CPRCConsumers and COVID-19: Sector scorecard


Autorinnen und Autoren:
Consumer Policy Research Centre (CPRC)

September 2021

Consumer Policy Research, Sector scoreboard, Melbourne, Australien

This Sector Scorecard measures the experiences of consumers between May and December 2020 across key Australian services markets. Sectors
measured by the Scorecard include mortgage providers; private rental providers; residential energy providers; telecommunication providers (internet, mobile or landline); credit and personal finance providers (credit cards, personal loans, buy now pay later), and; insurance providers. 

The Scorecard has been developed from the experiences of consumers who reported an interaction with their provider in the four weeks before they answered CPRC’s COVID-19 survey, totaling 6,968 respondents of the 11,784 surveyed from May to December 2020. Through statistical modelling, survey responses (key behaviors, perceptions and actions) were aggregated and standardized into categories of consumer experience to better reflect the cumulative impacts with different providers. These scores were sensitive to both the incidence of consumer experiences (as in the proportion of consumers reporting experiences) and the cumulative experience (as in how many experiences were reported by consumers).

The scorecard addresses five key aspects of consumer’s experience with different service providers, as captured through CPRC’s COVID-19 survey:

  1. Supportive Provider Practices score was based on whether providers reached out to offer payment assistance, help to access concessions, waived fees or charges or reduce the cost of service – as reported by consumers. A higher score reflects more support offered by providers.
  2. Negative Provider Practices score based on whether providers increased cost of service, engaged in cold-calling or made unsolicited pressure-sales, issued payment ultimatums, engaged debt collection services, or disconnected services or evicted consumers. A higher score reflects less negative practices.
  3. Fair and Transparent information score was based on whether information provided was misleading, or the terms and conditions in contract/agreements with providers was seen as unfair. A higher score reflects less consumers reporting misleading information or unfair contracts.
  4. Helpful Advice and Customer Service score was based on the extent of helpful advice/information consumers received about managing usage/payments. A higher score reflects more helpful staff and helpful information.
  5. User Experience and Accessibility score was based on whether consumers reported difficulty navigating a website/phone system, difficulty understanding how to contact a provider, or experienced long wait times. A higher score reflects less reports of these issues.

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