TalkTalk rated worst provider for broadband and landline service

3 May 2018

TalkTalk has been named the worst provider for broadband and landline services, according to new research.

Telecoms regulator Ofcom reveals that the firm scored the lowest satisfaction rating of the major providers, with just 72% of broadband customers saying they are satisfied with its service. 

That compares with top-rated Plusnet, which scored a satisfaction rating of 86% – significantly ahead of the average of 80%. 

Ofcom analysed the performance of broadband and landline providers BT, EE, Plusnet, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media. In its analysis of landline services, Post Office was also included. 

Some 18% of TalkTalk broadband customers said they had a reason to complain about the provider, and only 40% were satisfied with how the company handled their complaint.

Just 13% of Plusnet customers had cause for complaint, while EE scored best for complaints handling, with 59% of customers saying they were satisfied with how their complaint was dealt with. 

TalkTalk received some 113 complaints per 100,000 subscribers for its broadband services, beaten only by BT with 115 complaints per 100,000 customers. For landline services, TalkTalk was joint worst with Post Office, with both receiving 83 complaints per 100,000 subscribers. 

In contrast, top-performing Sky received just 29 broadband complaints per 100,000 subscribers and 26 per 100,000 for landline users. 

Overall, eight in 10 broadband customers are happy with their service and just 15% have cause for complaint. But Ofcom’s surveys show how customer experience varies vastly across the board. 

Virgin Media customers are most likely to recommend their provider to a friend; it is also the only company with above-average customer satisfaction for its broadband speeds. 

Lindsey Fussell, consumer group director at Ofcom, says: “People often focus on price when they’re choosing a phone or broadband provider, but we’re encouraging people to look beyond that and consider customer service too. 

“In such a competitive market, companies simply can’t afford to let their service standards slip. If they don’t up their game, customers can vote with their feet.” 

Customer service: Plusnet customers kept waiting almost eight minutes

Ofcom’s comprehensive survey of customer service found some providers are falling short of their peers when it comes to their landline service. 

Sky and EE scored the highest satisfaction ratings for landline services at 90%, while Sky also had the fewest customers with cause for complaint at just 2%. Just 82% of TalkTalk customers were satisfied with its landline service. 

Ofcom also analysed average call waiting times for customers contacting the major telecoms providers. TalkTalk broadband customers had to wait just 58 seconds, on average, for their call to be answered and EE was even quicker with an average call waiting time of 48 seconds. 

But Plusnet customers were kept waiting some 7 minutes and 50 seconds – the longest wait time by far. 

Mobile phone service satisfaction ‘generally high’

Ofcom says satisfaction with complaints handling could be improved across the industry but that satisfaction with mobile phone services were generally high, with 91% of customers satisfied and just 4% saying they had a reason to complain about their service. 

Giffgaff received an incredible satisfaction rating of 98%, closely followed by Tesco Mobile at 97%. Virgin Mobile and Vodafone had the lowest customer satisfaction scores at 86% and 88% respectively. 

Ewan Taylor-Gibson, telecoms expert at uSwitch, says: “Customers shouldn’t suffer shoddy service. They can vote with their feet as the likelihood is that there’s a better suited service that is more appropriate for their needs and may even save them money too.” 

He continues: “Unhappy customers don’t have to stick it out – if you do have a problem with your broadband or mobile, you should raise your complaint with your provider. If you’re not happy with the solution they offer, there’s a free ombudsman service that can review your case.”

In response to Ofcom's findings, a TalkTalk spokesperson said: “While these results are disappointing, we are already seeing more customers staying with us than ever before as we roll out major service improvements.

"We’ve closed down our call centres in India; we have introduced new online tools to help customers resolve issues quickly and conveniently; and we are launching new wi-fi routers to strengthen network reliability.

"All these initiatives are starting to deliver material improvement in satisfaction levels.”




In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

72% are satisfied with TalkTalk service and 86% with PlusNet. So what's the big deal? I don't see there's a big enough margin over which to get excited. No, TalkTalk ain't perfect and I've had a few issues over the past 15 years but generally speaking no big problems and my understanding is that they are still a very reasonable price for internet and phone.

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Everyone knows how bad Talk Talk are yet they are running misleading TV ads saying they have been voted the best customer service, when in reality the votes where from a comparison site. They should be hauled over the coals for that ad.

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Well what can I say,talk talk the biggest joke company out there!!!Spent so long on the home to them I feel like I should be on their Christmas card list!!! So frustrated! Speeds of less than 3 Mbps!! Absolute rubbish!! All they do is run speed tests and fill you up with shit!!! Surely they shouldn't be allowed to get away with it,I advise anyone thinking of going with talktalk to not bother!!! You would be better to burn you cash rather than waste it on the shit company that they are!!!

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

I have been with TalkTalk ever since they took it over from Tiscali. Since then I haven't had a contract and can just up and move anytime I want. I am paying dear for this - £34 per month) and get back very little in the way of loyalty at all. My speed for weeks has been just 5.4mbps - an archaic speed if ever there was one in today's speed offers. Customer Services is totally useless, keeping you on the phone for hours while they carry out the simplest of tests. Why don't they just admit to ripping customers of, say sorry, and then put it right. No, they just give you waffle about stuff you just know to be total rubbish. People are more clued up today when it comes to computers. Stop hoodwinking people and just give them what they are paying for.

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Talktalk are utterly useless. Their contracts are a con. They hope you will not notice the end of your contract as it zooms ever upwards. I do not have a contract as it ran out. I still pay less than someone with a contract though. Crazy? You bet. Speeds? All ISP's should have to gtee a minimum speed and forced to live up to it. BT should not be allowed to charge such high rates simply to have a line. Ofcom have no real powers otherwise they would have done all this a long time ago.

In reply to by Billious (not verified)

unfortunately ofcom are nearly as big a joke as talk talk one can reign them in because companies like that are above the law and the people....

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

talk talk are a joke...they verge on fraudulent activities..there management actively lie and will try there best to deceive you and charge you on top...

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

I used to have Talk Talk for my phone and internet. It had loads of problems like no phone service available sometimes and slow broadband. Now I have PlusNet I don't have anymore problems with my phone or Internet.

In reply to by John Barnard (not verified)

a talk talk manager deliberately tried to defraud me and lie about what an engineer said...something like that IS a big deal.......and 70%+ satisfaction is a fabricated number too

Worst company

I have been with Talktalk for quite a while but have now decided to quit. The broadband speed was atrocious and slow. They advertise 11mbps but I only got 1.5mbps and when I tried to leave , they had the audacity to charge exit fees.

The Talktalk Cowboys and Crooks

This sham outfit are ripping customers off at every opportunity. They should be prevented from trading until they start treating customers fairly. Time now for action, this group of bandits must be stopped.

TalkTalk CustomerService - They Do Not Listen - They do Not Care

When I upgraded my TalkTalk broadband service I was supplied with a gigabit router. When that router went faulty they refused to replace it with a like for like gigabit router. I complained but it was like talking to a brick wall. Nobody listens and nobody cares...

Low internet speed from talktalk

All bad comments are only partly true. For me talk talk delivers one or less Mbps while they claim and I pay for 65. I have spent 1500 hours on the phone with them. They lie about recording the calls because if they did they would do something about the their call centers and tech are feeding you. They should all be danned from the surface.

Poor service

Thank God I've managed to order bt a bit dear but rest assured they will treat me like a human being and with respect and more importantly human being

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