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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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Street Legal 2017 BAC Mono lands at auction

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Some sports cars are made for comfort and cruising long distances, and some are more built for days spent at the track. The BAC Mono certainly falls into the second category. It’s a track day god and one of the highest performance single-seat cars you could ever own. The coolest part of the BAC Mono, in this case, is that it is registered and legal to drive on the streets in the US.

The car is finished in white with a red wrap over the top and a black interior. The seat appears to be done in leather and the car has an open cockpit complete with a digital steering wheel that looks straight out of an F1 car. The car up for auction has only 3,000 miles on the odometer.

The Carfax report shows no accidents, and it features 17-inch wheels and AP Racing brakes. The Williams harness inside the cockpit is FIA approved. The car was constructed in England and then assembled in the US. The seller is a dealership and says that the only modifications to the car are a red wrap over white paint. The car was originally orange.

It does have aftermarket stickers on the sides and a GoPro mount above the seat for recording track day festivities. Power for all BAC Mono cars comes from a 2.3-liter 4-cylinder that makes 280 horsepower and 207 pound-foot of torque. The engine is from Ford and was modified by Cosworth. Power goes to the rear wheels via a 6-speed sequential transmission shifted with paddles behind the steering wheel.

The AP Racing calipers squeeze carbon ceramic brakes. The car appears to be ready for the track or streets. It’s sure to be one of the fastest rides at the track day. The car has three days to go at cars&bids and is at $85,500 right now.

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2022 Acura MDX Type S revealed as Acura heads to Pikes Peak

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The Pike’s Peak International Hill Climb is going on soon as automakers and racers from around the world converge on Colorado Springs to race up the mountain. Among the many automakers participating in the event for 2021 is Acura. The automaker has revealed the 2022 MDX Type S as the tow vehicle for the Acura race team.

Acura has confirmed that it’s entering four different racecars into the 99th running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb that are all going to be driven by the Acura R&D engineers. All four of the vehicles are production-based and will race up the mountain on June 27, taking on the challenging 12.42-mile 156-turn mountain course.

The hill climb is one of the most dangerous races that automakers can participate in as cars have been destroyed and participants have been killed during the event over the years. It’s not drivers in cars that face the most danger during the race. Motorcyclists are much more likely to die during the event. The 2022 MDX Type S is being used to tow one of the TLX Type S cars from the team shop in Bremen, Ohio, to Pike’s Peak, Colorado. The SUV will also be used to support the Accurate team during the competition.

The MDX Type S is a high-performance version of the company’s SUV featuring a turbocharged engine. The vehicle is the first Acura SUV to wear the Type S badge and is the fastest and most powerful SUV Acura has ever built. It will go on sale later this year. For now, Acura is mum on any performance specifications for the MDX Type S.

Acura has historically done well at the hill climb and currently holds the hybrid class record set last year by driver James Robinson in the “Time Attack” Acura NSX at 10:48.094. Acura also holds the open division record at 9:24.433, set by Peter Cunningham driving the Acura TLX GT racing car.

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Toyota foils leakers by offering an official image of the 2022 Tundra

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Earlier this week, leaked images were going around claiming to show the next generation 2022 Toyota Tundra. Automakers never like leaks, and often they simply deny that the images are of their vehicle or ignore the leak altogether. However, Toyota used a different tactic when images of its 2022 Tundra leaked, choosing to release an official image of the truck.

2022 Tundra TRD Pro

With Toyota’s move, talk of the 2022 Tundra has moved from the leaked images to Toyota’s official image. However, it’s worth noting that Toyota only offered a single image of the TRD Pro version of the Tundra and offered no details on the truck. Last month, SlashGear posted a review of the 2021 Tundra TRD Pro, highlighting that it was the last hurrah for the current generation of the truck.

However, it does offer a nice opportunity for us to compare the exterior of the 2021 model to the 2022 model. What we see is significant changes on the exterior of the truck. While the overall profile remains virtually the same, the 2022 has a completely new front end that closely resembles the style used on the Tacoma and 4Runner SUV. That means a large black grille with hexagonal openings and bulky Toyota branding on the grille.

It’s unclear if non-TRD Pro versions will have the same front-end treatment. Another interesting tidbit that is easily seen from the official Toyota photograph is that the truck is equipped with an LED light bar underneath the Toyota logo in the grill and what appear to be LEDs underneath the grill on the front black portion of the bumper. The headlights are much smaller and appear to be LED.

2021 Tundra TRD Pro

The truck has modest black fender extensions and rolls on very attractive black wheels. We also note that the truck has integrated sidesteps to make it easier to get in and out. Unfortunately, there’s no indication of what changes might have been made to the interior or under the hood of the truck at this time.

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