Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Little trust in telcos

A special Roy Morgan telecommunications industry Trust Survey reveals distrust across the industry with a majority of Australians indicating they have either no trust in any telco or that they distrust all telcos.

The survey comes after the recent data breach at Optus. Unsurprisingly, Optus is currently the most distrusted telecommunications brand in Australia with more people now saying they distrust Optus than trust, which is a substantial difference to what was seen in the recent Roy Morgan Risk Report of August 2022 which had only a marginal Net distrust score.

Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine says while trust builds human connections with businesses, distrust is a more powerful driver in the decisions people make.

“This special Roy Morgan Snap SMS Poll on trust and distrust of telecommunications companies reveals that a breach of data and security as recently experienced has a significant impact on the industry as a whole, as well as on individual brands,” she says.

“The recent breach has also raised privacy concerns to a whole new level.”

The survey, which was conducted with an Australia-wide cross-section of 1241 Australians aged 18+ on 28-29 September, found:

  • Almost a third of Australians actively distrust telcos.
  • More than 50% of the population either distrusts ‘All’ brands or trusts ‘None’.
  • Telstra, which is normally the most distrusted telco, may have benefitted from the breach and now has a greater number of respondents who trust than distrust.
  • Respondents are worried about their data security with large companies and concerned that confidentiality and privacy has gone.

“There’s a general unease about how easily data can be hacked and what can then happen to stolen identities,” says Ms Levine. “There are also those who wonder why a company would hold onto data about their former customers long after they’re gone.”

She says the underlying message to consider is that increasing distrust can heavily impact commercial and economic outcomes for businesses and brands.

“Although trust is important for building human connections, distrust is the bellwether for an unsustainable future,” she says.

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