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Latest telecoms and pay TV complaints figures revealed

Man looking at billOfcom today published its latest complaints data, revealing the most and least complained about major telecoms and pay TV providers between July and September 2012.

This is Ofcom’s seventh quarterly report, which aims to help consumers make informed decisions when considering a new service or provider and also to incentivise operators to improve their performance

Overall, complaints levels are much lower for pay TV and ‘pay-as-you-go’ mobile telephone services than for broadband services, landline telephone and ‘pay monthly’ mobile telephone services.

Landline telephone services

In the landline telephone market, TalkTalk generated the most complaints during the third quarter of 2012, with 0.39 complaints per 1,000 customers.

Although remaining well above the industry average, TalkTalk complaints continued to fall quarter on quarter, mainly due to a significant reduction in billing-related complaints.

BT complaints moved above the industry average level to 0.21 complaints per 1,000 customers in Q3, increasing from 0.19 the previous quarter.

Virgin Media and Sky jointly achieved the fewest number of complaints at 0.12 complaints per 1,000 customers, falling from 0.14 in the previous quarter.

Landline telephone complaints per 1,000 customers, October 2010 – September 2012

Broadband services

Orange generated the most complaints as a proportion of its broadband customer base at 0.50 per 1,000, increasing from 0.29 per 1,000 customers three months earlier.

The data reveals a significant spike in complaints in September. This appears to be related to Orange’s customer notification of the withdrawal of its free broadband offer unless customers acquired line rental from the company.

TalkTalk was the second most complained about broadband provider, with complaints falling quarter on quarter from 0.42 to 0.35 per 1,000 subscribers. Its complaints remain higher than the industry average, but this is the first quarter since Ofcom first began publishing complaints data that TalkTalk did not have the highest volume of broadband complaints.

BT also generated above average complaints levels, rising slightly quarter-on-quarter from 0.31 to 0.34 per 1000 subscribers. Sky’s broadband service attracted fewest complaints – 0.09 per 1,000 customers.

Fixed broadband complaints per 1,000 customers, October 2010 – September 2012

Pay-monthly mobile services

Ofcom received the most complaints from T-Mobile customers during the three months to the end of September. T-Mobile generated 0.17 complaints per 1,000 customers, mainly driven by disputes over billing and how complaints were handled.

T-Mobile, 3UK, Orange and Vodafone all generated complaints in excess of the industry average. O2 was the least complained about mobile provider with 0.05 complaints per 1,000 customers.

Following consultation, Ofcom will no longer be publishing total mobile complaints, and for this and future publications we will report on pay-monthly and pay-as-you-go complaints for greater accuracy.

As Ofcom has not received more than 30 complaints per month about any pay-as-you-go provider, it is not statistically valid to include separate data for these in this publication. However, Ofcom continues to monitor closely pay-as-you-go mobile complaint levels.

Mobile telephone (pay-monthly) complaints per 1,000 customers, October 2010 – September 2012

Pay TV services

From July to September 2012, Ofcom received the most complaints about BT Vision at 0.23 complaints per 1,000 customers. Despite a marginal decrease from 0.25 the previous quarter, complaints about BT Vision are still six-times greater than the industry average. Complaints were partly driven by problems with service provision.

Virgin Media attracted above industry average complaints at 0.06 complaints per 1,000 customers, while Sky had the lowest number of complaints – 0.02 per 1,000 customers.

Pay TV complaints per 1,000 customers, October 2011 – September 2012

Note difference in scale to landline and broadband services


Ofcom’s telecoms advice and complaints section explains what you need to do to get your phone and broadband problems solved and who you need to complain to.

The section is split into nine areas including billing and charges, switchingnuisance calls,faultscontractsthe way a service was sold and customer service.

Each section explains the complaints process for a particular problem and includes direct links to the right organisation to handle your problem.

There are also links to our guides which include advice on everything from call costs and billing problems, to mobile phone coverageprice comparison sites and broadband speeds.

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