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Ofcom Q1 2018 ISP Complaints Report Praises Sky – Shames TalkTalk

Wednesday, July 18th, 2018 (9:57 am) - Score 2,168

Ofcom has just published their latest Q1 2018 UK consumer complaints study, which notes that Sky Broadband attracted the least gripes for fixed line broadband and phone services, while TalkTalk attracted the most complaints for both. Pay TV and Mobile providers are also covered.

The report notes that the overall level of consumer satisfaction with communications services is 87% for landline phone, 80% for broadband and 91% for mobile. However, Ofcom said they continued to receive “nearly300 complaints per day during Q1 2018 (unchanged from Q4 2017), although their study only includes feedback from the largest 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 largest ISPs can vary significantly in size.

In comparison with Q4 2017, the total volume of complaints per 100,000 subscribers remained the same for Pay TV and Pay Monthly Mobile services, but decreased for landline and broadband services.

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

“It’s frustrating enough when things go wrong, without having to put up with poor customer service as well.

So it’s encouraging to see complaint numbers falling in some areas, and we want to see this continue. Anyone fed up with their provider can easily shop around and see if thereโ€™s a better service out there for them.”

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 inform them of a problem.

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

Ofcom said they were aware that TalkTalk has ceased offering new mobile pay-monthly contracts, but they plan to continue monitoring TalkTalk Mobile’s market share for forthcoming quarterly reports and will, if appropriate, remove them in due course.

Fixed Line Home Broadband Complaints

At present only EE, Virgin Media and Sky Broadband remain below the “industry average” line, which means they received the fewest complaints. By comparison BT, Plusnet and TalkTalk receive more complaints than the average but they have at least reported a fall in gripes during the first quarter.


Fixed Line Phone Complaints


Mobile Complaints


Pay TV Complaints


Ofcom’s Complaints Report Q1 2018

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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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3 Responses
  1. Avatar un4h731x0rp3r0m says:

    Is there a reason for Q2 2017 complaint levels in categories dropped to their lowest for a short period (at least in most instances), which i am not aware of or can not remember?

    Interestingly although the graphs do not show it yet it looks like the pattern for Q2 2018 will repeat/reflect those of Q2 2017.

    Either way i guess its congrats to Sky and Virgin who in several cases are below the industry complaint levels.

    Most complaints and least complaints in part matches up with the provider good/bad reputation poll here a month back https://www.ispreview.co.uk/cgi-bin/polls/_polls.cgi?archive_id=161
    Which is interesting Ofcom data for once that matches an independent survey.

    1. Mark Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      I can’t recall Q2 in detail from last year but the second quarter tends to be filled with holidays (Easter, May bank holidays, half term) and students are usually cancelling to go back home. As a result Q2 tends to be a fairly muted period almost every year and that may at least partly explain the dip.

    2. Avatar un4h731x0rp3r0m says:

      Thanks Mark ๐Ÿ™‚ A good couple of possible reasons there. I did consider part of it to be students but did not think about other people and holidays in general. If it is down at least in a significant part to those 2 things then that is a heck of a lot of students doing a fair chunk of the complaining during the year. Mind you its not saying much for the other element either, i normally come back quite relaxed from a holiday, i guess some come back off holiday and go right back to instant moan mode though ๐Ÿ˜€

      Either way the charts from Ofcom for complaints not just this time around but a few older ones from memory are always interesting. Again thanks for pointing out a couple of possibilities to my query.

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