Improving Data Overage Disclosure Practices In The Telecom Industry

Context

In 2017, Canadians spent nearly  1.3 Billion in data overage fees according to the CRTC, creating frustrations and potentially adding undue damage to provider-client relationships.. This creates a sense of distrust and skepticism, where consumers feel like they are being “cheated” or “scammed” by big corporations – a concern directly relating to issues faced by individuals interacting with investment and financial bodies. 

Project

We wanted to investigate whether the form of disclosure provided for data usage and overage sent to consumers could significantly affect consumer attitudes toward providers. The intention was to assess the conditions for fair and efficient markets and confidence in markets, and to contribute to the stability of the provider system and the reduction of systemic risk.

Impact

Trust

11%

increase in trust toward the provider

We ran an online experiment on 104 Canadians where we provided participants with a hypothetical month of text messages about data usage from a provider and asked them to rate the company based on these interactions. We found that even small changes in the framing of the messages were able to have significant effects on consumer attitudes. This has important implications for how consumers respond to information and notices from third-parties in financial-relations, particularly when there are compounding issues of unfair treatment, poor information, and lack of confidence. 

  • 15% increase in feeling that provider had their best interests at heart
  • 10% increase in the cost savings required for the person to consider switching
  • 20% increase in feeling that provider had their best interests at heart


Uncovering Canadian Consumer Attitudes and Behaviours Towards Carbon Pricing

Context

In a recent study we assessed how corporate action on climate change — especially in response to carbon pricing policies—influences consumer attitudes towards the company and how interested they are in being their customer. This research allowed us to gain insights into framing effects and to implement an experimental methodology relevant to the research agenda at OSC. 

  1. How does a company’s participation with carbon pricing affect consumer evaluations of companies?
  2. How does a company’s participation influence public support for carbon pricing?

Project

We recruited 118 Canadian respondents online using the MTurk platform which is commonly used in social science research.  We implemented a 3 x 2 design with randomly assigned treatment and control groups exposed to different framings around compliance with carbon taxes. We sought to answer two key questions by conducting a rigorous statistical analysis:

Insights

  • Statistically Significant Framing Effects on consumer attitudes.
  • Consumers were significantly more willing to engage in business with green companies.

Consumers were statistically more likely to describe the company that invested in carbon-reducing activities in favourable terms.