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Q2 2018 UK ISP Complaints Report Shames TalkTalk – Praises Sky

Thursday, November 8th, 2018 (9:52 am) - Score 2,187
complaint UK consumer broadband isp and phone gripes

Ofcom’s latest Q2 2018 UK complaints report finds that consumer moans are falling, while Sky Broadband attracted the least gripes for fixed line broadband (TalkTalk attracted the most) and it was the same story for landline phone services. Pay TV and Mobile providers are also included.

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 contacts per day during Q2 2018 (unchanged) and many of those result in complaints, 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. Overall the total volume of complaints across all service sectors has decreased since Q1.

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

“Although we’re encouraged that complaints are at their lowest levels since we started shining a light on this, some telecoms and TV companies are still falling short. We expect those providers to up their game and deliver better service to all their customers.”

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.

Fixed Line Home Broadband Complaints

Happily there was a general fall in complaint volumes across the board this quarter, although TalkTalk remains the provider that is most likely to attract gripes from their customers (the main complaint drivers were faults, service and provision issues). Meanwhile Sky Broadband continues to enjoy being the least moaned about of all the big ISPs.


Fixed Line Phone Complaints

The story for fixed line phone services is almost identical to broadband above, although TalkTalk is much closer to the pack here and perhaps ironically their main complaint driver revolves around issues that stem from complaints handling. However we note that the Post Office was the only operator to record a noticeable rise in gripes, which could be due to their May 2018 price hike announcement.


Mobile Complaints

Issues related to complaints handling help Virgin Mobile come top of the bad boy pack for pay monthly mobile services, while Tesco Mobile deserves credit for attracting the fewest gripes.

A Virgin Media Spokesperson said:

“Good service really matters to us and our customers. We are pleased with the improvements for our broadband and landline services, but there are still areas where we need to do better. We are working hard to put that right.”


Pay TV Complaints

The Pay TV market has seen a dramatic shift during Q2, with BT’s TV service benefiting from a huge fall in complaint volumes and as a result Virgin Media now comes out as the worst. Once again the main complaint driver for Virgin was complaints handling. Meanwhile Sky (Sky Broadband) were the only Pay TV operator that managed to get under the industry average line.


Ofcom’s Complaints Report Q2 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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5 Responses
  1. Avatar steve

    Not Surprised with the so called fibre its absolute crap . Say no more its a network ( OR )run by idiots

  2. Avatar Meadmodj

    All ISPs using FTTC except Virgin. Nice to see progress by BT and Plusnet but they need to get down to the EE level with Sky being the target.

    FTTC will always be a challenge but its how you deal with problems when they arise. Sky are always clearer regarding contract and conservative on products offered.

    BT appear to be learning with product filtering by post code, BT Plus fixed contract price and mobile router if service fails.

  3. Avatar JamesMJohnson

    Tbf Sky have bent over backwards attempting to resolve my FTTC issues.
    I have a intermittant fault which keeps on changing the capabilitie of my line which makes a great experience trying to explain it to the OR engineers when they arrive…
    “The testor says your line only supports xxx” followed by myself trying to explain that over the course of a month or so my OR handback threshold and max/min line stats change in their system caused by an intermittant fault, RANE/SHINE, or dry joint etc on my line… currently told it’s probably RANE and next time I’m affected they’ll need to escalate it for a site inspection.
    It’s why I have a nice collection of screenshots built up from the wholesale checker.
    The amount of times Sky have got OR to visit, I’m amazed they haven’t cancel my contract.
    It’s not Sky at fault… it’s OR.

    • Avatar tech-bawlk

      JamesMJohnson I’m having the exact same issue with mine
      Although sky wont do anything due to it being within the range they quoted, sometimes its at the bottom and i have a screen shot of it being way above the max speed

  4. Avatar Richard Walton

    I receive superb service from TalkTalk and have done so for many years.

    I hear people complaining about Sky and Virgin all the time.

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