Servicequalität im Vergleich

Today, the Internet is as important as electricity and running water. Most Germans can no longer imagine being offline. It is therefore particularly annoying when the Internet is not available, whether because of one switching providers or because of a technical fault. If and when such a service problem is solved is decisive for the satisfaction of the customers of an Internet Service Provider (ISP).

However, this ISP often has no influence at all on how quickly a connection is made available or a fault is rectified. In many cases, the necessary technician comes from Deutsche Telekom controlling the 'last mile' to the customer.

The results of a representative survey of 4,457 consumers in Germany and the analysis of internal Vodafone data show that Deutsche Telekom's overall service performance does not meet the high expectations that customers today have towards the reliability of their Internet connection and in some cases lags far behind the performance of other incumbents in Europe.

Overall, around one third of the first technician appointments for connection provision or fault clearance in Deutsche Telekom's network fail. Only after three to four appointments 98% of the desired services are actually successfully completed. For these unnecessary subsequent appointments, vacation or leave days also often have to be taken. Due to the low success rate of Deutsche Telekom's first technical appointment in Germany, a total of 2.2 million leave days are unnecessary. If one evaluates these leave days with the gross value added of an average working day, employers in Germany spend around €956 million too much on rest periods that do not even serve recreation.

This bad level of service quality shapes the image in the minds of customers. The survey shows that 58% of ISP customers in Germany shy away from switching their ISP because they fear that they will be offline for a long time. This hampers competition between ISPs in Germany. Furthermore, it can be assumed that this will also prevent a step change to a new high-performance broadband technology such as fiber optic connections. Germany will continue to be at the bottom of the league table in the take-up of fiber connections and will find it difficult to meet the ambitious goals of the Digital Agenda.

The results of the survey confirm that customers' fear of being offline is justified. On average, every customer in Deutsche Telekom's network is offline for one and a half days a year. This corresponds to a total of around 32.7 million offline days. Customers of competitors using Deutsche Telekom's network are even more affected by this than Deutsche Telekom's direct customers. Due to the additional time Deutsche Telekom needs to provide services to customers of competitors on its networks, a total of 1.6 million offline days are incurred.

For freelancers and the self-employed, offline days have direct economic consequences. Without a powerful Internet connection, they can neither communicate with their customers nor use numerous state-of-the-art office or graphics applications. In total, freelancers and the self-employed are offline on Deutsche Telekom's network for 11.2 million days per year. If these working days are valued at the average gross value added per workday in Germany, this results in a total loss of €4.9 billion. Here, too, Deutsche Telekom consistently discriminates against its competitors’ customers. Compared with the offline days of Deutsche Telekom's direct customers, competitors' customers have on average more offline days. For freelancers and the self-employed, for example, €468 million of the economic damage could be avoided in any case if they received the same level of service quality as their peers who are direct customer of Deutsche Telekom.

Furthermore, the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for the performance of the respective incumbents in the various European markets of Vodafone clearly show that Germany is lagging behind the comparable European countries, especially in terms of provision times. On average, the provision time for end customer connections in Germany takes up to four times as long as in comparable countries, for business customers up to six times as long. The survey confirms that around 48% of competitors’ customers experienced delays of 8 or more days in their last change of provider - 10% even reported delays of 30 or more days.

The study (in German language) is available for download.

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