Latest telecoms and pay TV complaints figures
26 March 2014
Ofcom today published the
volumes of complaints made to Ofcom against the major providers of telecoms and pay TV services between October and December 2013.
Overall, the total volume of telecoms and pay TV complaints decreased in Q4 2013. Complaints were lower quarter on quarter across landline telephone, broadband, pay monthly mobile and pay TV services. Complaints in the mobile pay-as-you-go sector were consistent with levels in Q3 2013.
This is Ofcom's twelfth quarterly report, which aims to provide useful information for consumers and incentivise operators to improve their performance.
For the first time, complaints made against TalkTalk's pay TV service in Q4 2013 are reported, as the threshold for including them has been met.
Landline telephone services
In the landline telephone market, TalkTalk generated the most complaints during the final quarter of 2013, with 0.27 complaints per 1,000 customers.
However, its complaints have continued to decrease quarter on quarter and are now at their lowest levels since Ofcom first began publishing complaints. Complaints were mainly related to service faults and complaints handling.
BT also generated complaints above the industry average at 0.20 per 1,000 customers in Q4 2013.
Virgin Media had the fewest number of complaints about its landline service, at 0.06 complaints per 1,000 customers.
Landline telephone complaints per 1,000 customers, October 2011 – December 2013
For the first time, BT generated the most complaints for broadband as a proportion of its customer base – 0.32 per 1,000 customers during Q4 2013. Complaints were primarily driven by service faults and issues with how complaints were handled.
EE was the second most complained about broadband provider, generating above industry average complaints at 0.29 per 1,000 subscribers. TalkTalk also generated complaints above the industry average, at 0.21 for every 1,000 customers.
Virgin Media's service attracted fewest complaints (0.07 per 1,000 customers) followed by Sky (0.08 per 1,000 customers).
Fixed broadband complaints per 1,000 customers, October 2011 – December 2013
Pay-monthly mobile telephone services
Ofcom received the most complaints about pay-monthly mobile telephone services from Orange customers during Q4 2013.
Orange generated above average complaints at 0.12 per 1,000 customers, largely driven by issues related to billing and complaints handling.
Orange was closely followed by T-Mobile which also generated complaints in excess of the industry average, at 0.11 per 1,000 customers. Complaints about Virgin Mobile were also above the industry average at 0.07 per 1,000 customers.
Ofcom received fewest complaints about O2 and Three. Complaints against Three are now at their lowest level since Ofcom began publishing complaints data (0.033 per 1,000 customers). O2 retained its position as the provider generating fewest complaints (0.029 per thousand customers).
Mobile telephone (pay-monthly) complaints per 1,000 customers, October 2011 – December 2013
Note: difference in scale to landline, broadband and pay TV services
Pay TV services
From October to December 2013, Ofcom received the most complaints about BT TV at 0.31 complaints per 1,000 subscribers. Although volumes had notably decreased compared to the previous quarter, they remained well above the industry average. Complaints mainly related to service faults and billing.
Having met the threshold for inclusion, TalkTalk pay TV complaints have been reported for the first time. In Q4 2013, TalkTalk generated pay TV complaints in excess of the industry average at 0.19 per 1,000 subscribers.
The relative positions of Virgin Media and Sky remained the same as for the previous quarter. Sky retained its position as the provider generating the fewest number of complaints – 0.02 per 1,000 customers.
Pay TV complaints per 1,000 customers, October 2011 – December 2013
Claudio Pollack, Director of Ofcom’s Consumer Group said: "This report acts as a significant incentive to providers to work to address issues driving complaints and deliver an improved quality of service to their customers.
"We’re committed to giving consumers valuable information to help them choose a provider that best suits their needs. Consumer complaints also help us to identify where enforcement action is needed and ensure that providers comply with our rules."