Orange Tops Ofcom’s List of ISP Complaints

For the first time in two years, TalkTalk is not the top of Ofcom’s complaints list

The Office of Communications (Ofcom) has published another quarterly report, establishing who’s been naughty or nice in the telecoms market, and Orange is now the least-popular service provider based on the number of customer complaints.

The report covers the period from July to September 2012. In an unexpected turn of events, TalkTalk has avoided the title of the worst broadband provider, which it held for the last two years. Instead, it was Orange that incurred the wrath of its customers, after a controversial change in its free broadband policy.

In the mobile market, O2 was hailed as the best service provider, while T-Mobile was branded the worst.

Nothing is static

Ofcom has been collecting complains data for the telecoms sector for the last two years, allowing customers to see progress, or the lack of it, over a period of time. The watchdog publishes this information in the hope that it will serve as a useful benchmark for consumers, as well as an incentive for service providers to up their game.

Complaints to Ofcom are a serious business, as they are usually made when the provider of the service has failed to resolve an issue.

In the three months ending with September, TalkTalk managed to avoid coming top of the list, where it has traditionally resided since Ofcom first started publishing this data. According to the communications watchdog, TalkTalk was to blame for just 0.35 complaints per 1,000 customers, while Orange managed to attract 0.5 complaints per 1,000.

Ofcom notes that the downfall of Orange started in September, when the ISP announced it would withdraw its free broadband offer unless customers acquired line rental from the company. The best Internet service – or the one getting fewest complaints – was provided by Sky, with less than one complaint for every 10,000 broadband users.

In the landline telephone market, TalkTalk was still the target of the most complaints, but the company improved considerably over the last quarter. Based on customer satisfaction, Virgin Media and Sky were the best service providers during this period.

In the mobile department, T-Mobile generated the most complaints in proportion to its customer base (0.17 per 1,000), while O2 had just one complaint per 20,000 customers.

As far as Pay TV goes, even though the number of complaints about BT Vision decreased, it is still six-times greater than the industry average. Sky had the lowest number of issues – just 0.02 per 1,000 customers.

The full report is available here.

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