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The Phone Rage Index Scalds UK ISPs BT, Sky Broadband and TalkTalk

Friday, September 13th, 2013 (11:04 am) - Score 1,043

A new study into the frustration caused by automated phone menus on telephone support and service lines, which are used by multiple companies around the United Kingdom, has listed BT, Sky (Sky Broadband) and TalkTalk in its annual list of the Top 20 worst offenders.

The Phone Rage Index, which is produced by PleasePress1, aims to pinpoint the UK’s most ineffective customer service lines by weighing the number of menu options against the levels within each menu and the length of introductions. It also factors in user feedback to help shoppers in the market for new services to make a more informed decision.

Perhaps unsurprisingly this year’s worst offender is everybody’s favourite organisation, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), whose phone lines managed to confuse the socks off people by, among other things, offering an eye-watering 400 options for customers to wade through. Sadly BT has the honour of taking 3rd place, which was followed by T-Mobile in 4th, Sky in 6th and TalkTalk at 11th.

Nigel Clarke, PleasePress1, said:

What we’re seeing here is that no particular sector is to blame. It seems to be a general attitude to so-called service. It’s a widespread issue yet some of these companies actually say they pride themselves on their customer service.

I’ve had a vast amount of feedback via social media and on the website which is available to view online. There is a real buyer beware message here and the index is useful for both existing customers and those who are considering their options.

It may appear that companies are trying to delay the inevitable contact from customers who, by the time they get there, are ready to slam the phone down.”

The 2013 Phone Rage Index

2. Currys / PC World
3. BT (British Telecom)
4. T-Mobile
5. TV Licensing Agency
6. Sky
7. Royal Mail
8. Ticketmaster
9. Asda
10. Virgin Holidays
11. TalkTalk
12. Parcelforce
13. Legal & General Insurance
14. TFL (Transport for London)
15. AA
16. Argos
17. Ford Motor Company
18. Churchill
19. Student Loans Company
20. Electrolux

The study suggests that UK consumers could save up to £100 million in phone charges every year by using PleasePress1’s free service to help them skip through the options in double quick time. This of course ignores the fact that some support lines are freecall numbers, although on the other hand.. time is money.

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
Leave a Comment
4 Responses
  1. dragoneast says:

    And money is time. Because those people with enough money can pay the prices to by-pass the hassle that the plebs have to put up with. That’s the politicians and their commentating friends seen all right then . . .

  2. JNeuhoff says:

    “t may appear that companies are trying to delay the inevitable contact from customers who, by the time they get there, are ready to slam the phone down.”

    This is especially true for BT!

  3. sentup.custard says:

    The so-called Pension “Service” seem to work on the principle that as their callers are likely to be approaching their “Sell by” date, if they delay answering the phone for a good while there’s a fair chance the caller will have snuffed it, so they won’t need to come out of their taxpayer-funded coma to deal with the call.


  4. Roberto says:

    The top 5 are not much of a shock

    2 Government departments
    1 High Street retailer that hassle you in store and like to sell extended warranties and other worthless *splutter* tech help stuff
    2 Communications companies that are renowned to be a PITA to deal with over the phone BT with its endless options and then if you get through its India and T-Mobile (I assume T-mobile rating translates to EE now) who have been ranked near the bottom ISP wise recently.

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