TalkTalk is most complained about broadband and landline provider

By Sarah Shearman, mediaweek.co.uk, Wednesday, 21 December 2011 10:09AM

TalkTalk is the most complained about broadband and landline provider in the UK, while the number of complaints levied at rivals rose sharply over the past year, according to Ofcom.

TalkTalk: received the most complaints about its landline and broadband provision

TalkTalk: received the most complaints about its landline and broadband provision

The media regulator's most recent quarterly data, compiled between July and September this year, reveals TalkTalk received the most complaints about its landline and broadband services.

The data shows Ofcom received 0.77 complaints about TalkTalk’s landline coverage per 1,000 customers, and 0.55 complaints per 1,000 customers about its broadband services during the third quarter of 2011

These were largely over issues relating to billing, customer services and service issues.

However, the number of complaints levied at the TalkTalk company has dropped steadily over the year. TalkTalk registered 1.16 complaints per 1,000 customers about its landline service for the last three months of 2010 and 0.78 complaints per 1,000 customers about its broadband service.

Virgin Media emerged as the least complained-about telecoms company over the year, with Ofcom receiving 0.19 complaints per 1,000 customers about its broadband and landline services. This figure has gradually increased over the year.

BT has also seen the number of complaints about its landline and broadband services rise over the year, to reach 0.29 per 1,000 customers and 0.50 per 1,000 customers respectively.

Orange has also recorded a greater number of complaints about its broadband service during this period, rising to 0.44 per 1,000 customers.

While BSkyB has seen complaints about its broadband service decline this year, in line with Virgin Media, with 0.19 complaints per 1,000 customers, complaints about its landline service has increased over the year to reach 0.28 per 1,000 customers

Compared to landline and broadband customer complaints, levels of complaints about mobile services during this quarter were much lower, with O2 emerging as the least complained-about company, with 0.07 customers per thousand complaints.

Ofcom's data show that it received the most complaints about 3UK, with 0.15 complaints per 1,000 customers. These were mostly over disputed charges and customer service issues.

There has also been an increase in complaints against Virgin Mobile over the last quarter, which Ofcom says appear to be driven by billing and customer-service issues.  

The news comes after the recent revelation that TalkTalk lost 70,000 broadband customers over the six months to the end of September. The company also received a £3m fine from Ofcom for having incorrectly billed customers for services they did not receive.

The loss of customers helped send TalkTalk's revenue for the six months to 30 September down 4.8% year on year to £844m.

A TalkTalk spokeswoman said: "It's encouraging that complaints continue to come down.

"We remain committed to providing good service and best value and, while there is clearly more work to be done, we're pleased that customers are starting to see the benefits of the changes we continue to make."

Follow Sarah Shearman on Twitter @Shearmans

This article was first published on mediaweek.co.uk

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