Ofcom reveals best and worst ISPs

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Ofcom has revealed which broadband and phone companies are falling far short in serving their customers, and those who are setting a strong standard for satisfaction.

In a comprehensive survey of telecoms customer service, the media regulator shows how each major provider performs on measures including customer satisfaction, complaints and call waiting times.

Overall, eight in ten broadband customers (80 per cent) say they are satisfied with their service, while 15 per cent have a reason to complain.

Virgin Media broadband customers are more likely than average to recommend their provider to a friend; and Virgin Media is the only provider with above-average customer satisfaction for broadband speeds.

TalkTalk customers are less likely to recommend their provider to a friend, and its overall satisfaction is below average. TalkTalk scores poorly on most customer service measures. Its customers are less satisfied with reliability, more likely to have a reason to complain, and less satisfied with how their complaints are handled.

Across the industry, satisfaction with complaints handling could be improved. Sky and EE perform above average for how they handle complaints with around six in ten customers satisfied.

The amount of time people are kept waiting on the phone to customer service lines varies widely. Plusnet customers have to wait the longest – nearly eight minutes on average. EE customers wait the shortest amount of time to get through – only 48 seconds.

In mobile, satisfaction is generally high. Overall, nine in ten customers (91 per cent) say they are satisfied with their mobile phone service, with just 4 per cent having a reason to complain. Among mobile companies, Tesco Mobile and giffgaff customers are more likely to recommend their provider to a friend. Vodafone and Virgin Mobile are less likely to be recommended. These two companies also score below average in a number of satisfaction rankings, particularly when it comes to handling complaints.

Lindsey Fussell, Ofcom’s Consumer Group Director, said: “People often focus on price when they’re choosing a phone or broadband provider. But there are big differences in the customer service offered by providers. We’re encouraging people to look beyond the price 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.”


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