DataEQ (formerly BrandsEye) has published a new South African Internet Service Provider Sentiment Report, using data from social media, to determine how six of the country’s largest ISPs compare in the eyes of consumers.
The company, which uses similar methodologies for its South African Telecommunications Sentiment Index – which is last published in April – tracked 24 000 posts across Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms between 1 May and 31 July 2022.
Here, in order, is how the six ISPs that were tracked performed in the study (with the net sentiment ranking in percentages — all received net sentiment scores):
- Afrihost — -21.7%
- Cool Ideas — -34.6%
- Supersonic — -37.5%
- Vox — -52.4%
- Webafrica — -63.4%
- Mweb — -63.7%
Afrihost and Cool Ideas performed best, followed by the MTN South Africa-owned Supersonic.
“Despite low overall volumes compared to competitors, social media engagement around Supersonic as a relatively new entrant sparked positive interest towards fibre,” DataEQ said.
Webafrica and Mweb were the worst performers of the six ISPs tracked.
“Mweb and Webafrica both exhibited a downward trend in net sentiment performance throughout the reporting period. These two ISPs also had the slowest response times on Twitter, with Mweb taking over 20 hours longer than the industry average,” the researchers said.
“For WebAfrica, turnaround time and staff competency were the main pain points in complaints, making up 57.3% and 34.9% of the provider’s complaints, respectively,” said DataEQ MD Melanie Malherbe in a statement
“Mweb, on the other hand, struggled with turnaround time and network quality, which made up 53.5% and 39.1% of complaints, respectively,” she said.
Average Twitter response time to customer queries showed Vox edging out its competitors:
- Vox – 4.6 hours
- Cool Ideas – 6.2 hours
- Supersonic – 10 hours
- Afrihost – 14 hours
- Webafrica – 21 hours
- Mweb – 35 hours
All six ISPs included in the study registered net negative scores. That said, the top performers received significantly less negative sentiment than those at the bottom.
“The success of industry leader Afrihost, specifically, was due more to a low proportion of negative sentiment than a high share of positive sentiment. This suggests a possible social strategy to keep complaint levels low through efficient customer service, rather than enticing positive mentions through branding efforts,” Malherbe said.