TalkTalk still most complained about ISP, Sky and Virgin have happiest customers
Industry regulator Ofcom has released complaints data for the first quarter of 2012 and it shows that TalkTalk continues to attract significantly more complaints than any other company in both fixed line telephone and broadband, while Sky, O2 and Virgin have the most satisifed customers with some of the lowest figures.
In Q1 2012 Ofcom received 0.56 complaints per 1,000 customers for TalkTalk’s broadband service. BT was next with 0.38 per 1,000 while Sky had the lowest figure at 0.15. Ofcom attributes TalkTalk’s results to line faults and other service issues.
In the fixed line telephony sector there's a greater number of complaints compared to broadband or mobile, and TalkTalk dwarfed all other providers with 0.72 complaints per 1,000. The next closest was BT with 0.24 which was only slightly higher than Virgin (0.16) and Sky (0.19).
It's not all bad news for TalkTalk, which is one of the UK's cheapest broadband and telephone providers. It's seen a fall on 2011 figures in both areas and that's part of an overall downward trend so matters are definitely improving.
On the mobile side it’s Three which dominates, attracting 0.14 complaints per 1,000, far ahead of O2’s which got just 0.02. Orange has seen a huge fall in complaints over Q4 2011, from 0.17 to 0.7. That increase was due to a price rise which generated huge numbers of complaints. Overall though the mobile figures are much healthier with far fewer customers running into problems compared to fixed line telephone or broadband services.
Ofcom receives over 300 complaints every day from dissastified broadband, mobile, fixed line and pay TV customers. By the time someone gets to complaining to Ofcom they've generally exhausted other avenues, so these numbers don't reflect the total number of complaints for each provider, though they provide an interesting insight into which companies may have better complaint handling procedures.
Update: TalkTalk has issued a statement responding to the data.
“We are pleased that Ofcom’s data shows that complaints are 36 per cent down for telephone and 31 per cent down for broadband compared with the same period last year
“We have been working hard to deliver improvements that give our customers a better experience and as a result we’re receiving 31 per cent fewer calls to our customer contact centres. For those that call, more than three quarters of issues are resolved the first time.
“We do recognise there is still work to do and we are continually pushing through improvements. Technical faults are fixed 20 per cent more quickly, more support is being offered when customers move house, and our online customer support systems, which now account for 70 per cent of customer contacts, are being further enhanced. We’ll continue to work hard to continue to offer great value to our 5 million customers.”