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Ofcom UK Toughens Broadband Complaint Handling as TalkTalk Labelled Worst ISP

Posted: 21st Jul, 2011 By: MarkJ
ofcom uk statisticsofcomA new customer service satisfaction survey of the ten biggest communications providers’ conducted by Ofcom UK, the national telecoms and media regulator, has found that fixed line broadband ISP and phone users were most dissatisfied with TalkTalk . By contrast Orange came out on top, which might surprise a few people.

Ofcom claims to have received a "higher than average level of complaints" about TalkTalk compared to other major providers, with most being because customers were unable to get through to the right person, the speed of answering the phone and general dissatisfaction with the customer service advisor. In fairness Ofcom's study only covers five broadband ISPs, although these do account for the vast majority of consumers.

ofcom broadband satisfaction 2011

Overall satisfaction with customer service remains lower in the broadband (57%) and landline (58%) sectors than with mobile (69%) and pay TV (66%) and dissatisfaction is increasing. Apparently 31% of broadband subscribers have contacted their ISP to make a complaint, the highest of all sectors (27% for landline, 23% pay tv and 20% mobile).

Ofcom has also used the study to remind consumers and communication providers about the forthcoming (22nd July 2011) introduction of new rules that will require providers to put more effort into helping their customers resolve complaints.
Phone and Broadband ISPs will have to:
- include information of the relevant dispute resolution service on all paper bills; and

- write to customers whose complaints have not been resolved within eight weeks to inform them of their right to take their complaint to a dispute resolution service.
At present all UK ISPs are required to join an Ofcom-approved Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) scheme, such as CISAS or Ombudsman Services (formerly OTELO), and adhere to the final decisions made by that scheme (General Condition 14.5). Sadly many ISPs continue to hide such details away and some make no mention of them at all. This follows last year's consultation (here).
Ofcom's Telecoms Satisfaction Study 2011
http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/research/telecoms-research/Quality-of-customer-service.pdf
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