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UPD ISPs BT and EE Attract Most Home Broadband Complaints in Q4 2013

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014 (10:43 am) - Score 1,408

BT and EE’s home broadband packages generated the highest level of customer gripes during the final quarter of 2013. The data, which comes from Ofcom’s quarterly consumer complaints report, also revealed that TalkTalk were the worst for fixed phone providers, while Orange UK came bottom for mobile and BT also failed at Pay TV.

Unfortunately the regulators report only includes a handful of the biggest providers (i.e. those that hold a market share of greater than 4%), which is largely because smaller operators don’t tend to produce enough data for their output to be considered statistically meaningful.

Claudio Pollack, Director of Ofcom’s Consumer Group, said:

This report acts as a significant incentive to providers to work to address issues driving complaints and deliver an improved quality of service to their customers.

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.”

Home Broadband Complaints

Overall BT took the crown from EE and attracted the highest proportion of consumer complaints (0.32 complaints per 1000 customers) for their fixed line broadband products, although this must be taken in context because it represents an improvement from the score of 0.41 recorded during Q3 2013.

Meanwhile EE came a close second on 0.29, which is still a big improvement on 0.45 in the previous quarter. But the good news is that Sky Broadband (0.08) and Virgin Media (0.07) have held on to the trend of previous quarters by receiving the fewest complaints and overall the complaint volumes are continuing to fall.

Tom Mockridge, Virgin Media’s CEO, said:

Whilst we are pleased customers have told Ofcom we are better than BT, Sky and TalkTalk, we believe we can do even more. We are always striving to improve and are working hard to deliver the best customer experience every time.”


Fixed Line Phone Complaints

The same trend of decreasing complaint volumes can also be seen in the market for fixed line phone services where TalkTalk generated the most complaints during the final quarter of 2013 (0.27 complaints per 1,000 customers), which is down from 0.31 three months earlier.


Mobile Complaints

On the mobile operator front, EE’s sibling Orange UK generated above average complaints at 0.12 per 1,000 customers, which Ofcom claims has been “largely driven by issues related to billing and complaints handling“. EE’s other sibling, T-Mobile, followed closely behind. Elsewhere Ofcom received the fewest complaints about O2 and Three UK, where once again the broad picture is of falling complaint volumes.


Pay TV Complaints

BT will be pleased to note that, while it may still be the most complained about pay TV provider in the market, their volumes have notably decreased compared to the previous quarter (0.31 complaints per 1,000 subscribers vs 0.55 in Q3 2013). The complaints for BT TV were “mainly related to service faults and billing“.

For the first time TalkTalk’s TV service has also been included in the results and they’re off to a bad start.


UPDATE 12:40pm

Added a comment from Virgin Media above.

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Mark Jackson
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
3 Responses
  1. Avatar George

    You would think BT, Talk Talk and EE would had learned by now. Shockingly bad service from all three of them.

    • Avatar JNeuhoff

      No surprise in the case of BT and TalkTalk, they both rely on old copper wires for their services.

    • Avatar DTMark

      “Bottom feeders”.

      It’s all about the pricing and the inevitable customer churn.

      Thankfully for them, the way in which broadband is sold in this country doesn’t really require them to do very much at all to satisfy the letter of the contract, if not the spirit of it.

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