Published on April 25, 2008
The Consumer Institute of the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) sponsored the study, which was carried out on 1,000 fixed-line users, 1,000 mobile-phone users and 1,000 Internet users in Bangkok over the past three months.
Institute director Prawit Leesatapornwongsa said they wanted to uncover what chronic problems consumers were facing today.
It later plans to propose to the NTC about possible ways to tackle these problems.
In the survey, 82.3 per cent of respondents complained about poor signals in some areas, 72.3 per cent about unclear signals and signal jams, 67 per cent complained about frequent disconnection of calls, and 60 per cent encountered difficulty or experienced failure when connecting to different networks.
Fifty-seven per cent said they could not call out, while 18 per cent said they suspected eavesdropping.
Some 60.7 per cent complained about being charged for unsuccessful content downloads, 58.7 per cent about unfair call rates, 55.9 per cent about being charged for calls made to call centres and 51.8 per cent about being billed for unsuccessfully sent SMSs. Most respondents said the appropriate cost for switching to a different network while retaining their phone numbers should be Bt50.20.
The NTC plans to introduce number-portability regulations that will give telecom users the right to maintain existing phone numbers as they switch to a new network.
There are more than 50 million mobile-phone subscribers in Thailand versus about 6 million fixed-line subscribers and more than 10 million Internet subscribers.
For the fixed-line service, 69.62 per cent of the respondents said their main problem was phone lines malfunctioning, while 60.3 per cent complained about jammed signals.
When asked about the call rate, 70.8 per cent said they were billed despite failed connections, 66.2 per cent said the call bill exceeded their actual call use, and 59.3 per cent said they were billed even though they did not use their phones.
The respondents paid an average fixed-line bill of Bt506.91 a month.
Some 62.2 per cent used their phones mainly to call their families, 52.6 per cent for business, 45.3 per cent called friends, and 30.4 per cent made Internet connections.
Regarding Internet service, 90.8 per cent experienced signal disconnection, while 49.3 said they could not receive broadband Internet, because they lived in remote areas not served by the network.