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Consumers Being Let Down, Ofcom Says

Ross Kelly


Ofcom Report

Ofcom figures reveal that some of the UK largest broadband, mobile and TV service providers are letting their customers down on a number of fronts – With consumers being regularly let down by their broadband services. 

Ofcom has today published details of the complaints it receives about some of the UK’s biggest telecoms and TV providers. The report reveals the number of complaints made to the regulatory body about the UK’s largest providers of home broadband, landline telephone, pay-monthly mobile and pay-TV services.

The statistics, which date from October to December 2017 – remained more or less in line with statistics last year. However, broadband and landline services continued to generate the highest number of consumer complaints.

Similar reports in the first quarter of 2018 also detail how Britain’s largest broadband, mobile and TV providers are continually letting their customers down.

Letting Down Consumers

Broadband provider, TalkTalk, received the most complaints for broadband and landline services – with 31 customers per 100,000 complaining – and according to the report the main reasons were for faults and other problems with its services. BT and Plusnet also ranked 2nd and 3rd as the the providers to receive the most complaints with 27 each.

Both BT and Vodafone received the most complaints for mobile services, with BT receiving the most complaints about pay-TV. Both services’ received regular complaints from customers over billing procedures, prices and charges. Ironically, both companies also received complaints over the way in which they deal with complaints.

Jane Rumble, Ofcom’s Director of Consumer Policy, said: “These figures give people the information they need to shop around and compare providers’ performance.

“The scorecards also motivate companies to improve their performance, and we want to see them follow through on their promises to give customers better service.”

Virgin Media, EE Sky Broadband received the lowest number of complaints over their broadband services, with 14, 12 and 7 complaints per 100,000 customers. The aforementioned providers also received the lowest amount of complaints over their landline services.

Pay-TV customers found that BT, TalkTalk and Virgin services all performed below-par, with 18, 10 and 9 complaints per 100,000. Sky clearly outperformed its industry rivals in this regard, with the company receiving only 2 complaints per 100,000.

Unfortunate Trends

Earlier this month Digit reported on a survey by Which? that revealed 50% of UK broadband customers were unhappy with their services.

According to the report, UK broadband customers regularly experienced poor performance, bad customer service and a distinct lack of reliability in their services. Between December 2017 and January 2018, Which? asked over 1,900 customers from 12 different providers what problems they experienced with their broadband services, as well as their customer service experiences.

According to the survey, over three in five households had reported a problem within the last year. These issues include price hikes, poor speeds and connection dropouts.

These statistics appear to correlate with those released by Ofcom, with TalkTalk scoring worst in both reports and BT providing below-standard services.

Speaking on the Which? survey, the company’s Managing Director of Home and Legal Services, Alex Neill, said broadband providers still have work to do in offering reliable services, stating: “It’s clear that too many households are still suffering from substandard broadband, and our research shows that providers have a long way to go before they meet their customers’ expectations.”

Ofcom is due to publish its’ annual provider comparison report next month which will look at a range of other factors such as customer satisfaction.


Ross Kelly

Staff Writer

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