This web magazine is the fourth to focus on the theme of communications services. Mobile phones and connections, telephone contents services, the infiltration of the internet into our everyday lives – the digital revolution is still underway, only some of its teething troubles have been resolved. Most of the communications sent to the Finnish Consumer Agency are still concerned with communications services in one way or another.
A lot of hard work has been done however to improve the position of the consumer and there are some glimmers of light. For example, telephone operators’ customer services has become more effective compared with the early days, the first standard terms and conditions for the sector have been negotiated and the digibox finally seems to work alongside the television.
However, there still seems to be some work to do in relation to advertising. The recent investigation by the Finnish Advertising Council into Finnish attitudes to advertising reported that the most positive issues in advertising according to Finns were information about the prices of goods and services, special offers and information about products. Finns are most influenced by simple advertising that provides information. Advertising that is too gimmicky, where the product plays second fiddle to the advertising idea, was not well received.
Particularly with regard to complicated communications services, gimmicks should be replaced by genuine concentration on how issues that are important to consumers could best be presented in marketing.
For example, one would think that the days of small print at the bottom of the television screen had been consigned to history. However, it sometimes feels as if the issue has to be progressed one company at a time via the Market Court. Looked at from a behavioural economics perspective it is at least absurd that the consumer has to navigate through so many strange messages.
Let’s look then at the person as a consumer and let’s learn that there is still a lot to do to make changes so that buying and using communications services becomes part of a functioning everyday life.