Ofcom Names TalkTalk as Worst Telecoms Firm


A study by Ofcom reveals the UK’s best and worst performers in mobile phone and broadband.

Ofcom has revealed which broadband and phone companies get the best and worst satisfaction scores from their customers.

A report by the UK Government-approved regulatory body has provided independent insights into the customer service provided by the UK’s major telecoms firms.

Ofcom’s research found that, overall, 83% of broadband customers are satisfied with their service, while 13% had reason to complain in 2018.

80% of BT customers, 87% of EE customers, 86% of Plusnet customers, 83% of Sky customers, 79% of TalkTalk customers and 85% of Virgin Media customers were satisfied.

TalkTalk scored below the industry average on several measures, with its broadband customers less likely to be satisfied with their overall service and less likely to recommend their provider to a friend.

TalkTalk customers are also more likely to have a reason to complain, less likely to have their complaint resolved on first contact, and less likely be satisfied with how their complaint is handled.

Across the industry, satisfaction with complaints handling could be improved – only around half of those who make a complaint are satisfied with how it is handled. However, Sky broadband customers are less likely than average to have reason to complain, and more likely to be satisfied with how their complaint is handled.

93% of mobile customers are satisfied with their overall service, with a small proportion (3%) saying they are unhappy.

Giffgaff and Tesco Mobile customers are more likely to recommend their provider to a friend. Their customers also have above-average satisfaction with value for money (97% for giffgaff and 92% for Tesco Mobile, compared to an 87% average).

Vodafone customers, on the other hand, are less likely to be satisfied with value for money (82%), while Virgin Mobile customers have below-average satisfaction with how their complaint is handled. Both companies are also less likely to resolve complaints on first contact.

However, satisfaction with mobile reception is increasing across the board (87%, up from 84% last year). Ofcom’s mobile coverage checker lets people easily see how estimated coverage levels compare across the UK and among different providers.

Complaints to Ofcom about broadband firms fell by 23% last year, from 75 complaints per 100,000 customers on average in 2017, to 58 in 2018. Most companies ended 2018 better than (or broadly the same as) they started the year.

However, complaints about Plusnet – owned by BT – more than doubled in the last quarter of 2018. In that period, the company experienced issues with a new billing system it launched.

For the first time, Sky Mobile is included in the mobile league table and enters with the fewest complaints. This means Sky is the least-complained about provider across all four services – broadband, landline, mobile and pay TV.

Lindsey Fussell, Ofcom’s consumer group director, said: “Shabby service can be more than just frustrating; it can have a big impact on people and small businesses who rely on being connected.

“When you’re shopping around for a phone or broadband service, quality can be just as important as price. This information can help buyers make the right decision.”

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