Advanced Television

Ofcom: “Broadband complaints hit 3-year high”

September 6, 2021

Ofcom has published the latest data on the complaints it receives about the UK’s major home phone, broadband, mobile and pay-TV firms.

The quarterly report reveals the number of complaints made to Ofcom between January and March this year about telecoms and pay-TV providers with a market share over 1.5 per cent. It therefore covers the third UK-wide lockdown, when millions of people were required to work from home and many schoolchildren had their studies moved online.

Overall, complaints about mobile services remained broadly stable. However, broadband and landline complaints hit a three-year high, while complaints about pay-TV services also increased in the quarter.

This was largely driven by Virgin Media, which was the most complained-about broadband, landline and pay-TV provider. The main reason customers complained to Ofcom about Virgin Media was to do with how the company handled their complaints.

Virgin Mobile was also the most complained-about mobile operator, along with Three; while Tesco Mobile, Sky Mobile and EE generated the fewest complaints.

Sky and EE were also the least complained-about broadband and landline providers, and Sky attracted the fewest complaints for pay TV.

Fergal Farragher, Ofcom’s Consumer Protection Director, said: “These complaints figures are from the peak of the pandemic, which was a difficult time for everyone, including businesses. But some providers clearly struggled with customer service more than others, and we understand how frustrating that must’ve been for their customers at a time when they needed their communications services the most. We have been clear to providers that we expect performance to now return to at least the levels we saw before the pandemic hit – or even better.”

An EE spokesperson said: “EE receives the fewest complaints of any mobile, landline and broadband provider in the UK. This reflects the hard work of our teams in UK and Ireland contact centres and stores providing the best local and personal service to our customers.”

“EE customers enjoy being part of the UK’s biggest and fastest network. With more 5G coverage than any other provider, EE has been named the UK’s best network for the past eight years by RootMetrics.”



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