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Major UK Fixed Line Broadband ISPs See Consumer Complaints Fall

Posted Friday, September 27th, 2013 (10:22 am) by Mark Jackson (Score 1,421)
angry uk internet user

The UK telecoms regulator has published its latest Q2-2013 customer complaints report and reveals which of the largest fixed line broadband, telephone, mobile and pay-tv providers have caused the most annoyance for consumers. Happily the overall level of complaints, especially for EE and TalkTalk, has fallen.

Ofcom’s data only includes telecoms and Internet providers with a UK market share of 4%+ because smaller ISPs simply don’t produce enough data for a constructive report. Similarly the graphs have not been adjusted for scale and thus it’s important to remember that some operators have significantly more customers than others (e.g. BT’s 6.8 Million vs EE’s 700k fixed line broadband subscribers).

Claudio Pollack, Ofcoms Director of Consumer Group, said:

It’s encouraging to see the biggest reduction in complaints for a year and we hope these figures will incentivise providers to further improve their performance.

We’re committed to giving consumers valuable information to help them choose a provider that best suits their needs. Consumer complaints also help us to identify where enforcement action is needed and ensure that providers comply with our rules.”

The good news is that the overall level of fixed line broadband and telephone complaints has continued to fall. Even some of the worst performing ISPs have seen an improvement and EE recorded the biggest improvement of all the major providers to score an average of 0.32 complaints per 1000 customers, which is down sharply from 0.57 in Q1-2013 and 0.70 in Q4-2012.

fixed line broadband isp complaints q2 2013

As in previous quarters the best broadband ISPs were Virgin Media, which attracted the fewest complaints (0.06 per 1,000 customers), and Sky Broadband that received slightly more complaints than Virgin. It’s worth pointing out that Sky also has around 400k more subscribers than Virgin so proportionally they’re about level.

But the report also reveals complaint levels for other sectors and notes that TalkTalk continues to come out as the worst for landline telephone services with a score of 0.34 complaints per 1,000 customers, which is at least an improvement. Meanwhile Sky Broadband saw its complaints rise but their overall level remains low.

fixed line telephone complaints q2 2013

Finally we come to mobile operators and pay TV providers. Suffice to say that BT are still struggling to get the level of complaints against their TV (IPTV) service under control and thus their level remains around “six times greater than the industry average“, which was partly driven by problems with service provision and complaints handling. As for mobile operators, T-Mobile and Orange (EE) appear to have the most troubles.

mobile and pay tv uk complaints q2 2013

It will be interesting to see what happens to BT’s level of Pay TV complaints now that their new BTSport and YouView platform has gone live, although the impact of this won’t start to show until the next Q3-2013 report.

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2 Responses
  1. TB

    “Similarly the graphs have not been adjusted for scale and thus it’s important to remember that some operators have significantly more customers than others ”

    Doesn’t the per 1000 customers metric mean that complaints are on a like for like basis? E.g. for broadband, EE and BT have the same level of complaints, but if we’re not adjusting for scale then it means EE customers are 10 times more likely to complain based on the quote above.

    Depends if the metric is per 1000 customers for each provider (which makes more sense), or just 1000 total broadband customers which makes the metric very misleading.

  2. Roberto

    BT, Talk Talk and EE still completely scummy compared to sky and Virgin.

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