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EE, Vodafone and BT top table of most complained-about providers

Tuesday, June 30th 2015 by Hannah Langston

Ofcom received the most consumer complaints about EE, Vodafone and BT, according to its telecoms complaints data for January to March this year.

EE was the most complained-about broadband and landline provider for the period, while Vodafone generated the highest amount of mobile complaints.

BT was the most complained-about pay-TV provider for the ninth consecutive quarter.

The total volume of telecoms and pay TV complaints made to Ofcom decreased slightly in the first quarter of 2015.

Commenting on the data, Claudio Pollack, Director of Ofcom’s Content and Consumer Group, said: “Publishing provider-specific complaints data is one way we’re able to help consumers make informed choices about the services on offer to them.

“The reduction in the total volume of complaints is welcome, but there is still room for providers to improve their performance. This report is one of a number of ways we seek to give providers incentive to address areas of customer dissatisfaction.”

This is the second time EE has topped Ofcom's broadband and landline complaints league. The regulator only started including EE in its figures last year.

Complaints about EE’s landline service increased in volume from 0.36 per 1,000 customers in the last three months of 2014, to 0.39 in the first quarter of 2015.

Problems changing provider

The main EE complaint drivers were problems changing provider (33%), concerns about faults, service and provision (28%) and complaints handling (18%).

BT, Plusnet and TalkTalk also generated landline complaint volumes above the industry average of 0.13 per 1,000 customers.

Sky generated the lowest number of landline customer complaints with 0.05 per 1,000 customers, swiftly followed by Virgin Media at 0.07 complaints.

EE generated the most complaints for broadband as a proportion of its customer base during the first quarter of this year, with 0.51 per 1,000 customers.

Ofcom revealed this was the highest level of complaints it had received for a broadband provider since the first quarter of 2013.

The complaints comprised of problems relating to faults, service and provision (37%), billing, pricing and charges (20%) and complaints handling (20%).

TalkTalk, the second most complained-about broadband provider received only half (0.26 per 1,000 customers) of the number of complaints EE had received. BT and Plusnet also generated complaint volumes above the industry average.

Sky and Virgin Media again had the least number of complaints, with 0.05 per 1,000 customers and 0.09 per 1,000 customers respectively.

Billing, pricing and charges

Vodafone was the most complained-about mobile provider with 0.14 complaints per 1,000 customers for the period.

The main drivers of Vodafone complaints were problems with billing, pricing and charges (33%), complaints handling (29%) and concerns around faults, service and provision (16%).

Talk Mobile and EE came in at second and third place, although both did see a reduction in complaints since the fourth quarter of 2014.

Virgin Mobile, O2, Three UK and Tesco Mobile all generated complaints volumes below the industry average of 0.08 per 1,000 customers. Tesco Mobile generated the lowest volume of complaints per 1,000 customers (0.01) for the fourth consecutive quarter.

BT TV continued to be the most complained-about pay-TV service (0.15 per 1,000 customers. However, the number of complaints has fallen since it was first included in Ofcom’s data in the first quarter of 2013.

TalkTalk generated the second-highest complaints volumes (0.12 per 1,000 customers) and saw an increase in complaints since Q4 2014.

Sky was the only provider to generate fewer complaints than the industry average (0.01 per 1,000 customers), and it remained the best-performing pay TV provider.

On average, Ofcom receives just under 300 telecoms complaints a day from consumers.

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