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Broadband satisfaction improving, but TalkTalk still failing customers

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Ofcom figures show that overall satisfaction with broadband services is improving, but TalkTalk is still below the industry average with customers more likely to complain and less likely to have their complaint resolved satisfactorily.

Overall, 83% of broadband customers are satisfied with their service, up from 80% last year. Mobile satisfaction was even higher, at 90%, with only 3% saying they are unhappy with their service.

Sky is the least-complained about provider across all four services – broadband, landline, mobile and pay TV.

For broadband, TalkTalk was a notable laggard, with its customers less likely to be satisfied with their overall service and less likely to recommend their provider to a friend. For mobile, Vodafone customers are less likely to be satisfied with value for money (82%), while Virgin Mobile customers have below-average satisfaction with how their complaint is handled..

Giffgaff and Tesco Mobile customers are more likely to recommend their provider to a friend. Their customers also have above-average satisfaction with value for money. Satisfaction with mobile reception is increasing across the board (87%, up from 84% last year).

Billing problems

Complaints to Ofcom about broadband firms fell by 23% last year. However, complaints about Plusnet – owned by BT – more than doubled in the last quarter of 2018 after the company experienced issues with a new billing system. Complaints to Ofcom about mobile companies fell by 15% last year.

Lindsey Fussell, Ofcom’s consumer group director, said: “Shabby service can be more than just frustrating; it can have a big impact on people and small businesses who rely on being connected. When you’re shopping around for a phone or broadband service, quality can be just as important as price. This information can help buyers make the right decision.”

Dani Warner, telecoms expert at, added: “With providers increasingly unable to differentiate their offerings on broadband speeds alone, more pressure is falling on providers to ensure their customer service is good enough to attract and retain consumers.

“In the case of TalkTalk, which continuously ranked poorly in terms of customer care at the tail end of last year, these figures aren’t particularly flattering.

“On the mobiles side, smaller providers once again proved that they had the edge in keeping their customers happy with MVNOs giffgaff and Tesco Mobile topping the list of providers most likely to be recommended for a second year in a row.

“Overall though, the big picture is of fewer complaints from both mobile and broadband customers across the board which shows that the industry is moving in the right direction.”

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