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Optus’ shuttered Virgin Mobile wins another telco customer service award

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Mobile phone service provider customer satisfaction, August 2018 vs August 2017


(Image: Roy Morgan Single Source Australia)

Optus’ shuttered mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) Virgin Mobile has won another customer service award, taking out the Roy Morgan Mobile Phone Service Provider Monthly Customer Satisfaction Award with a score of 88 percent for August.

This marked a 12 percent rise from its score this time last year, Roy Morgan added, with Aldi Mobile coming in second at an 84 percent customer satisfaction rating for August, up by 14 percent from last year.

“Both Virgin Mobile and Aldi Mobile have achieved multiple victories in the Mobile Phone Service Provider category in 2018, and are the leading contenders to take out the 2018 Annual Award with four months to go,” Roy Morgan said, adding that Virgin Mobile had won the award back in 2012 while Aldi Mobile took it out in 2015.

Virgin Mobile’s score shows that despite the phasing out of its brand in Australia, it is “still supporting its customer base to a high standard”, Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine said.

“The estimated three quarters of a million Virgin Mobile customers are set to transition to Optus contracts over the next two years, although the uncertainty facing existing Virgin’s customers provides a huge potential market for rival telcos such as Telstra and Vodafone to tap into as they search for new customers,” Levine added.

“Despite the consolidation in the industry with the closure of Virgin, there is still a significant market for resellers to compete with the established networks of Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone as Australia heads towards 5G networks in 2019.”

Vodafone Australia was up by 3 percent for a rating of 78 percent; Optus was down by 1 percent for a score of 77 percent; and Telstra came in last, down by 3 percent from last year to a total customer satisfaction score of 74 percent for August 2018.

“Amaysim and iiNet are yet to win a monthly award in 2018, and were out of the top five providers in August,” Levine said.

With Virgin Mobile using the Optus network and Aldi Mobile the Telstra network, Roy Morgan also averaged out the “underlying mobile networks”, giving Optus an overall customer satisfaction score of 78 percent, while Vodafone Australia scored 77 percent and Telstra 75 percent.

In July, Virgin Mobile similarly received top ranking in an Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) report on telco provider customer service.

According to ACCAN’s report, barring Virgin Mobile, Vodafone provided the best service, followed by TPG/iiNet, Amaysim, Dodo/iPrimus, Skymesh, Telstra, Optus, Activ8me, and in last place Telstra-owned Belong.

Optus had in May confirmed that it would be phasing out its Virgin Mobile Australia subsidiary over the next two years, with retail stores closing in June.

Virgin Mobile stopped upgrading and selling new post-paid mobile and broadband services as of June 15, although existing customers can continue using their service as normal, with all current contracts being honoured.

“This decision comes as a result of a strategic review of the Optus and Virgin Mobile brands which was recently conducted ahead of the approaching expiry of the Virgin Mobile brand licence in 2020,” the phase-out FAQs explain.

Virgin Mobile has been continually losing market share, according to Kantar, with the market research company in November reporting the telco had lost 0.4 percentage points down to holding just 4 percent of the total Australian mobile market.

Optus has been wholesaling its 4G network to its Virgin Mobile subsidiary since 2014.

Related Coverage

Optus to shutter Virgin Mobile stores by June 30

The Virgin Mobile Australia brand will continue to operate over the next couple of years, but it will stop upgrading and selling new services on June 15, 2018.

Optus confirms Virgin Mobile closure

Virgin Mobile will be shuttered over the next two years, Optus has confirmed.

Telco that Optus shuttered provides best customer service: ACCAN

If you want the best service from an operational telco, head to Vodafone. Otherwise, pine for Virgin Mobile.

5G technology: A business leader’s guide (Tech Pro Research)

It’s still early days for 5G services, but as they’re being trialed and deployed, they’re on track to have a far-reaching impact for both consumers and businesses.

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2021 Range Rover Evoque gains new technology and refinement

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Land Rover has announced the 2021 Range Rover Evoque. For 2021, the vehicle gets more refinement and enhance technology. It’s now fitted with the Pivi Pro system as a standard feature bringing a redesigned intuitive menu structure with the most popular features and functions accessible from a single home screen.

Land Rover says that the design of its Pivi Pro system allows users to access functions in two taps or less. The 2021 Evoque is also available within Online Pack with a data plan featuring integrated Spotify within the infotainment menu for the first time. The system is also able to connect wirelessly via Bluetooth to phones at the same time.

Smartphone users also have available wireless smartphone charging with signal boosting capability. The vehicle features a dual-modem embedded SIM allowing for scheduled vehicle software updates over the air. That means no visiting dealerships to have the software updated when needed.

2021 Evoque buyers can also get an optional Advanced Cabin Air Filtration system designed to filter out fine particulate matter, allergens, and strong odors. The system also displays interior and exterior and quality information. Land Rover fits the vehicle with the newly expanded suite of driver assistance technology, including a standard 3D Surround Camera and available Rear Collision Monitor.

Multiple models will be available in the US, starting with the Evoque S P250 featuring a 2.0-liter turbo inline-four-cylinder engine making 264 horsepower and 269 pound-foot of torque. The base 2021 Evoque S P250 is priced at $43,300. A total of five models are available, with the most expensive being the Evoque R-Dynamic HSE P250 featuring the same engine starting at $53,400. The prices exclude the $1050 destination and delivery fee. There are several options available that can drive the starting price up significantly.

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2021 Honda N-One minicar goes on sale in Japan

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Honda’s second-gen N-One minicar (Kei car) is now on sale in Japan. According to the Japanese carmaker, the all-new N-One is available at Honda dealerships across Japan beginning November 20, 2020.

First seen in 2012 together with the quirky Honda N-Box, the N-One spearheaded Honda’s next generation of small city cars for the Japanese market. The 2021 N-One has retained the ‘circle, square, trapezoid’ design idiom of the outgoing model and is now available with more standard safety features and driving tech.

Standard in the new N-One is Honda Sensing which includes automatic high beams, collision mitigating braking system, false start prevention, traffic sign recognition, road departure mitigation, lane-keeping assist, and plenty more.

Additionally, manual-equipped versions of the N-One are the first mini vehicles in Japan to feature adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist. Also standard in the N-One is a rear seat reminder feature to alert the driver of unattended objects, pets, or children in the rear seats.

The new Honda N-One is a proper mini car. Measuring 11.14-feet (3,395 mm) long and 4.84-feet (1,475 mm) wide, the second-gen model retains the familiar styling cues of the outgoing version with clean lines and round headlights similar to the Honda E electric car. However, the new N-One has larger front air intakes, LED headlights, and a black horizontal strip in the rear bumper.

The interior, however, is as fresh as morning dew. The N-One has a larger infotainment screen, a new instrument console, and a new steering wheel with control switches and buttons. Typical of a Honda, the cabin has a bevy of USB ports, cubby holes, and storage pockets for maximum convenience.

The 2021 Honda N-One is available in base, premium, and RS trims. Standard fare is a 660cc three-cylinder naturally-aspirated gasoline engine with 58 horsepower, front-wheel drive, and a CVT gearbox. The RS trim has a six-speed manual transmission mated to a turbocharged 660cc motor producing 68 horsepower. All-wheel-drive is optional across the board.

Honda’s newest N-One will only be sold in Japan. Base prices start at the equivalent of $15,406 (¥1,599,400) based on current exchange rates.

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Ford Bronco R conquers the 2020 Baja 1000

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The second time is the charm for the Ford Bronco R prototype. Last year, the Bronco R was unable to complete the Baja 1000 due to mechanical failures. But this year, Ford’s second attempt at conquering the 1,000-mile off-road endurance race is a successful one.

“When Bronco returned we said it would follow in the legacy of the first-generation Broncos that forever changed the off-road landscape – and today’s finish demonstrates we’re continuing the ‘Built Wild’ pedigree of Bronco,” said Mark Rushbrook, global director, Ford Performance motorsports.

Driven by a team of seasoned off-roaders led by Cameron Steele, Shelby Hall, Johnny Campbell, Curt LeDuc, and Jason Scherer, the Ford Bronco R prototype crossed the finish line in just over 32 hours. And unlike last year, the Bronco R was accompanied by a pair of drool-worthy support vehicles in its quest for off-road supremacy: The F-150 Raptor and a 2021 F-Series Super Duty Tremor truck.

Ford’s racing history is brimming with stories of triumphant comebacks. After dealing with instability issues, engine failures, and plain ol’ bad luck in its attempt to unseat Ferrari’s dominance at Le Mans, the Ford GT40 came back with a vengeance. Ford broke Ferrari’s impressive five-year winning streak at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1966. From that point forward, the GT40 won the endurance race consecutively for the next three years until 1969.

Meanwhile, the Ford Bronco has an illustrious legacy at Baja. The first-gen Bronco won five Baja 1000 class wins from 1967 to 1972, and it also won the first-ever overall production 4×4 class win in 1969. Additionally, second to fifth-gen Broncos scored two Baja 500 victories in 1970 and 1973 followed by nine Baja 500 Class 3 wins from 1004 to 2015.

Ford’s Baja-conquering Bronco R prototype is built atop the T6 chassis of a production-spec Bronco. It also has the same 2.7-liter EcoBoost engine and 10-speed automatic gearbox as the production variant. More than a quest for glory, Ford is using this year’s race as a chance to optimize the ‘Baja Mode’ for its new Terrain Management System – a feature of which customers can enjoy once the all-new Ford Bronco arrives at dealerships in spring of 2021.

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