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UPD TalkTalk UK Still Top of Ofcoms Most Complained about Broadband ISPs

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012 (11:12 am) - Score 1,121

The UK communications regulator, Ofcom, has today published its latest quarterly customer complaints data (Q4-2011) for broadband and mobile telecoms providers (those with a market share of more than 4%). Unfortunately the data shows that TalkTalk remains the most complained about ISP and, after having improved in previous quarters, appears to have returned to its old ways with complaints on the rise.

Ofcom notes that TalkTalk received an average of 0.61 complaints per 1000 customers during its latest data collection period, which is up from 0.55 in Q3-2011 and 0.58 in Q2-2011. Prior to that TalkTalk had peaked at 0.81 in Q1-2011, just as Ofcom forced the ISP to improve its customer support following a spate of ugly billing, miss-selling and support mishaps (here and here).

A TalkTalk Spokesperson told ISPreview.co.uk:

We’re pleased that Ofcom saw less than half as many complaints about our broadband service than this time last year. While there will always be variations in the quarterly data we are confident that the long term trend is positive – fewer complaints, more calls being resolved first time and improving customer service. There is more work to do but we are confident that the measures we’ve put in place are paying dividends.”

By contrast the least complained about fixed broadband ISPs over the same period were Sky Broadband and Virgin Media, with 0.17 and 0.18 complaints per 1,000 customers respectively. Sky was also the only one to show a generally improving trend over five consecutive quarters. Meanwhile Orange UK appears to be showing a worrying move in the opposite direction with rising complaints.

ofcom uk q4 2011 broadband isp complaints

Sadly TalkTalk also topped the complaints chart for landline phone services with 0.78 complaints per 1000 customers, although this was largely unchanged from 0.77 in Q3-2011. Elsewhere Ofcom noticed a truly shocking increase in complaints against Orange UK for its mobile / mobile broadband services, which was apparently driven by an “announcement to increase their monthly plan prices for all customers including those who were tied into existing contracts“.

Landline Providers with the Most Complaints (Previous Q3-2011 Figure)
1. TalkTalk – 0.78 (up from 0.77)
2. Sky Broadband – 0.24 (down from 0.28)
3. BT – 0.23 (down from 0.29)
4. Virgin Media – 0.18 (down from 0.19)

Mobile operators with the Most Complaints
1. Orange UK – 0.17 (up from 0.07)
2. Three UK – 0.15 (up from 0.14)
3. Vodafone – 0.07 (unchanged)
4. Virgin Media / Mobile – 0.07 (unchanged)
5. T-Mobile – 0.07 (up from 0.06)
6. O2 – 0.02 (unchanged)

The least complained about mobile provider over this period was O2 with 0.02 complaints per 1,000 customers, while the least complained about landline phone provider was Virgin Media.

UPDATE 12:35pm

Added a comment from TalkTalk.

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