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EE most complained-about broadband provider, says Ofcom

Tuesday, December 15th 2015 by Ellen Branagh

EE was the most complained-about broadband provider in the third quarter of the year, according to Ofcom figures.

The telecoms regulator said EE generated the most complaints for fixed line broadband as a proportion of its customer base – 45 per 100,000 customers – during the period.

40% of those were about problems relating to faults, service and provision, 20% were about billing, pricing and charges and 19% related to complaints handling.

EE also produced the most landline complaints and the second highest volume of complaints for mobile.

The figures are part of Ofcom’s latest report on the volume of consumer complaints it received against the major telecoms and pay TV providers.

Covering the three months from July to September 2015, it includes complaints about 13 landline, broadband, pay monthly mobile and pay TV providers.

According to the report, the total volume of telecoms and pay TV complaints made to Ofcom increased between Q2 and Q3 2015, with the most notable increases in broadband and fixed line telephone.

Complaints about pay monthly mobile and pay TV also increased, while the total complaint volume for mobile pay-as-you-go stayed at similar levels to the previous quarter.

While EE was the most complained about broadband provider, Plusnet and BT saw increases in their broadband complaints.

Complaints about Plusnet increased to 37 per 100,000 customers (from 20 per 100,000) and complaints about BT rose to 35 per 100,000 customers (from 22 per 100,000). Both were driven by a rise in complaints relating to faults, service and provision.

Complaints about TalkTalk increased to 33 per 100,000 customers – higher than the industry average of 22 per 100,000 customers.

'Disappointing'

Sky complaints (seven per 100,000 customers) were below the average but rose slightly since Q2 while Virgin Media complaints were also below the average and had dropped slightly.

Claudio Pollack, director of Ofcom’s content and consumer group, said: “We expect providers to make customer service and complaints handling top priorities, so it’s disappointing to see a rise in the number of complaints.

“Consumers have a right to expect good service and will rightfully complain when that standard isn’t met.

“Ofcom is continuing work to make switching easier and our complaints data allows consumers to make meaningful comparisons that can be useful when looking for a new provider.”

For landline complaints, EE and Plusnet generated the highest volumes while BT, Post Office HomePhone and TalkTalk also generated higher-than-average volumes of complaints.

Virgin Media was the best performing provider when it came to landline complaints, followed by Sky.

For mobile Vodafone was the most complained-about provider, with EE the only other mobile provider to generate more complaints than the industry average.

Tesco Mobile generated the lowest volume of complaints per 100,000 customers for the seventh consecutive quarter, with just one complaint.

For pay TV, BT became the most complained-about provider in the third quarter of 2015, while complaint levels for TalkTalk remained in line with the previous quarter – a potentially surprising figure given the company’s data hack debacle in October.

The only provider to generate fewer complaints than the industry average was Sky (two per 100,000 customers), which remained the best-performing pay TV provider.

Ofcom said that on average it receives slightly fewer than 300 telecoms complaints a day from consumers.

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