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Difficult data services drive consumers away - study

Mobile users easily discouraged by error messages or complex interfaces

A new survey has shown that over half of mobile phone users who tried to use advanced services on their phones - such as buying games, picture messaging or ring tone downloading - gave up after the first couple of attempts.

64 per cent of those polled in a new study commissioned by Olista said that they gave up on their attempts to use such services after one or two attempts, while only 2 per cent actually sought assistance from the operator or content provider to try and get the functionality working.

It won't come as much shock to mobile games industry pundits, but only 23 per cent of mobile users polled had ever used any mobile data service (we assume SMS isn't counted in that figure), and only 12 per cent of those who had said they were satisfied with the user experience.

Of course, Olista has its own trumpet to blow here - the firm hopes to sell a range of solutions for mobile operators which, it claims, will improve customer perceptions by being more proactive in offering assistance - but the figures are telling, nonetheless.

One of the biggest problems facing all mobile content industries, but especially games, is that the majority of users have difficulty in locating and downloading content - as phones all use non-standard interfaces and often bring up jargon-filled error messages when there are problems with the procedure.

Customers also often don't know if they're being charged for browsing through content or if there's a hidden data transfer cost to their download - and half of the respondents in Olista's survey believed that mobile data costs should be lower.

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