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Ofcom Praise Sky and Virgin Media in Q2 2017 UK Consumer Complaints Study

Wednesday, September 27th, 2017 (11:15 am) - Score 2,466
consumer complaints and feedback uk isp

Broadband providers Virgin Media and Sky Broadband have today been praised by Ofcom’s Q2 2017 UK consumer complaints report after they received fewer gripes than any other ISP for their service. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for BT and TalkTalk, which attracted the most complaints.

The report, which also examined Landline Phone, Mobile and Pay TV providers, notes that Ofcom continue to receive “nearly250 complaints per day (down from “nearly” 300 at the last report), although their study only includes feedback from the biggest providers (i.e. those with a market share of at least 1.5%).

The data itself is reflected as a proportion of residential subscribers (i.e. the total number of quarterly complaints per 100,000 customers), which makes it easier to compare providers in a market where the biggest ISPs can vary significantly in size.

Overall the total volume of complaints across all service sectors has decreased during the first half of 2017 and this quarter sees the addition of BT Mobile’s pay-monthly product into the table, which occurs because the service has now achieved “sufficient market share“.

By comparison with Q1 2017, the total volume of complaints decreased by four for landline services, decreased by three for fixed broadband services, and decreased by one for both pay-monthly mobile and pay-TV services. However fixed broadband and landline services continue to generate the highest number of complaints.

Jane Rumble, Ofcom’s Director of Consumer Policy, said:

“Complaints about telecoms and pay-TV may be falling this year, but some providers are falling a long way short on customer service.

There can be no room for complacency. We expect providers, particularly those who have been consistently under-performing, to make service quality and complaints handling their number one priority.”

Take note, today’s report only covers complaints that the regulator itself has received and not those sent directly to an ISP or ombudsman. Ofcom does not itself deal with individual complaints but they do monitor them and can take action if enough people raise a problem.

Consumers who are unable to resolve a complaint with their communications provider can (after 8 weeks) raise a case with one of the two ombudsman providers – Ombudsman Services: Communications or CISAS – under the Alternative Dispute Resolution process (they will investigate the issue at no cost to yourself).

Fixed Line Home Broadband Complaints

Overall BT generated the highest relative complaint volumes in Q2 2017 and the main complaint drivers for them related to faults, service and provision issues, followed by complaints handling and billing, pricing and charges.However it has to be said that almost every provider saw a reduction in complaint volumes during Q2.

By comparison Virgin Media and Sky Broadband all generated the lowest relative complaint volumes and remain below the industry average volume of complaints.

A Sky Spokesperson told ISPreview.co.uk:

“At Sky we always strive to give customers the best possible experience. This has been reflected once again in the results of Ofcom’s most recent report, with Sky generating proportionately the fewest complaints over the last 18 months.

We will keep investing in our people and our products to ensure we do even better for our customers throughout 2017 and beyond.”

Both operators have also just been joined by EE, which is a welcome development.


Fixed Line Phone Complaints

In terms of phone line services, the most complaints were generated by TalkTalk and the Post Office, which was largely due to complaints relating to faults, service and provision issues. Ofcom also believes that BT’s performance may be comparable to those two, although they show up as being lower because they used a different methodology to compile their subscriber figures.

Once again EE, Sky Broadband and Virgin Media remain below the line and received the fewest complaints overall.


Mobile Complaints

Both Vodafone and BT Mobile received the most complaints this quarter, although Vodafone’s complaint levels have dropped sharply over the past six months. Vodafone and BT’s main complaint drivers were gripes related to handling, followed by issues around billing, pricing and charges.


Pay TV Complaints

Sadly BT continues to generate the highest relative volume of Pay TV complaints, although they have seen a big drop in the amount being received and that’s a positive development. The main driver of BT’s complaints related to faults, service and provision issues, complaints handling and billing, pricing and charges.

On the flip side Sky TV received the fewest gripes of anybody and is the only operator below the line for industry average (that’s a good thing).


Ofcom’s Complaints Report Q2 2017

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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.
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7 Responses
  1. Avatar Billy bob

    Do not be fooled by these results from Virgin Media – I worked for them for 8 years in the complaints department and can confirm in the past that they have turned OFF the contact us email button on their website (for over 18 months), stopping all email communications and webchats this naturally will stop people complaining as their only other option is to write a letter

    • Ofcom’s results aren’t based on the complaints made to each ISP, but rather the complaints received by the regulator itself.

    • Avatar Ultraspeedy

      Hmm so you worked in a complaints department for 8 years where customers only ever had the choice to write emails and snail mail letters, must of been a daydream of a gig (in more vivid ways than one) not a single customer phone call.

  2. Avatar Simon

    Clearly no one at Ofcom has even been a customer

    • Avatar Ultraspeedy

      Clearly they do not need to be customer of any of the mentioned companies to know the best and worse… Unless everyone who writes and phones Ofcom is a liar.

  3. Avatar i

    Yeah virgin media are conniving miscreants.

    Been with nowtv (sky) and havent had a single reason to complain.

    Least listen to virgin media lie through their teeth if you have to speak to them about line issues.

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