Talk Talk most complained about service provider
Telecom provider Talk Talk has been branded 'Moan Moan' after the industry watchdog said it was the most complained about firm in the business.
Ofcom, the telecoms regulator, said today (Tuesday) Talk Talk's broadband and landline services came out top on the regulator's list of the most complained about telecoms providers last year.
The watchdog received 1.78 complaints per 1,000 customers from October 2010 to February 2011.
The least complained about provider over the same period was Virgin Media with 0.21 complaints per 1000 customers.
Meanwhile, the most complained about mobile phone provider was 3UK with the regulator receiving 0.15 complaints per 1000 customers.
02 received the least complaints in this category at 0.04 complaints per 1,000 customers.
On average, Ofcom receives 450 telecoms complaints a day about a range of issues including mis-selling, billing errors, lack of service and customer service problems.
Ofcom's figures cover companies with a UK market share of at least 5%, covering at least 87% of the telecoms market.
The regulator's chief executive, Ed Richards, says: "Consumers should have access to as much information as possible to allow them to choose between providers and to take full advantage of the competition in the sector.
"By publishing complaints data, Ofcom aims to provide useful information to consumers, and also to give telecoms providers an incentive to improve their customer service."
A statement from Talk Talk says: "We recognise that in the period in question, October 2010 to February 2011, not all customers received the service they deserved as we completed the complex task of moving them to our network and a new billing platform. We're sorry for the disruption this caused and we continue to work tirelessly to improve."
How to complain
If you have a complaint about your phone or broadband provider you first need to contact the customer services department and explain your problem.
Since it is in the provider's best interest to treat its customers fairly the company could – and should – resolve the problem at this point.
If it doesn't you should inform the company that you wish to make a formal complaint via its complaints procedure. Under Ofcom regulation all providers must have one of these.
Once you've complained, if your issue is not dealt with within eight weeks or if your provider tells you there is nothing it can do you are entitled to take your complaint to an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) scheme. ADR schemes are independent bodies, approved by Ofcom. The ADR scheme will look into your dispute and, if it agrees with you, can make the provider fix the problem and if necessary give compensation.
Ofcom approves two ADR schemes – CISAS and Ombudsman Services: Communications. All providers have to be a member of one of these. You can find out which one your provider is a member of by checking its website or visiting consumers.ofcom.org.uk/2009/12/adr-schemes.
The practice of a dishonest salesperson misrepresenting or misleading an investor about the characteristics of a product or service. For example, selling a person with no dependants a whole-of-life policy. There have been notable mis-selling scandals in the past, including endowment policies tied to mortgages, employees persuaded to leave final salary pensions in favour of money purchase pensions (which paid large commissions to salespeople) and payment protection insurance. There is no legal definition of mis-selling; rather the Financial Services Authority (FSA) issues clarifying guidelines and hopes companies comply with them.
If you’ve have a complaint about a financial service product you have bought but the company you bought it from refuses to resolve your problem after eight weeks, the Ombudsman can help. The Ombudsman will investigate and resolve the matter. The Ombudsman is independent and its service is free to consumers. The Ombudsman may find in the company’s favour but consumers don’t have accept its decision and are always free to go to court instead. But if they do accept an Ombudsman’s decision, it is binding both on them and on the business.