Regulator names and shames worst broadband and mobile providers and TalkTalk customers are the least satisfied

Published by Stephen Little on 30 April 2019.
Last updated on 30 April 2019

TalkTalk has been named the broadband provider with least satisfied customers, new figures from Ofcom reveal.

TalkTalk customers are less likely to be satisfied with their broadband provider, with only 79% happy with the service, according to the telecoms watchdog.

Customers are also less likely be satisfied with the way their complaint is handled.

A TalkTalk spokesperson says: “While some of the results in the quality of service report are disappointing, we are already seeing more customers than ever staying with us.

"We will continue to enhance the services we offer to increase satisfaction levels and ensure complaint numbers continue to come down.”

Overall, 83% of broadband customers are satisfied with their service, while 13% had reason to complain in 2018.

The regulator says that across the industry satisfaction with complaints handling could be improved, with only around half of those who make a complaint satisfied with how it is handled.

Sky broadband customers are less likely than average to have reason to complain, and more likely to be satisfied with how their complaint is handled.

Source: Ofcom, April 2019

Mobile complaints

Vodafone customers are less likely to be satisfied with value for money (82%), while Virgin Mobile customers have below-average satisfaction with how their complaint is handled.

Both companies are also less likely to resolve complaints on first contact.

Overall, 93% of mobile customers are satisfied with their overall service.

Giffgaff and Tesco Mobile customers are more likely to recommend their provider to a friend. Their customers also have above-average satisfaction with value for money - 97% for giffgaff and 92% for Tesco Mobile, compared to 87% average.

Source: Ofcom, April 2019

Complaints to Ofcom

The number of complaints to Ofcom about broadband firms fell by 23% last year, from 75 complaints per 100,000 customers on average in 2017, to 58 in 2018.

However, complaints about Plusnet more than doubled in the last quarter of 2018, largely due to issues with a new billing system.

Complaints to Ofcom about mobile companies fell by 15% last year – from 20 complaints per 100,000 customers on average, to 17 last year.

Lindsey Fussell, Ofcom’s consumer group director, says: “Shabby service can be more than just frustrating; it can have a big impact on people and small businesses who rely on being connected.

“When you’re shopping around for a phone or broadband service, quality can be just as important as price. This information can help buyers make the right decision.”

Dani Warner, telecoms expert at uSwitch.com, says that with providers increasingly unable to differentiate on broadband speed alone, more pressure is falling on them to improve customer service.

She says: "On the mobiles side, smaller providers once again proved that they had the edge in keeping their customers happy with MVNOs giffgaff and Tesco Mobile topping the list of providers most likely to be recommended for a second year in a row.

"Overall though, the big picture is of fewer complaints from both mobile and broadband customers across the board which shows that the industry is moving in the right direction.”

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As a retired self-employed

As a retired self-employed telephone engineer I wouldn't like to say too much about any of them as they all have good and bad points. As a proper business-only company I put my customers with Mainstream Digital Ltd in Cirencester and would happily deal with them about all aspects of their lines or ADSL. I stopped helping individual customers with other providers as they were impossible to deal with and wasted huge amounts of my time - sometimes hours on hold! Sorry and all that! We're with EE ourselves at home and are happy with them - even when we moved house. I could bring you to tears with some of the tragic stories about other providers I hear about through old colleagues - I'm not kidding you - incompetence doesn't even begin to cover it.