TalkTalk, Vodafone Have Worst Customer Service

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Ofcom survey of broadband shows poor customer service ratings for TalkTalk and Vodafone

The usual culprits have once again been named and shamed in Ofcom’s latest survey for satisfaction with telecoms customer service.

The media and broadcasting regulator this week listed the broadband, landline and mobile phone providers as having the worst customer service records, based on a ‘comprehensive survey.’

The survey examined customer satisfaction, complaints and call-waiting times, and found that TalkTalk’s broadband customers received the worst treatment of any provider.

TalkTalk rating

The survey comes as Ofcom analyses how broadband and phone companies are serving their customers, in an effort to which broadband and phone companies are falling short in serving their customers.

Unfortunately the list is dominated by some familiar faces.

For broadband service, Ofcom found that overall eight in ten broadband customers (80 percent) report they are satisfied with their service, while 15 percent have a reason to complain.

Virgin Media broadband customers are more likely than average to recommend their provider to a friend; and Virgin Media is the only provider with above-average customer satisfaction for broadband speeds.

But TalkTalk customers are less likely to recommend their provider to a friend, and its overall satisfaction is below average.

Indeed, TalkTalk scores poorly on most customer service measures, said Ofcom. Its customers are less satisfied with reliability, more likely to have a reason to complain, and less satisfied with how their complaints are handled the regulator warned.

The only two companies which had good complaint handling procedures were judged to be Sky and EE, with around six in ten customers satisfied.

Plusnet customers tend to have to wait the longest to speak to customer service, typically at least eight minutes on average. EE customers wait the shortest amount of time to get through – only 48 seconds.

Vodafone rating

On the mobile side of things, customers have generally high satisfaction levels, as nine in ten customers (91 percent) say they are satisfied with their mobile phone service. Just 4 percent of mobile customers having a reason to complain.

Customers are most likely to recommend Tesco Mobile and giffgaff, but Vodafone and Virgin Mobile are less likely to be recommended.

These two companies also score below average in a number of satisfaction rankings, particularly when it comes to handling complaints, said the regulator.

Tesco Mobile, giffgaff and EE generally score highly compared to the sector average across several measures of service quality.

“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,” said Lindsey Fussell, Ofcom’s Consumer Group Director.

“We’re encouraging people to look beyond the price and consider customer service too,” said Fussell. “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.”

Consistently bottom

Unfortunately, Vodafone and TalkTalk tend to be consistently bottom of these types of surveys.

Earlier this month for example Vodafone was shamed by Which?’s annual mobile customer satisfaction survey, which rated it as the worst operator in the UK.

It was the seventh year running that Vodafone has been at the bottom of its rankings

Just a week before that Vodafone had topped Ofcom’s quarterly league tables for mobile operators on the complaints it receives, as had TalkTalk (for broadband).

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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