Between January and March 2016, 34 of every 100,000 EE broadband customers and 31 of every 100,000 BT broadband customers complained about the service they’d received. Compared to just 6 of every 100,000 Sky customers, that’s a stark difference in the quality of service, which may just affect who you chose to go with in the future.
The statistics may not sound too bad, but remember that EE and BT merged in a landmark £12.5bn deal in January this year – making them Britain’s largest landline and broadband provider with over 10 million customers. And that these complaints were made within three months alone.
Everything from poor customer service and unresolved complaints handling, to issues with billing and being overcharged has outraged their customers. And since this specific survey, a BT broadband outage left thousands struggling for internet access in July – from London and the South East, to Manchester, Liverpool, Leicester and Sheffield. In spite of which, millions of BT customers are facing a price hike for the second time this year.
Ofcom publish data like this every three months as an incentive for companies to improve their performance. But they also clamp down on providers who don’t meet their standards, by issuing a total of £1.25 million in fines in the last two years.
An Ofcom spokeswoman said: “We’re committed to providing consumers with valuable information to help them choose a provider that best suits their needs.”
It’s quite likely that customer satisfaction statistics like these will play a part in who you chose to give your hard earned cash to.
But Ofcom don’t only expose underperforming broadband companies. In fact, BT has also held onto its crown as the most complained about pay-TV provider for the second year running, while Vodaphone was far and away the most complained about mobile phone service provider – with 29 complaints made per 100,000 Vodaphone customers. Although that’s an improvement, down from 34 the previous quarter, Vodaphone received more complaints in these three months than their six rivals combined.
The vast majority of grievances stem from their new billing system which has overcharged hordes of customers, it’s well worth checking your bill. Yet Vodaphone is still under investigation for mishandling complaints and for failing to tell customers that they can go to an ombudsman for further help if they’re unsatisfied.
However, the mobile giant seems desperate to rectify its mistakes – spending £15 million on improvements, from launching a new call centre in Glasgow to hiring a further 600 new customer service advisors and funding an extra 72,000 hours of customer service training for its staff. Hopefully you’ll soon reap the benefits when you call to speak with them.
At the other extreme, Tesco Mobile have received the least complaints for the last eight years – with just one customer taking issue in every 100,000.
If anything, Ofcom’s results offer food for thought when hand-picking your broadband or mobile phone provider. You can read the full report here.