TalkTalk complaints rocket
Complaints about TalkTalk rocketed between October and December 2016, according to the latest quarterly complaints data published by regulator Ofcom.
The telecoms provider saw home phone complaints rise from 16 per 100,000 customers between July and September to 23 per 100,000 customers in the last quarter of the year.
When it came to broadband, complaints were up from 19 per 100,000 customers in the third quarter of the year to 29 in the fourth quarter, while mobile and pay TV complaints also rose from six complaints per 100,000 customers to nine.
The provider wouldn’t tell us why it thought complaints had risen. A TalkTalk spokesperson would only say: "We always strive to do the best for our customers. We are continually investing to make our service simpler, faster, more reliable and even better value for money. Our ongoing improvement programme has led to higher levels of customer satisfaction and more customers recommending TalkTalk.
“Nevertheless, we are determined to provide our customers with the best possible experience and understand we can always do more.”
The best and worst providers revealed
Despite TalkTalk’s rising complaints, it wasn’t the worst provider in any of the four product categories. We breakdown the details below.
Broadband: BT most complained about. BT received the most complaints at 33 per 100,000 customers, although this was down from 36 in the previous quarter. The next most complained about provider was Plusnet, although again its complaints were down to 30 per 100,000 customers from 31. Sky was the least complained about with eight complaints per 100,000 customers – up from seven.
Home phone: Plusnet the most complained about. Here, the worst provider was Plusnet, receiving 24 complaints per 100,000 customers, although this was down from 25 in the previous quarter. It was followed by the Post Office with 23 complaints per 100,000 customers – up from 20. The provider with the fewest home phone complaints was Sky, with seven per 100,000 customers.
Mobile: Vodafone the most complained about. Vodafone was the most complained about mobile provider with 24 complaints per 100,000 customers, up from 18 in the third quarter of the year. The telecoms provider was fined £4.6 million for serious billing issues last October. Talk Mobile was the next most complained about, as detailed above. At the other end of the scale, Tesco Mobile received the fewest complaints at 0.5 per 100,000 customers – down from one.
Pay TV: BT the most complained about. BT was also the most complained about pay TV provider, with 17 complaints per 100,000 customers – down from 19 the previous quarter. TalkTalk was the next most complained about, as detailed above. Again, Sky was the least complained about, with one complaint per 100,000 customers – no change on the previous quarter.
Unhappy with your provider? Complain
If you’re not happy with your mobile, broadband, home phone, or TV provider, complain. You need to complain to the company involved in the first instance – online complaints tool Resolver (Resolver.co.uk) can help with this.
If this doesn’t work, you can take your complaint to the ombudsman service your provider is signed up to, which is most likely to be the Ombudsman Services (Ombudsman-services.org) or the Communications and Internet Services Adjudication Scheme (CISAS), which can be found at Cedr.com/cisas.
Lindsey Fussell, Ofcom’s consumer group director, says: “Providers must get on and deliver consistently excellent customer service, and we expect this to be their number one priority.”
If you’ve have a complaint about a financial service product you have bought but the company you bought it from refuses to resolve your problem after eight weeks, the Ombudsman can help. The Ombudsman will investigate and resolve the matter. The Ombudsman is independent and its service is free to consumers. The Ombudsman may find in the company’s favour but consumers don’t have accept its decision and are always free to go to court instead. But if they do accept an Ombudsman’s decision, it is binding both on them and on the business.