Wednesday, August 19th, 2015 - Roy Morgan Research

Whether moving out, moving in, moving together or moving on, 3.1 million Australians changed address in the past year. Moving home raises many questions: will the lounge fit, who gets the wardrobe drawers, how to build an Arkelstorp, are feature walls still a thing, and do we still actually need a home phone?

Among all Australians 14+ who had a home phone a year ago, 6% don’t have one now. That’s 810,000 home phone abandoners in the last 12 months (although new market entrants offset much of this decline). As Roy Morgan Research shows, house-movers of all ages are much more likely to abandon the home phone line. 

Over 1 in 5 house-movers who had a home phone at their old address didn’t reconnect it (21%), compared with just 1 in 20 non-movers opting to disconnect (5%).

Across all age groups, movers are exponentially more likely than non-movers to abandon the home phone: 23% of movers aged 14-24, 25-34 or 50+ and 16% of those 35-49 abandoned the home phone.

Among non-movers, younger people are more likely to disconnect their home phone line: 9% of non-movers 25-34 and 6% of those 14-24 in the past 12 months. Only 4% and 3% respectively of non-movers aged 35-49 and 50+ disconnected.

Home Phone Abandonment among Movers and Non-Movers in the last 12 months:

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source, Apr 2014 – Mar 2015 n = 12,129 Australians 14+ who had a home phone 12 months ago.

Michele Levine, CEO, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“Moving home is a clear driver when it comes to home phone abandonment. Those with a home phone who aren’t moving have to actively disconnect the landline, while movers have to actively decide to reconnect.

“Around 16% of Australians moved home in the past year—but they represent 30% of all home phone abandonment. For fixed line telcos, this is clearly a huge part of their home phone losses. It’s not just the revenue of line rental and call charges at stake, but the loyalty and bundling that can derive from providing a core household product.

“Increasingly, there is less need for a shared household phone, sitting in the hallway and ringing less and less often. Mobile phones are our primary device, and fixed broadband is the home’s core shared service, with telcos now offering the home phone as the optional bundled add-on.  

“But not all hope is lost yet. Even though recent movers are so much more likely not to have a home phone now, around 23% of them still say they expect to have one again within the next year. That is, they just haven’t got around to reconnecting yet. People who abandoned the home without moving, who made a conscious decision to disconnect at their current address, are less likely to expect to have a home phone again. So, perhaps counter-intuitively, recent movers are actually a better target market for telcos looking to win back abandoners.” 

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Roy Morgan Research is Australia’s best known and longest established market research and public opinion survey company. Roy Morgan Single Source is thorough, accurate, and provides comprehensive, directly applicable information about current and future customers. It is unique in that it directs all the questions to each individual from a base survey sample of around 55,000 interviews in Australia and 15,000 interviews in New Zealand annually - the largest Single Source databases in the world. The questions asked relate to lifestyle and attitudes, media consumption habits (including TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, cinema, catalogues, pay TV and the Internet), brand and product usage, purchase intentions, retail visitations, service provider preferences, financial information and recreation and leisure activities. This lead product is supported by a nationally networked, consultancy-orientated market research capability.
Shaun Ellis
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