Ofcom has published its customer service report for 2023, finding Plusnet to have the highest overall customer service satisfaction (89%), while TalkTalk has the lowest (78%). Overall broadband customer service satisfaction is 82%.
The report is based on data customer experience data from 2022, collected through Ofcom's own research (surveys and complaint data).
Looking at call waiting times, Shell Energy is a huge outlie, with an average wait time of 8 minutes and 14 seconds, while the average is 2 minutes and 37 seconds. NOW Broadband recorded the shortest average call wait time of 51 seconds.
Alex Tofts, broadband expert at Broadband Genie, comments: “Telecoms providers have made progress in addressing customer issues over the last year, but as prices continue to surge, customers may be asking if what they get in return is worth it.
“Legacy challenges from the pandemic remain, with an increased demand on broadband and landline connections driven by home working. This has led to a higher volume of customer service calls — and some providers have clearly not adjusted.
“Despite their best efforts to adopt AI digital assistants and web chat services, nearly all broadband customers still prefer to speak to their provider on the phone. The reality is that people still value the personal touch and see speaking with another human as the best way to resolve their query quickly.
“Today we heard that BT is planning to cut 55,000 jobs with up to a fifth replaced by AI and earlier this week Vodafone announced worldwide job cuts. This raises the question of what their backup plan is to help people that don’t want to engage with a robot when their services aren’t up to speed.
“While Virgin Media, Sky and KCOM have strived to address call wait times, many others have performed worse than in the previous year. Shell Energy Broadband in particular should be embarrassed by these figures, with call waiting times so long that more than a quarter of customers give up before they even get through.
“Only half of the people who made a complaint to their provider were satisfied with the result. As customer service is often one of the reasons why people complain in the first place, more needs to be done to tackle this before providers should start making staff cuts.
“Delays to the rollout of the One Touch Switch process continue to make it harder for consumers to vote with their feet and we are still waiting for an update on when it is expected to come. Broadband customers that are unhappy with the service they receive and have been successful in resolving this with their provider should consider switching.”
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