BT phone and broadband complaints rocket

20 December 2016
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Complaints about BT broadband, home phone and Pay TV have rocketed in the three-month period from July to September, according to the latest complaints data from the regulator. 

Gripes about the provider’s sub-brands Plusnet and EE have also risen.

Ofcom’s data shows that BT was the most complained about broadband provider in the third quarter of the year, receiving 36 complaints per 100,000 customers – up from 26 in the second quarter of 2016.

 

Plusnet and EE, which are both owned by BT, received the second and third most broadband complaints respectively. Plusnet got 30 complaints per 100,000 customers - up from 23, while EE received 26 complaints – up from 21 the previous quarter.  

In contrast, the least complained about broadband provider was Sky, receiving seven complaints per 100,000 customers – up from five in the second quarter of the year.

BT was also the most complained about Pay TV provider between July and September, with 19 complaints per 100,000 customers – up from 16 between April and June.

Again, Sky was the least complained about Pay TV provider with one complaint per 100,000 customers – the same as the second quarter of the year.

 

When it comes to landlines, BT received 19 complaints per 100,000 customers, up from 15 in the second quarter of 2016, making it the third most complained about landline provider.

However, Plusnet and EE, which are both owned by BT, received the most landline complaints. Plusnet had 24 complaints per 100,000 customers - up from 18, while EE had 20 complaints – up from 15 the previous quarter.  

In comparison, Sky received the fewest landline complaints, with six per 100,000 customers – up from five in the previous quarter.

Pay monthly mobile complaints fall

Ofcom says the total volume of landline and broadband complaints made increased between the second and third quarters of 2016, while Pay TV complaints remained stable.

However, the number of pay-monthly mobile complaints fell.

Vodafone received the most complaints with 18 per 100,00 customers – but this has fallen from 23 in the previous quarter.

The next most complained about were Talk Mobile and Virgin Mobile with eight complaints each, down from nine for Talk Mobile and up from seven in the previous quarter for Virgin Mobile.

Tesco Mobile received the fewest complaints with one per 100,000 customers – the same as in the previous quarter.

What does BT say?

A BT spokesperson says: “We apologise to customers we’ve let down. BT cares about the service it gives to customers and we know we need to do better. There were a couple of exceptional broadband outages during the period in question which undoubtedly influenced the broadband figures.

“BT has been investing heavily in improvements, which include 90% of our customers’ calls being answered by advisers in the UK and Ireland by the spring of 2017 and recruiting more than 1,500 people to join our team of dedicated advisers helping customers with more complex problems. Additionally we’re installing new software and systems to assist our advisers and allow customers to serve themselves online. Customers will see an improvement as these initiatives take effect.”

A spokesperson for Plusnet adds: “We’re disappointed with these results as we want the best for our customers. We’re determined to improve and have been working on a number of changes to make this happen. We’re committed to doing our customers proud.”

EE meanwhile says: “While we’re making great progress overall, there is more work to be done in broadband service where we saw a temporary increase in complaints due to back-end system changes during the period in this report. We apologise to those customers we let down and we’re confident that these issues have been resolved, in November we achieved one of the highest customer satisfaction scores we've ever achieved. However, we can do better so we’re continuing to invest in providing the best possible customer experience for our mobile and home broadband customers.”

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