Ofcom warns home phone, broadband and paid-for TV providers they need to improve performance
Complaints about home phone, broadband and paid for TV services have failed to drop over the past three months, leading the regulator Ofcom to warn providers they must “improve their performance”.
TalkTalk continues to be the most complained about firm among landline providers, increasing the number of complaints from 0.36 to 0.39 per 1,000 customers, double the industry average. Customers mainly complained about service faults and the way complaints are handled.
Quarter on quarter, complaints about BT landlines stayed level at 0.20 per 1,000 customers, remaining slightly higher than the average.
Among broadband providers, Orange/EE generated the most complaints as a proportion of its customer base for the third consecutive quarter.
Overall, gripes were driven by difficulties in changing provider and service issues, the regulator says.
TalkTalk and BT’s broadband also continued to generate above average complaints, while BT Vision drew the most moans among pay-TV providers. At 0.29 complaints per 1,000 customers, it was six times greater than the industry average and partly driven by problems with service provision and billing issues.
BT Vision is hoping to expand significantly over coming months on the back of its new Premiership football live broadcasts.
Both Sky and Virgin Media generated complaints below the industry average. Virgin Media had the fewest at 0.10 per 1,000 customers, while Sky generated 0.12 per 1,000 customers.
Ofcom received the most pay-monthly mobile complaints from T-Mobile customers, at 0.19 per 1,000 customers, largely driven by issues related to billing and complaints handling. Orange and 3 also generated complaints in excess of the norm.
Broader figures show complaints about broadband and landlines have dropped significantly since the first quarter of 2011, while those about pay-TV and mobile pay-monthly and pay-as-you-go have remained static or dropped slightly.
Ofcom’s consumer group director Claudio Pollack said: “It’s important that providers continue to work to improve their performance.
“Consumer complaints help us to identify where to target any necessary enforcement action and ensure that providers comply with our rules.”
A TalkTalk spokesman said: “We’ve made significant improvements over the last year and we’re pleased this continues to be reflected in the Ofcom data. Complaints about both landline and broadband services have substantially reduced and are almost half compared to the same quarter last year.
“We’ve invested in our online customer support and over 70% of customer service contacts now take place online. When issues do arise, we fix them first time in approaching three-quarters of cases.
A BT spokesman said: “BT’s TV services are growing rapidly. When you have more new customers, you do see more problems in early life. In the last quarter we began the migration of existing BT Vision customers to an upgraded interface including the capability to receive pay-TV channels. Major changes such as these can cause short term issues for customers, but in the longer term we believe they will be much happier with their TV services.”
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