Ofcom today published research on the volumes of complaints against the major telecoms and pay TV providers between July and September 2013.
This is Ofcom’s eleventh quarterly report, which aims to provide useful information for consumers and incentivise operators to improve their performance.
Overall, the total volume of telecoms and pay TV complaints made to Ofcom during the third quarter of 2013 increased slightly. Complaints about landline telephone, broadband and pay TV were higher than for the previous quarter.
Claudio Pollack, Director of Ofcom’s Consumer Group said: “We’re committed to providing valuable and transparent information to help consumers make an informed decision when considering an alternative provider or a new service.
“We also hope this data will incentivise providers as they work to address issues driving complaints and improve their performance.”
Landline telephone services
In the landline telephone market, TalkTalk generated the most complaints during the third quarter of 2013, with 0.31 complaints per 1,000 customers.
TalkTalk complaints are at their lowest level since Ofcom first began publishing complaints data although still remain above the industry average. The main issues driving complaints were service faults and problems with changing provider.
BT also generated complaints in excess of the industry average at 0.23 per 1,000 customers in Q3 2013.
Both Sky and Virgin Media generated complaints below the industry average. Virgin Media had the fewest number of complaints, at 0.08 complaints per 1,000 customers, while Sky generated 0.11 complaints per 1,000 customers.
Landline telephone complaints per 1,000 customers, July 2011 – September 2013
During the third quarter of 2013, Orange/EE 1 generated the most complaints for broadband as a proportion of its customer base, at 0.45 per 1,000 customers – more than double the industry average. Complaints were mainly driven by problems with billing and service faults.
BT was the second most complained about broadband provider, generating above average complaints at 0.41 per 1,000 subscribers. TalkTalk also generated complaints in excess of the industry average, at 0.27 for every 1,000 customers.
Virgin Media’s service attracted fewest complaints (0.08 per 1,000 customers) followed by Sky (0.09 per 1,000 customers).
Fixed broadband complaints per 1,000 customers, July 2011 – September 2013
Pay-monthly mobile telephone services
Removed while data checks being conducted.
As Ofcom has not received more than 30 complaints per month about any pay-as-you-go mobile provider, we have not included separate data for these. However, Ofcom continues to closely monitor levels of complaints for pay-as-you-go mobile.
Pay TV services 2
From July to September 2013, Ofcom received the most complaints about BT TV (formerly BT Vision 3) at 0.56 complaints per 1,000 subscribers – more than doubling from 0.26 in the previous quarter.
Complaints about BT TV peaked in August 2013, of which almost half were about BT Sport which launched on 1 August 2013. Overall complaints about BT TV were primarily related to service issues and complaints handling.
The relative positions of Virgin Media and Sky remained the same as for the previous quarter. Virgin Media’s complaints were below industry average at 0.05 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 2013
Note difference in scale to landline and broadband services
NOTES FOR EDITORS