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Broadband providers told to 'up their game' as Ofcom publishes customer service data

Wednesday, April 12th 2017 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

A tenth of customers spend so long on the phone to their broadband provider they give up without even speaking to someone, Ofcom has revealed.

The regulator’s Comparing Service Quality report shows the average call waiting time for broadband customer services is two minutes 51 seconds.

Plusnet customers face the longest wait to be connected at seven minutes 27 seconds, with more than a fifth hanging up without reaching an advisor.

Only 8% of Plusnet customers have reason to complain, according to the report, compared to 16% of TalkTalk and Virgin Media customers.

But Virgin has the highest satisfaction rating of the big four at 91%. Sky is second on 88% followed by BT (84%) and TalkTalk (83%).

The figures from Ofcom’s latest report are available online in the form of an interactive ‘service quality comparison tool’ intended to inform consumers looking for a new provider.

Sharon White, Ofcom’s chief executive, said: “We’re determined to help bring about a service revolution in the telecoms sector, where consistency and excellence become the norm, and customers always come first.

“Today we want to shine a light on how different providers perform, and are challenging the industry to up its game on customer service.

“We’ll be monitoring closely to ensure industry service standards are raised.”

'Severe slowdowns'

Ofcom also today published its annual report on home broadband performance, comparing 19 popular packages from seven providers.

The average UK download speed was 36.2Mbps in November 2016 according to the report, an increase of 7.3Mbps since November 2015. The average upload speed was 4.3Mbps, an increase of 0.6Mbps.

Virgin Media’s 200Mbps package was the fastest of those tested, achieving an average download speed of 173.1Mbps over a 24-hour period.

But Ofcom warned that a “significant minority of Virgin Media’s customers suffer severe slowdowns at peak times”.

The telecoms watchdog said 9% of customers on Virgin's 50Mbps package and 6% of those paying for 100Mbps experience speeds of 10Mbps or less during peak times.

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