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Social media analysis reveals Britain’s most stressful mobile network providers

We’ve all lost our temper at technology at some point, but thanks to social media it’s now possible to vent this anger directly at the companies we hold responsible. And for many people, Twitter is the favoured avenue for expressing their displeasure. 

Last year, Broadband Genie explored the level of social media stress suffered by home broadband customers. Now we’ve repeated the experiment, this time focusing on mobile networks.

We examined 344,243 tweets sent to mobile networks between the 1st of March 2020 and the 1st of March 2021, using TensiStrength to estimate the level of stress indicated by each message. 

TensiStrength is a tool developed by Mike Thelwall, professor of data science at the University of Wolverhampton. It analyses text and assigns a stress strength rating between 1 (not stressed) and 5 (extremely stressed).

According to TensiStrength, ID Mobile has the most stressed customers, with 26% of tweets scoring between 3 and 5 on the stress-o-meter, followed by Asda with 21% and Three with 20%. At the other end of the scale, giffgaff has the least-stressed customers with just 9% of tweets receiving a stress score of 3-5.

The graph above shows the stress scores for both the major network operators (EE, O2, Three, and Vodafone) as well as MVNOs (Mobile Virtual Network Operators) which resell access to the major networks under their own brand. 

When we look at the ratings by network operator, Three has the highest stress scores at 20%, while EE and O2 had the best performance with around 16% of customer tweets rated as stressed. 

Overall, mobile network customers seem to be happier than home broadband users. On average, just 17% of mobile tweets contained stressful language, compared to an average of 24% for home broadband.

A spokesperson at giffgaff said: “Whilst we are delighted to see giffgaff rank as the least stressful mobile network provider, we appreciate that this is no time to rest on our laurels. Before giffgaff was even a business, we had our community - so we’ve always been member-led and continue to stick to our value and promise of being run by you.
 
“We have dedicated resource to answering our member queries and we aim to respond to all social media comments within 15 minutes. Meanwhile, the fact that our members are so involved and help out could make people feel a greater sense of reassurance that giffgaff is built on a genuine and caring community.”

Kevin Daly, Marketing Manager at Zevo Health said: "It's important to reduce our stress levels because stress will result in poor physical and mental health. When we are stressed, the stress hormone cortisol is produced to keep the body on high alert. When cortisol surges through the body, it increases the blood sugar levels and suppresses the immune system. High cortisol levels can lead to cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, depression, and anxiety disorders.
 
"To reduce mobile phone-delivered stress, set a time for your phone to "rest". When you're about to sleep, charge your phone away from your bed and don't use it until the next morning. The goal is to prevent yourself from checking your phone and use social media apps until late in the night.  It will also help a lot if you practice meditation to manage your stress."
 

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