The broadband regulator Ofcom has published the results of an extensive survey assessing the performance of the UK’s mobile and broadband providers.
Plusnet was found to have the most satisfied broadband customers, with a reported customer satisfaction rate of 86%, whilst TalkTalk had the lowest rate at just 72%.
Commenting on the findings, Lindsey Fussell, consumer group director at Ofcom, said that “people often focus on price when they’re choosing a phone or broadband provider, but there are big differences in the customer service offered by providers. We are encouraging people to look beyond the price and consider customer service, too. In such a competitive market companies simply can’t afford to let their service standards slip. If they don’t up their game, customers can vote with their feet.”
The study looked at various providers’ call waiting times, the number of complaints they received, and their customer satisfaction levels. Plusnet topped the customer satisfaction charts despite it performing below the average on all the other aspects assessed.
Plusnet’s call waiting time was 7 minutes and 50 seconds, well over the reported average of 1 minute 40 seconds. Ofcom also received 99 complaints about Plusnet per 100,000 customers, whilst the average number of complaints across all the companies in the survey was 75 per 100,000.
Additionally Plusnet customers were reportedly less satisfied with the handling of their complaints, with only 48% reporting satisfaction in this area – just below the 50% average across the whole industry.
At the other end of the spectrum, TalkTalk was judged to have the least satisfied customers, performing the worst in several of the categories in Ofcom’s study. Almost 20% of TalkTalk customers had cause for complaint, and only 40% of those who did were satisfied with the way in which that complaint was handled. TalkTalk was narrowly edged out by BT in having the largest number of complaints to Ofcom per 100,000 subscribers, with 113 to BT’s 115.
The CEO of the charity Citizens Advice, Gillian Guy, stated that “Consumers deserve services that meet the demands of modern life”, but that upon analysis “these new figures show that not all providers are delivering. Citizens Advice research also reveals that loyal customers face higher prices in the telecoms market.”