricity EU25 Air transport Air transport EU25 Water Water Satisfied Dissatisfied AUSTRIA Austrians tend to be more satisfied than the EU average with all 11 services evaluated.6 44.2 60.2 4.6 75.4 62 3.4 3 74.9 6.2 2.2 2.3 65.3 0.9 0.9 4.4 57.7 2.4 1.6 57.5 9. Belgium 52.4 57.5 59.6 10.4 64.8 6.6 5.1 4.3 52.1 3.3 63.3 1.

2 5.5 9.1 6.4 3 79. insurance.5 57. gas. electricity.6 5.9 4.1 3. They tend to be less dissatisfied than the EU average with all the 11 services.4 52.9 0.1 4.3 66. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO | 135 4. fixed phone and urban and extra-urban transport and less satisfied with air transport and postal services.7 63. water.5 65. Cyprus 44.9 77 5.1 4.4 68.8 52 8.8 64.9 6.5 83 3.Extra-urban transport EU25 Urban transport Urban transport EU25 Air transport Air transport EU25 Fixed phone Fixed phone EU25 Water Water EU25 Gas Gas EU25 Electricity Electricity EU25 Insurance Insurance EU25 Mobile phone Mobile phone EU25 Retail banking Retail banking Satisfied Dissatisfied BELGIUM Belgian consumers tend to be more satisfied than the EU average with retail banking.5 6.6 . mobile phone.4 60.4 23 53.4 83 2.3 70.1 83.

3 44.8% of dissatisfied against 9.3 9.4 59.4% at the EU level).86.3 58.4 3 65.2 5.1 4.5 10.6 10.9 4.8 10.9 EU25 Urban transport Urban transport EU25 Fixed phone Fixed phone EU25 Electricity Electricity EU25 Postal services Postal services EU25 Insurance Insurance EU25 Water Water EU25 Air transport Air transport EU25 Mobile phone Mobile phone EU25 Retail banking Retail banking Satisfied Dissatisfied CYPRUS Consumers in Cyprus tend to be more satisfied than the EU average with all the services.5 9.9 51.6 5.7 23. Czech Republic 52 8.5% at the EU level).2 60.7 17 52.1 63.9 6.8 45.1 9.6 .7 57. except urban transport (23% of satisfied against 44.4 40.2 9 57.7 18.1 64. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ 136 | FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO 5. They tend to be more dissatisfied than the EU average with urban transport (53.2 2.3 43.4 42.4 64.

3 65.9 6.8 5.1 16. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO | 137 6.7 .5 17.3 7.1 3.8 66. Denmark 45.4 7.4 61.8 11.5 9.4 42.9 52. mobile phone.6 52 8.3 37.67. They tend to be more dissatisfied than the EU average with all the services except mobile phone.6 10.1 73. retail banking and gas distribution and less satisfied with fixed phone.9 4.1 44.5 75.9 EU25 Fixed phone Fixed phone EU25 Urban transport Urban transport EU25 Extra-urban transport Extra-urban transport EU25 Postal services Postal services EU25 Electricity Electricity EU25 Water Water EU25 Gas Gas EU25 Insurance Insurance EU25 Retail banking Retail banking EU25 Mobile phone Mobile phone EU25 Air transport Air transport Satisfied Dissatisfied CZECH REPUBLIC Consumers in Czech Republic tend to be more satisfied than the EU average with air transport.7 52.7 6.

7 64. Estonia .1 3.6 5. They tend to be more dissatisfied than the EU average with postal services.1 4.9 2.66.4 84. electricity and gas).2 57.9 4. insurance. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ 138 | FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO 7.2 60.3 78. urban and extra-urban transport.9 4. retail banking.4 6 63.6 71.6 57. mobile phone and fixed phone and less satisfied with extra-urban services.4 77.4 3 73.5 65 5.1 65.9 2.8 1 EU25 Extra-urban transport Extra-urban transport EU25 Urban transport Urban transport EU25 Postal services Postal services EU25 Fixed phone Fixed phone EU25 Air transport Air transport EU25 Mobile phone Mobile phone EU25 Retail banking Retail banking EU25 Insurance Insurance EU25 Gas Gas EU25 Electricity Electricity EU25 Water Water Satisfied Dissatisfied DENMARK Danes tend to be more satisfied than the EU average with the three utilities (water.7 4.2 5.6 3.1 71.

1 4.6 10.3 1.7 3.2 5.9 4.9 57.44.4 49.2 EU25 Urban transport Urban transport EU25 Water Water EU25 Extra-urban transport Extra-urban transport EU25 Air transport Air transport EU25 Gas Gas EU25 Insurance Insurance EU25 Fixed phone Fixed phone EU25 Postal services Postal services EU25 Electricity Electricity EU25 Mobile phone Mobile phone EU25 Retail banking Retail banking Satisfied Dissatisfied ESTONIA .2 1.1 3.3 71.8 4.4 71 3.1 2.4 3 70.7 10.6 52.5 64.3 45.6 84.1 3.5 9.5 2.9 4.9 60.3 52 8.9 6.8 57.4 65.9 71.1 64.1 78.3 58 6.4 51.3 66.4 68.7 63.6 5.5 12.

4 63.9 2.7 3. urban and extra-urban transport and less satisfied with water distribution.3 7.9 58.9 6.5 83.4 16. gas distribution. They tend to be more dissatisfied than the EU average with water distribution and less dissatisfied with extraurban transport.4 5.5 9.8 52.1 3.9 57.9 10.7 65. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO | 139 8.6 78.6 2.6 5.6 44.7 2.3 71.9 60.5 2.9 66.2 EU25 Extra-urban transport Extra-urban transport EU25 Urban transport Urban transport EU25 Postal services Postal services EU25 Gas Gas EU25 Fixed phone Fixed phone EU25 Electricity Electricity EU25 Retail banking Retail banking EU25 Insurance .1 83. electricity.6 64.4 69.9 4.9 4.2 1. fixed phone.1 4.4 83.5 5 57.2 5.6 10. Germany 45.3 72. mobile phone.4 1. postal services.4 52.4 3 81.3 42.2 44.Consumers in Estonia tend to be more satisfied than the EU average with retail banking. insurance.

They tend to be more dissatisfied than the EU average with extraurban transport and less dissatisfied with fixed phone.6 65.4 63.1 9. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ 140 | FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO 9.2 3.6 8 60.4 57.7 66. Greece 52 8.1 9.4 4.1 70.5 9.7 4 65.4 1.9 69.4 45.3 48.1 4.8 45.6 5.1 3.8 57.9 2.9 4.3 63.5 44.3 2.4 87.2 5.6 10.4 59 9.Insurance EU25 Air transport Air transport EU25 Mobile phone Mobile phone EU25 Water Water Satisfied Dissatisfied GERMANY German consumers are most satisfied than the EU average with all the services except extra-urban transport.5 EU25 Fixed phone Fixed phone EU25 Electricity Electricity EU25 Urban transport Urban transport EU25 Water Water .4 53.5 76.4 3 68.5 52.9 4.4 1.9 6.2 64.

9 6.5 77. They tend to be more dissatisfied than the EU average with water and electricity distribution and less dissatisfied with postal services and extra-urban transport.4 3.3 65.4 64.4 3 75.6 10.9 5 52.4 63.9 4.6 2.2 2.4 79.1 57. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO | 141 10.3 63.1 44.7 3.9 4. postal services.1 3.5 9.6 5.9 5.1 72.1 4.2 6. consumers tend to be more satisfied than the EU average with gas distribution.2 60.5 3.9 66.EU25 Extra-urban transport Extra-urban transport EU25 Retail banking Retail banking EU25 Insurance Insurance EU25 Postal services Postal services EU25 Mobile phone Mobile phone EU25 Air transport Air transport EU25 Gas Gas Satisfied Dissatisfied GREECE In Greece. air transport.3 67.9 63.4 76.4 66.3 45. insurance and extra-urban transport and less satisfied with electricity and fixed phone.1 57.4 5.6 .6 1. mobile phone.2 5.4 60. Finland 52 8.

1 55.4 0.3 7.9 46. they tend to be less dissatisfied than the EU average with urban and extra-urban transport and fixed phone.4 45.2 52 8.3 44.4 63.9 4.4 49.6 .6 7.4 52 4. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ 142 | FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO 11.8 EU25 Fixed phone Fixed phone EU25 Electricity Electricity EU25 Urban transport Urban transport EU25 Postal services Postal services EU25 Extra-urban transport Extra-urban transport EU25 Mobile phone Mobile phone EU25 Insurance Insurance EU25 Gas Gas EU25 Air transport Air transport EU25 Water Water EU25 Retail banking Retail banking Satisfied Dissatisfied FINLAND Finns tend to be more satisfied than the EU average with all SGIs.2 65. In addition.9 6.6 60.87.2 5.3 52. France 52.5 9.3 6.2 7.4 49.1 7.6 10.1 4.

5 66.9 4.5 9.4 3 65.3 50 17.5 57.5 56.1 3. mobile phone.1 64.6 .3 60.4 58.6 5. water distribution and postal services.4 37.1 5.2 45. Hungary 44.2 4.6 10.7 22.5 7.3 EU25 Postal services Postal services EU25 Urban transport Urban transport EU25 Fixed phone Fixed phone EU25 Water Water EU25 Extra-urban transport Extra-urban transport EU25 Mobile phone Mobile phone EU25 Retail banking Retail banking EU25 Air transport Air transport EU25 Gas Gas EU25 Electricity Electricity EU25 Insurance Insurance Satisfied Dissatisfied FRANCE French consumers tend to be more satisfied than the EU average with extra-urban transport and less satisfied with air transport. retail banking.7 57. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO | 143 12. They tend to be less dissatisfied than the EU average with extra-urban transport.4 3.3 2.55.

6 74.4 70.9 70.5 82. However.2 5.9 6.1 4. they tend to be more dissatisfied than the EU average with electricity.1 EU25 Urban transport Urban transport EU25 Extra-urban transport Extra-urban transport EU25 Gas Gas EU25 Fixed phone Fixed phone EU25 Water Water EU25 Postal services Postal services EU25 Insurance Insurance EU25 Electricity Electricity EU25 Retail banking Retail banking EU25 Air transport Air transport EU25 Mobile phone Mobile phone Satisfied Dissatisfied HUNGARY Hungarians tend to be more satisfied than the EU25 average with almost all SGIs except with urban transport (37.2 10.2 52 8.5 65.6 63.3 72. .6 8.4 52. urban and extraurban transport. insurance.4 3 71. gas.57.8 66.3 7 57.9 9.1 3.4 65.4 64.9 4.4 5.9 2.6 64.5 2.7 7.4 60.9 4.6 7.1 82.7% against a EU25 average of 44.5%).6 5.

5 52 8.9 6.9 52.7 64.6 5.4 78.3 1.4 3.2 3.9 EU25 Urban transport Urban transport EU25 Air transport Air transport EU25 Retail banking Retail banking EU25 Water Water EU25 Extra-urban transport Extra-urban transport EU25 Mobile phone Mobile phone EU25 Electricity Electricity EU25 Fixed phone Fixed phone EU25 Insurance Insurance EU25 Postal services Postal services .6 67.5 67 3.9 4._______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ 144 | FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO 13.4 71.4 81.1 73 2.6 63.1 3.4 3 81.8 1.6 5 66.7 2 57.8 4 60.6 10.5 8 45.9 81.1 4.3 72.5 9.9 4.6 57.3 0.2 5.3 65. Ireland 44.3 73.4 65.

4 40.6 10.5 51. except with air transport (where the proportion of satisfied is equal to the EU average).9 4.3 34.9 6.7 10.4 60.3 24. urban and extra-urban transport.4 3 42.4 8.6 66.1 3.4 EU25 Extra-urban transport Extra-urban transport EU25 Fixed phone Fixed phone EU25 Postal services Postal services EU25 Urban transport Urban transport EU25 Electricity Electricity EU25 Gas Gas .4 4.6 5.4 36.2 44.7 57.8 65.4 27.7 7. They tend to be less dissatisfied than the EU average with postal services.1 63. Italy 45.6 64.1 4.8 8.EU25 Gas Gas Satisfied Dissatisfied IRELAND In Ireland.3 4.6 36.8 52. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO | 145 14.5 9.9 28. fixed phone.2 18 52 8.1 49.4 33.3 57.4 14.7 2. people are more satisfied than the EU average with all the SGIs surveyed.9 4.7 13.1 3.2 5.

4 65.4 62 4.6 64.2 3.9 4.5 9.6 0.6 80.9 6.4 50.1 4.9 67. They tend to be more dissatisfied than the EU average with urban and extra-urban transport.7 EU25 Water Water EU25 Urban transport Urban transport EU25 Fixed phone .5 57. Latvia 60.5 11.7 44.1 3.5 4.9 2. postal services and fixed phone.2 5.1 3.9 4.EU25 Retail banking Retail banking EU25 Water Water EU25 Insurance Insurance EU25 Mobile phone Mobile phone EU25 Air transport Air transport Satisfied Dissatisfied ITALY Italians tend to be less satisfied than the EU average with all the SGIs.2 65.3 45.3 73.6 5.4 67.8 57.1 4.5 68 3.8 4.6 10.8 52. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ 146 | FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO 15.6 2.2 52 8.3 66.1 79.1 66.5 63.4 3 70.

2 52 8.7 66.3 66.5% are satisfied against 60.9 .2 63.7 1.6 10.4 72.1 4.4 3 75. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO | 147 16.7 64.5 5.1 79.4 4.Fixed phone EU25 Extra-urban transport Extra-urban transport EU25 Gas Gas EU25 Postal services Postal services EU25 Air transport Air transport EU25 Insurance Insurance EU25 Electricity Electricity EU25 Mobile phone Mobile phone EU25 Retail banking Retail banking Satisfied Dissatisfied LATVIA Latvians tend to be more satisfied than the EU average with all the SGIs.2% at the EU level). They tend to be more dissatisfied than the EU average with water distribution and less dissatisfied with urban and extra-urban transport and fixed phone.8 60.4 59.9 80.1 3.4 6. except with water distribution (50.9 6.3 1.5 78.6 8.7 65.4 57.5 45.6 0.2 5. Lithuania 44.9 4.6 52.2 1.1 3.5 9.6 80.

4 84.5 0. air transport. postal services.9 4. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ 148 | FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO 17.3 81.8 44.4 66.5 66.7 EU25 Urban transport Urban transport EU25 Water Water EU25 Extra-urban transport Extra-urban transport EU25 Fixed phone Fixed phone EU25 Insurance Insurance EU25 Air transport Air transport EU25 Mobile phone Mobile phone EU25 Postal services Postal services EU25 Retail banking Retail banking EU25 Electricity Electricity EU25 Gas Gas Satisfied Dissatisfied LITHUANIA Lithuanians are more satisfied than the EU average with all the SGIs surveyed.3 54. fixed phone and extra-urban transport but are more dissatisfied with water distribution.6 1.9 67.9 6.5 2.6 5. They tend to be less dissatisfied than the EU average with gas and electricity distribution.5 2.5 9.2 6.1 3. except with water distribution (where the proportion of satisfied is equal to the EU average). insurance. Luxembourg 45.6 52.57.6 10. retail banking.6 .5 9.4 57.6 57.

4 3 74.9 4. electricity and gas distribution.8 63. fixed phone.4 73.6 75.2 3. They tend to be less dissatisfied than the EU average with water.2 5.3 EU25 Extra-urban transport Extra-urban transport EU25 Urban transport Urban transport EU25 Air transport Air transport EU25 Postal services Postal services EU25 Fixed phone Fixed phone EU25 Mobile phone Mobile phone EU25 Gas Gas EU25 Electricity Electricity EU25 Water Water EU25 Insurance Insurance EU25 Retail banking Retail banking Satisfied Dissatisfied LUXEMBOURG Consumers in Luxembourg are more satisfied than the EU average with all the SGIs surveyed.5 3.3 71.1 4. except with mobile phone and air transport (where the proportions of satisfied are in line with the EU average). postal services and extra-urban transport.3 1.2 64.1 69.2 2.7 3.6 5.7 57.4 57. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ .9 4.1 60.6 65.52 8.4 68.7 3.4 69.5 2.

3 EU25 Urban transport Urban transport EU25 Electricity Electricity EU25 Water Water EU25 Postal services Postal services EU25 Air transport Air transport EU25 Insurance Insurance EU25 Fixed phone Fixed phone EU25 Retail banking Retail banking EU25 Mobile phone Mobile phone Satisfied Dissatisfied MALTA Maltese consumers tend to be more satisfied than the EU average with mobile phone.1 3.5 9.9 57.2 66.9 64.4 73 2.9 6. retail banking.4 15.1 4.9 65.6 63. water and .9 4.1 79.3 52.4 60.1 14. They tend to be less dissatisfied than the EU average with fixed phone and more dissatisfied with insurance.2 5.4 53.2 5.9 61.3 47 17.4 29.6 77.FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO | 149 18.6 52 8. fixed phone.6 2. Malta 44.2 2.6 2. insurance and postal services and tend to be less satisfied with water and electricity distribution and urban transport.6 5.7 8.5 63.4 3 67.

4 39.4 25 3.electricity distribution and urban transport.2 60.9 4.1 4.4 47.5 2.4 3 46.5 57.5 2.7 52 8.6 5.1 51 2.5 52.4 64.1 3.9 47.6 1.5 9. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ 150 | FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO 19.6 3.6 50.9 1.9 6.7 63.7 3.3 57.1 65.4 52.3 41.1 6.2 5. Netherlands 45.9 4.5 66.6 10.3 24 6 44.4 53.4 1 EU25 Extra-urban transport Extra-urban transport EU25 Urban transport Urban transport EU25 Fixed phone Fixed phone EU25 Electricity Electricity EU25 Insurance Insurance EU25 Postal services Postal services EU25 Gas Gas EU25 Retail banking Retail banking EU25 Mobile phone Mobile phone EU25 Air transport .

Air transport EU25 Water Water Satisfied Dissatisfied NETHERLANDS Just as with Italy.4 56. fixed phone.8 63.1 3. Dutch consumers tend to be less satisfied than the EU average with all the SGIs.3 46.2 13.4 64.1 67. Poland 44.1 4. air transport.2 5.9 4.9 6.6 5.7 3.3 45.4 52.4 3 55.5 9. However.4 39.6 10.2 7.8 7. postal services.5 67.5 60.9 4.9 61.3 EU25 Urban transport Urban transport EU25 Fixed phone Fixed phone EU25 Extra-urban transport Extra-urban transport EU25 Insurance Insurance EU25 Water Water EU25 Gas .2 10.9 4.6 57.3 7. insurance. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO | 151 20.3 59.4 58. they also tend to be less dissatisfied than the EU average with water distribution. urban and extra-urban transport.9 6.2 65.6 62 4.1 66.8 57.8 52 8.7 1.4 45.2 4.

3 4.6 10.9 3.4 3 50.1 64.1 57.2 8.1 68.9 65.5 4.2 60.8 44.2 5.9 63.3 36.1 4.Gas EU25 Electricity Electricity EU25 Postal services Postal services EU25 Retail banking Retail banking EU25 Mobile phone Mobile phone EU25 Air transport Air transport Satisfied Dissatisfied POLAND In Poland.5 9.5 66.5 4.9 4.7 20.5 64.6 45.4 49.9 4. consumers tend to be more satisfied than the EU average with postal services and insurance and tend to be less satisfied with fixed phone and urban transport.4 12. Portugal 52 8.8 2.3 55.4 40.9 64.9 6.4 29.6 64.4 5.4 52.6 5.1 57.7 2. They tend to be less dissatisfied than the EU average with air transport and tend to be more dissatisfied with fixed phone.6 EU25 Fixed phone Fixed phone EU25 Electricity . _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ 152 | FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO 21.5 52.1 0.1 3.

2 5.9 . consumers tend to be more satisfied than the EU average with postal services and extra-urban transport and tend to be less satisfied with water.1 9.8 8. Slovakia 44.5 60.5 9. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO | 153 22.3 52. air transport and urban/extra-urban transport and they tend to be more dissatisfied with water and electricity distribution and fixed phone.4 43.8 8.9 4.4 3 58.5 45.4 53.9 52 8.4 52.6 10.1 64.6 5.1 9 52.3 15 57.4 21.4 57.9 6. They tend to be less dissatisfied than the EU average with postal services.Electricity EU25 Urban transport Urban transport EU25 Gas Gas EU25 Insurance Insurance EU25 Water Water EU25 Extra-urban transport Extra-urban transport EU25 Air transport Air transport EU25 Retail banking Retail banking EU25 Postal services Postal services EU25 Mobile phone Mobile phone Satisfied Dissatisfied PORTUGAL In Portugal.6 23.3 28.9 31. insurance and fixed phone. gas and electricity distribution. retail banking.

3 52 8.6 64.4 12.2 63.5 9.9 66. In addition. urban and extra-urban transport.6 10.7 5.4 46.1 4. insurance.3 51.2 .1 3. electricity and gas distribution and urban and extra-urban transport.5 6. electricity and gas distribution. Slovenia 44.9 4.1 73 4.59.1 EU25 Urban transport Urban transport EU25 Extra-urban transport Extra-urban transport EU25 Gas Gas EU25 Electricity Electricity EU25 Water Water EU25 Fixed phone Fixed phone EU25 Insurance Insurance EU25 Postal services Postal services EU25 Air transport Air transport EU25 Retail banking Retail banking EU25 Mobile phone Mobile phone Satisfied Dissatisfied SLOVAKIA Slovaks tend to be more satisfied than the EU average with mobile phone and postal services and tend to be less satisfied with insurance.4 68. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ 154 | FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO 23. water.5 8.5 62 8.4 45.4 5.1 65. they tend to be more dissatisfied than the EU average with air transport. water.

9 4.4 72 4. except with urban transport (where the proportion of satisfied is in line with the EU average).5 2.2 1.4 77.5 73.9 2. In addition.2 3.8 57.2 5.6 5.8 2.8 57.8 4.3 73.2 3.5 64.6 63.1 76. they tend to be less dissatisfied than the EU average with electricity and gas .5 66.4 3 73.60.9 6.6 75.2 EU25 Urban transport Urban transport EU25 Extra-urban transport Extra-urban transport EU25 Fixed phone Fixed phone EU25 Water Water EU25 Electricity Electricity EU25 Air transport Air transport EU25 Insurance Insurance EU25 Postal services Postal services EU25 Retail banking Retail banking EU25 Mobile phone Mobile phone EU25 Gas Gas Satisfied Dissatisfied SLOVENIA Consumers are more satisfied than the EU average with all the SGIs surveyed.6 65.1 4.9 4.1 3.5 52.9 74.

distribution and postal services.7 3.9 6.7 3.3 43.1 60.7 3 EU25 Urban transport Urban transport EU25 Fixed phone Fixed phone EU25 Mobile phone Mobile phone EU25 Electricity Electricity EU25 Extra-urban transport Extra-urban transport EU25 Air transport Air transport EU25 Water Water EU25 Gas Gas EU25 Postal services Postal services EU25 Retail banking .6 5.8 52.9 5.3 42.7 4 45.2 5.5 45 6.4 3 54.6 10.6 50.6 5.9 47.8 63.1 4.4 35.1 41.9 6.4 46.1 66.4 36 7.5 9.1 64.9 4.4 47. Spain 44.5 65.4 10. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO | 155 24.7 8.9 4.1 57.7 52 8.1 3.7 57.

1 71.1 4.6 80.8 21.3 2 60.3 52.9 63. gas. fixed phone and urban transport.5 45.1 2.5 64.9 66.3 53.4 63. water and electricity distribution. In addition.9 44.2 11.4 80.9 4.5 9.6 5.9 6.5 65. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ 156 | FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO 25.7 4.5 17.7 1.6 EU25 Urban transport Urban transport EU25 Postal services Postal services EU25 Electricity Electricity EU25 Extra-urban transport Extra-urban transport EU25 Air transport Air transport .5 52 8. air transport.7 57.4 4.4 39. mobile phone.2 5.1 1.5 62.3 54.4 3 67.1 7. they tend to be less dissatisfied than the EU average with postal services and extra-urban transport but tend to be more dissatisfied with air transport and mobile phone.4 74. postal.6 10.8 57.4 6.9 4. retail banking.Retail banking EU25 Insurance Insurance Satisfied Dissatisfied SPAIN Spaniards tend to be less satisfied than the EU average with insurance. Sweden 44.1 3.

6 4.4 64.5 52 8.2 4.5 3.2 6.EU25 Fixed phone Fixed phone EU25 Insurance Insurance EU25 Mobile phone Mobile phone EU25 Gas Gas EU25 Retail banking Retail banking EU25 Water Water Satisfied Dissatisfied SWEDEN Consumers are more satisfied than the EU average with water distribution. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO | 157 26.2 5.1 67.3 58.7 63.4 66.5 EU25 Urban transport .6 67.5 67.1 4.9 55.3 4.4 59.7 45.9 4.9 4.6 2.4 58. gas.7 5.8 4. retail banking.6 10.6 5.5 9.1 65.9 60.4 6. United Kingdom 44.1 3. postal services and urban transport.6 57.3 6. They also tend to be less dissatisfied than the EU average with water and gas distribution and retail banking but tend to be more dissatisfied electricity.9 6.4 3 67.4 59. fixed phone and extra-urban transport and tend to be less satisfied with air transport and postal services.3 55. mobile phone.3 52.4 43.8 9.2 57.

30 Extra Urban Transport 7. Average score Air Transport 7.73 Gas supply 7. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ 158 | FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO D.92 Retail Banking 7.91 Insurance services 7.42 Fixed Telephony 7. retail banking and extra-urban transport services.64 Electricity supply 7.1. The average satisfaction scores for the EU25 for each of the sectors surveyed are listed in the following table (on a scale from 1 to 10).05 . In addition. European consumers appear to be fairly satisfied with their services of general interest.Urban transport EU25 Extra-urban transport Extra-urban transport EU25 Postal services Postal services EU25 Electricity Electricity EU25 Gas Gas EU25 Water Water EU25 Fixed phone Fixed phone EU25 Retail banking Retail banking EU25 Mobile phone Mobile phone EU25 Air transport Air transport EU25 Insurance Insurance Satisfied Dissatisfied UNITED KINGDOM Consumers in the UK tend to be more satisfied than the EU average with fixed phone. AVERAGE SCORE Overall. they tend to be less dissatisfied than the EU average with fixed phone and extra-urban transport.82 Water Distribution 7. Consumers’ overall satisfaction 1. OVERALL FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 1.96 Mobile Telephony 7.61 Postal Services 7.

insurance and retail banking services. it can be seen that at least one EU citizen in .96 for Air transport.9 57.Urban Transport 7.04 The average satisfaction score ranges from 7. ‘Satisfied consumers’ are defined as people who give a service a rating of 8. except urban transport and extra-urban Transport.EU consumers are least satisfied with their extra-urban and urban transport services. For all sectors. electricity.2. .1 65.EU consumers are particularly satisfied with air transport.5 Air transport Mobile phone Insurances Banking retail Water Gas Electricity Postal services Fixed phone Extra-urban transport Urban transport Overall.EU consumers are less satisfied (or are more ‘neutral’ in their opinion) with utility services (gas. PERCENTAGES OF SATISFIED AND DISSATISFIED CONSUMERS Another way of looking at overall satisfaction is to calculate the percentages of ‘satisfied consumers’ and ‘dissatisfied consumers’. mobile phone. 9 or 10 while ‘dissatisfied consumers’ are defined as people who give a service a score of 4 or less.6 44. water).EU25 This way of presenting the information is somewhat more precise than when average values are used but the order of the sectors remains the same. Given the general observation that a score of 8 (on a scale from 1 to 10) is an indication of a high level of satisfaction. .9 52 45.04 for Urban Transport to 7.EU consumers are more concerned about sectors such as postal services and fixed telephony. it is reasonable to say that: .6 52.9 64.1 60. .2 57. The percentages of satisfied consumers are shown in the following graph: 66. to what extent are you satisfied with your supplier? % satisfied customers . _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO | 159 1.4 63.

fewer than 5% of EU consumers state that they are dissatisfied.1 3. these are the same 5 sectors in which average satisfaction is highest. mobile phone. 1 EU consumer in 10 claims to be dissatisfied.two claims to be a satisfied consumer.3 9.3 4. however.5 3 Extra-urban transport Urban transport Fixed phone Postal services Water Electricity Banking retail Gas Mobile phone Air transport Insurances Overall. to what extent are you satisfied with your supplier? % dissatisfied customers . Not surprisingly.4 4. insurance and retail banking services.9 5.EU25 In 5 out of the 11 sectors surveyed.EU consumers’ ‘neutral positive’ attitude towards utility services (electricity.6 4. For air transport. but the following assumptions can be put forward and are worth further investigation: . For extra-urban transport. the percentage of dissatisfied consumers in the EU25 ranges from 7% to 10%. this figure rises to 2 out of 3. which consumers take for granted. Further work to correlate the degree of liberalisation with satisfaction is needed.there seems to be a relationship between the extent to which a sector has been liberalised (or at least there is a market situation where consumers have the choice between several suppliers) and the satisfaction of consumers. In 4 sectors. gas) could be explained by the long-standing quality and reliability of these services. .4 8. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ 160 | FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO A third way of looking at overall satisfaction is to show the percentage of dissatisfied consumers: 10. water.4 5. Care should be taken in seeking to find the reasons for these differences across sectors.4 6. .

2. This contribution to consumers’ overall satisfaction is calculated through a regression analysis that determines the relative weighting of quality. it is important to determine the criteria or elements that influence and explain consumers’ overall satisfaction before taking any action to improve consumers’ overall satisfaction. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO | 161 2. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ 162 | FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO The weighting of each of these criteria (regression coefficient .1. These criteria are quality.3 7.6 7.8 7.92 Gas Supply 7. pricing and image.6 6.8 7.04 The table shows that consumers tend to be more satisfied with quality than pricing in most of the SGI surveyed.0 7.5 6.9 7.3 6.4 7.6 6.4 7. The consumers’ average satisfaction score with image-type elements often falls between that for pricing and quality. 2.4 7.2 7. the survey was intended to measure consumers’ satisfaction with different criteria related to the SGI surveyed.4 7.9 7.0 7.. Some of them have been summarised in the following three categories: quality.96 Insurance 8.0 7. pricing and image in overall satisfaction.64 Postal Services 7.8 7.91 Retail Banking 8. Criteria that contribute to consumers’ overall satisfaction 2. pricing and image. The table below sets out the average satisfaction score give by consumers for each of these aspects: Service Quality Pricing Image Overall Satisfaction Mobile Telephony 8.8 7.3 7.6 7.73 Fixed Telephony 7.0 6.7 6.82 Air Transport 8.7 7.30 Electricity Supply 7.EU consumers’ ‘negative’ attitude towards postal services.05 Urban Transport 7.0 7. PRICING AND IMAGE In addition to consumers’ overall satisfaction.8 7.8 6.5 6.2 7.42 Water Distribution 7. urban and extra-urban transport could be explained by their reputation for providing services that are not consumer-friendly. CONSUMERS’ SATISFACTION WITH QUALITY.5 8.61 Extra Urban Transport 7.0 6.1 7. THE RELATIVE IMPORTANCE OF QUALITY. PRICING AND IMAGE IN CONSUMERS’ OVERALL SATISFACTION WITH SGIS As noted at the beginning of this report.

46 0.33 0.24 0.39 0. Differences between EU Member States . 0. electricity supply. Therefore enjoying a good reputation – or. On the other hand. consumers’ expectations regarding image are higher than the other criteria as far as fixed telephone services are concerned. with 0 meaning that the criteria has no influence on overall satisfaction and 1 meaning that it has a major influence on overall satisfaction.32 Retail Banking 0.e.28 ‘Pricing’ is the main criterion influencing consumers’ overall satisfaction in 6 out of 11 services: insurance. In two SGIs. pricing and image) are almost as important as each other for consumers (0.37 0.39 0.44 0. In 3 sectors.35 0.20 0. retail banking. alternatively.38 Fixed Telephony 0. fixed telephone (where image is also very important). The impact of changes in other areas will be less significant. This is probably due to reliability and safety concerns with regard to this service. more than in other sectors. i.48 Urban Transport 0.37 Postal Services 0.35 Gas Supply 0. changes in prices or price-related items will influence consumer satisfaction. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO | 163 3.34 0.49 0. In other words.47 0. in these sectors.30 0.22 0.24 0. mobile telephone and water distribution. 4 These weightings can have a value ranging from 0 to 1.38 0.53 Air Transport 0.4 ) calculated for all the SGIs surveyed is shown in the following table: Services Quality Pricing Image Insurance Services 0.28 0.34 Water Distribution 0. • gas supply is the only sector where ‘quality’ appears to be the main driver of satisfaction.49 0.32 Electricity Supply 0. suffering from a bad image – is closely related to consumers’ overall satisfaction.52 0. urban transport and extra-urban transport – three sectors where average satisfaction is relatively low. the survey shows interesting results: • air transport: the three criteria (quality. lower quality (= lower scores on quality) can be compensated by lower prices (= higher scores on pricing). This result implies that.35 for image) the impact of these criteria balance each other out.52 Extra Urban Transport 0. ‘image’ is the criterion that has the greatest impact on consumers’ overall satisfaction: postal services.43 0.37 for quality.33 0.36 for pricing and 0.36 0. people have high expectations regarding pricing issues.43 Mobile Telephony 0.

0 EU15 45. consumers in the new member states are more satisfied and less dissatisfied than those in the EU15.8 Water NMS-10 59.6 Insurance NMS-10 62.5 Retail banking NMS-10 67. gas supply.7 7.4 4.9 EU15 57. o for insurance services.4 12.4 Urban transport NMS-10 40.2 Mobile Phone NMS-10 72.8 3.2 4.6 EU15 56.1 4. o for retail banking.5 EU15 52.3 EU15 62.8 Postal services NMS-10 62.9 6.9 Extra-urban transport NMS-10 47. the percentage of satisfied and dissatisfied consumers in both EU15 and NMS10 countries.5 3.3.5 6.1 EU15 64.7 EU15 50.6 2.0 Gas NMS-10 60.9 4. the percentages of both satisfied and dissatisfied consumers in the NMS10 countries .3 9.3 14.1 7. for each service. fixed telephone and urban transport.1.2 8.7 When it comes to (overall) differences in consumer satisfaction between EU15 and NMS10 countries.9 Electricity NMS-10 62.7 EU15 60.6 EU15 45. a distinction can be made between three groups of services: o for air transport and mobile phone services.6 Fixed phone NMS-10 51. Service % Satisfied % Dissatisfied EU15 65.6 Air transport NMS-10 72.9 EU15 64. the NMS10 consumers are less satisfied and more dissatisfied than the EU15 citizens.1 7. DIFFERENCES BETWEEN EU15 AND NMS10 COUNTRIES The following table displays.1 12. electricity supply and extra-urban transport.3 6.9 5. water distribution.6 3.5 4.5 4.

urban and extra-urban transport. Denmark Danes tend to be more satisfied than the EU average with the three utilities (water. insurance. electricity and gas). For the third group of services the following possible explanations may be considered: (1) there are considerable disparities in the delivery of services within these countries (which would also explain the greater differences in consumer satisfaction levels) and/or (2) consumers in these countries tend to have a less neutral attitude than those in the EU15. They tend to be less dissatisfied than the EU average with all the 11 services. retail banking. insurance. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ 164 | FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO 3. especially air transport. Cyprus Consumers tend to be more satisfied than the EU average with all the services. fixed phone and urban and extra-urban transport and less satisfied with air transport and postal services. electricity. insurance.4% at the EU level).6%) and urban transport (44. urban and extra-urban transport and less satisfied with water distribution. . They tend also to be less dissatisfied than the EU average with all these services. Czech Republic Consumers tend to be more satisfied than the EU average with air transport. They tend to be more dissatisfied than the EU average with urban transport (53. Results diverging from the EU average are found below: Austria Austrians tend to be more satisfied than the EU average with all 11 services evaluated. They tend to be more dissatisfied than the EU average with postal services. Belgium Consumers tend to be more satisfied than the EU average with retail banking. fixed phone. except urban transport (23% of satisfied against 44. mobile phone. postal services. mobile phone. Estonia Consumers in Estonia tend to be more satisfied than the EU average with retail banking. gas distribution.5% at the EU level). mobile phone. insurance. They tend to be more dissatisfied than the EU average with all the services except mobile phone. Consumers are least satisfied with extra-urban (45. gas. electricity. mobile phone and fixed phone and less satisfied with extra-urban services.8% of dissatisfied against 9. retail banking and gas distribution and less satisfied with fixed phone. water.overall are higher than in the EU15 countries. They tend to be more dissatisfied than the EU average with water distribution and less dissatisfied with extraurban transport. DIFFERENCES BETWEEN INDIVIDUAL MEMBER STATES A majority of EU25 consumers (more than 50%) are satisfied with 9 out of the 11 SGIs assessed.5%) services.2. mobile phone. retail banking and water distribution services.

except with Air transport (where the proportion of satisfied is equal to the EU average). they tend to be more dissatisfied than the EU average with electricity.5% are satisfied against 60. Latvia Latvians tend to be more satisfied than the EU average with all the SGIs.5%). Hungary Hungarians tend to be more satisfied than the EU25 average with almost all SGIs except with urban transport (37. insurance and extra-urban transport and less satisfied with electricity and fixed phone. Greece In Greece. urban and extraurban transport._______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO | 165 Germany German consumers are most satisfied than the EU average with all the services except extra-urban transport. Finland Finns tend to be more satisfied than the EU average with all SGIs. air transport. fixed phone. urban and extraurban transport. They tend to be less dissatisfied than the EU average with postal services. retail banking. They tend to be more dissatisfied than the EU average extra-urban transport and less dissatisfied with fixed phone. postal services. mobile phone. In addition. mobile phone. Ireland Consumers are more satisfied than the EU average with all the SGIs surveyed.2% at the EU level). However.7% against a EU25 average of 44. They tend to be less dissatisfied than the EU average with extraurban transport. They tend to be more dissatisfied than the EU average with water and electricity distribution and less dissatisfied with postal services and extra-urban transport. postal services and fixed phone. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ 166 | FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO Italy Italians tend to be less satisfied than the EU average with all the SGIs. France French consumers tend to be more satisfied than the EU average with extra-urban transport and less satisfied air transport. They tend to be more dissatisfied than the EU average with urban and extra-urban transport. They tend to be more . gas. insurance. they tend to be less dissatisfied than the EU average with urban and extra-urban transport and fixed phone. water distribution and postal services. consumers tend to be more satisfied than the EU average with gas distribution. except with water distribution (50.

fixed phone and extra-urban transport but are more dissatisfied with water distribution.dissatisfied than the EU average with water distribution and less dissatisfied with urban and extra-urban transport and fixed phone. insurance. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO | 167 Portugal Portuguese consumers tend to be more satisfied than the EU average with postal services and extra-urban transport and tend to be less satisfied with water. electricity and gas distribution. Malta Consumers in Malta tend to be more satisfied than the EU average with mobile phone. fixed phone. urban and extra-urban transport. In addition. they tend to be more . Dutch consumers tend to be less satisfied than the EU average with all the SGIs. except with mobile phone and air transport (where the proportions of satisfied are in line with the EU average). They tend to be less dissatisfied than the EU average with air transport and tend to be more dissatisfied with fixed phone. postal services. Netherlands Just as with Italy. They tend to be less dissatisfied than the EU average with gas and electricity distribution. insurance and fixed phone. However. they also tend to be less dissatisfied than the EU average with water distribution. Slovakia Slovaks tend to be more satisfied than the EU average with mobile phone and postal services and tend to be less satisfied with insurance. postal services. air transport. They tend to be less dissatisfied than the EU average with fixed phone and more dissatisfied with insurance. Lithuania Lithuanians are more satisfied than the EU average with all the SGIs surveyed. consumers tend to be more satisfied than the EU average with postal services and insurance and tend to be less satisfied with fixed phone and urban transport. Luxembourg Consumers are more satisfied than the EU average with all the SGIs surveyed. retail banking. retail banking. They tend to be less dissatisfied than the EU average with water. fixed phone. urban and extra-urban transport. They tend to be less dissatisfied than the EU average with postal services. insurance and postal services and tend to be less satisfied with water and electricity distribution and urban transport. air transport. air transport and urban/extra-urban transport and they tend to be more dissatisfied with water and electricity distribution and fixed phone. fixed phone. electricity and gas distribution. gas and electricity distribution. water. water and electricity distribution and urban transport. except with water distribution (where the proportion of satisfied is equal to the EU average). Poland In Poland. retail banking. insurance. postal services and extra-urban transport.

a number of socio-economic characteristics of respondents were identified. those who have completed secondary school are the most satisfied consumers. Amongst professional groups. 4. unemployed people and people working in the home . the more easily they are satisfied. gas. Other key findings 4.1. water and electricity distribution. retail banking. retail banking. They are the most critical consumers. THE SOCIO-ECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS OF CONSUMERS In the survey. electricity and gas distribution and urban and extra-urban transport. Women seem to be . In all services except one (retail banking) there are almost exactly the same percentages of women and men who are satisfied consumers. They also tend to be less dissatisfied than the EU average with water and gas distribution and retail banking but tend to be more dissatisfied electricity. In addition. The older people become. fixed phone and extra-urban transport and tend to be less satisfied with air transport and postal services. water. In addition. United Kingdom Consumers in the UK tend to be more satisfied than the EU average with fixed phone. postal services and urban transport. postal.dissatisfied than the EU average with air transport. they tend to be less dissatisfied than the EU average with fixed phone and extra-urban transport. In addition. Blue collar workers are often also relatively more satisfied with services of general interest than most other professional groups. fixed phone and urban transport. 3. white collar workers. Those who left before completing secondary school and those who are still studying are often less satisfied. Spain Spaniards tend to be less satisfied than the EU average with insurance. they tend to be less dissatisfied than the EU average with electricity and gas distribution and postal services. insurance. air transport. Students and self-employed people have the lowest percentages of satisfied consumers. except with urban transport (where the proportion of satisfied is in line with the EU average). mobile phone. Sweden Consumers are more satisfied than the EU average with water distribution. 2. The other professional groups – managers. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ 168 | FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO 4. it is not surprising to find that retired people represent the highest number of satisfied consumers (since these are also the older people). These reveal some interesting findings: 1. retail banking and extra-urban transport services.tend to be close to the average. gas. The lowest percentages of satisfied consumers are to be found in the 18-34 age group. mobile phone. In terms of education levels. they tend to be less dissatisfied than the EU average with postal services and extra-urban transport but tend to be more dissatisfied with air transport and mobile phone. Slovenia Consumers are more satisfied than the EU average with all the SGIs surveyed.

more satisfied than men with retail banking. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO | 169 4.2. MARKET ISSUES In the survey, respondents were asked a number of Yes/No questions in relation to the service provider they used and the market context. The main outcomes are summarised in the following table 5 : Service This year I will still use this supplier It is easy to change supplier Buying in another country is possible and interesting I prefer to deal with a national supplier Electricity Supply 85 % 54 % 23 % 81 % Gas Supply 87 % 42 % 21 % 78 % Water distribution 91 % 8 % 14 % 84 % Fixed Telephony 77 % 67 % 28 % 80 % Mobile Telephony 84 % 78 % 41 % 79 % Urban Transport 89 % 32 % 15 % 77 % Extra-Urban Transport 88 % 48 % 30 % 75 % Air Transport 76 % 87 % 81 % 61 % Postal Services 94 % 51 % 29 % 83 % Retail Banking 90 % 80 % 48 % 83 % Insurance 87% 77 % 37 % 83 % Please note that the 2 nd ,3 rd and 4 th questions were only asked in countries where consumers had the choice between several suppliers. The main patterns that emerge from this table are: - a very large number of consumers (more than 5 out 6 in all but two sectors) think that they will stay with their current provider for the next 12 months. This reflects

a high level of ‘commitment’, either because of the existing monopolistic situation, because consumers think that the barriers to changing suppliers are too high (see next point) or because consumers are satisfied with their current provider. Even for air transport and fixed telephony, 3 out 4 consumers intend to stay with their current provider; - even in markets where there is more than one provider, changing from one supplier to another is very difficult in the water distribution and urban transport sectors. Only about half of those who have a choice say that this is easy for electricity supply, gas supply, extra urban transport and postal services. Only in the case of fixed telephony, mobile telephony, retail banking, insurance services and especially air transport, at least 2 EU consumers out of 3 who have a choice say that it is easy to change; 5 The headers in the table are shortcuts for the questions which the interviewer asked and which were: (1) 12 months from now, how likely are you to still be using a (SERVICE) service? (2) You would find it easy to change from one (SERVICE) (SUPPLIER) to another; there are no barriers. (3) Buying (SERVICE) services from an (SUPPLIER), outside of (YOUR COUNTRY) is perfectly possible and can even be interesting. (4) I prefer dealing with a (YOUR NATIONALITY) (SERVICE) (SUPPLIER). _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ 170 | FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO - buying services from another country is only considered possible and of interest in the case of air transport (4 consumers out 5), and, to a lesser extent, retail banking and mobile telephone services (48% and 41% respectively). In the other sectors, this possibility is only taken seriously by between 14% and 29% of consumers; - a very large majority of users prefer to deal with a national supplier. The lowest figure – but still higher than 60% - is for air transport. 4.3. OPPORTUNITIES FOR PRIORITY ACTIONS Another advanced analysis, called the two-dimensional analysis, was carried out so as to define precise and concrete action to improve consumers’ satisfaction with SGIs, The aim was to determine: • the areas where the SGI does not perform well and where actions to change the situation are needed to improve consumers’ satisfaction; • the areas where the SGI performs well and where no action is needed. This is done via a diagram that takes into account the following information: • the average satisfaction score given by consumers to each criterion related to quality, pricing and image (marked as ‘Satisfaction’ on the X-axis of the map) • the weighting or contribution of each criterion (quality, pricing and image) to consumers’ satisfaction - this weighting represents how far each criterion is important to consumers (marked as ‘Importance’ on the Y-axis of the map). From the analysis of each diagram for each sector, the following main opportunities for

action can be highlighted: Pricing As noted earlier, pricing issues are major factors determining consumer satisfaction for most of the services surveyed. Among these components, price levels are identified as the main issue in all the services. Consumers tend to think that they pay too much for services of general interest. In addition, EU25 consumers tend to think that suppliers do not offer enough by way of special tariffs for specific target groups or specific usage. Actions designed to increase consumer satisfaction should therefore focus on these price components for maximum effect. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO | 171 Image Consumer satisfaction with urban transport, extra-urban transport and postal services is mostly influenced by the image that their supplier has on the market. More specifically, in these sectors, elements such as the reputation of the supplier, its willingness to put the client first and its flexibility are of great importance for consumers. Quality Quality of service is the element that has the least influence on overall consumer satisfaction and yet people are most satisfied with this element when assessing SGIs. This statement tends to prove that consumers take quality of service for granted. Consequently, long-term actions are appropriate in this area. Making the consumers aware of the quality of the services that they are using could improve satisfaction with these services in the long term. Urban and extra-urban transport Urban and extra-urban transport are clearly the services with which consumers are least satisfied. Moreover, this observation applies to almost all the countries. Actions therefore need to be prioritised for these two services. Actions to improve satisfaction could target the maintenance of transport networks and vehicles, reliability of the services (frequency of service, punctuality, etc.) and the way in which problems and questions raised by consumers are handled. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ 172 | FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO 5. Recommendations 5.1. QUESTIONNAIRE AND SURVEY DESIGN Overall, the questionnaire and survey design used for this survey appear to be robust. The questionnaire survey and the underlying model and methodology could be used for future surveys without major changes. Nevertheless, from a methodological point of view, some small improvements might be made: - some questions might benefit from being rephrased, in particular to avoid negative formulations; - during the interview it is important to establish whether respondents are actually

g. This phenomenon often holds true for the NMS10 when considered as a group. limited competition in the sector and frequent use of the service. they nevertheless exist and are statistically significant in many cases. air transport and retail banking . With the current survey approach. quality control.there appears to be a link between a low degree of consumer satisfaction and the strong weighting of the ‘image’ driver. the timeframe in which the survey processing. AREAS FOR FURTHER RESEARCH There are a number of areas where we think that further research might be of value. data analysis and advanced statistical processing is to take place. _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________ FINAL REPORT – CONSUMER SATISFACTION – DG SANCO | 173 5. It would be useful to examine this relationship and to ascertain whether it is just a coincidence or rather the result of a more deepseated relationship. both for a better understanding of the findings to date and in order to improve the interpretation of the results of future surveys. why older people tend to be more satisfied or why students and self-employed people are systematically more critical). should be sufficiently long. . certain cultures being more ‘critical’ and others more ‘neutral’ and still others more ‘extreme’ in their opinions) or whether it reflects considerable disparities across the countries in terms of the quality of the service delivery or whether it merely has to do with the maturity of the market. .aware of the degree of liberalisation of the sector in their country.g.g. In order to test this hypothesis. It would be useful to investigate whether this finding results from cultural factors (e. At least 3 months should be available for analysis and reporting – allowing more interaction with the Commission about the more advanced analyses that should be pursued in the light of the actual findings. by asking other types of related questions for which the response rates are likely to be higher. this issue may have to be dealt with in another way. but it would be interesting to have a fuller . This would allow for a more accurate interpretation of their answers to certain questions. for future surveys. a question on this topic might be included in future surveys.although the differences across socio-economic groups are not always very large. Several assumptions could be formulated about certain general trends (e.g.further investigation would need to be done to see whether there is a link between consumer satisfaction and the extent to which a sector has been liberalised. it is extremely difficult to carry out an analysis of complaints because of the low number of complaints made by the respondents. . A possible conclusion that emerges from the results of this survey is that consumer satisfaction in certain services – e.is affected by how far people are familiar with the internet (since those who are may take more advantage of certain services). Since the option of much larger sample sizes is likely to be rejected due to cost implications. These areas are as follows: . there are several countries where there are relatively high percentages of both satisfied and dissatisfied consumers (compared to the EU average).in many services. e.2. We also recommend that.

an interesting exercise would also be to examine whether any form of statistical clustering of countries and/or services makes sense. . This could help in predicting consumer behaviour towards changes in market structures and service offerings. It might even lead to the definition of a typology for EU consumers. A final thought is that the way the survey and model has been constructed allows for its extension into other services and also the retailing of consumer goods. This would allow the Commission to answer questions where particular consumers have similar attitudes across sectors and countries. a small preliminary study and small pilot survey could be undertaken in order to design and test the survey questions that should be included in the questionnaire. If the Commission were to consider the inclusion of new service categories in the future.understanding of the factors underlying these differences in behaviour. .