Customers unhappy with home phones
After a year blighted by hidden charges and price rises, home phone customer satisfaction has hit its lowest level since 2006.
The 2008 Home Phone Customer Satisfaction Report by uSwitch.com, the independent price comparison and switching service, based on the responses of over 10,000 home phone customers, reveals that over a quarter are not satisfied with their phone company – a drop of 4% in less than a year.
The UK’s largest home phone company, BT, came bottom of the poll for the first time ever with a record number of customers (30%) not satisfied, while the UK’s second largest company, Virgin Media, comes second to last with 27% of its 4.1 million customers not satisfied.
Tim Wolfenden, head of home services at uSwitch.com, said: “The younger phone companies are easily outperforming the traditional incumbents. Sky may have swept the board in the home phone survey but its strong performance in our recent broadband poll demonstrates its commitment to delivering a consistent service across more than one product area.
“Unfortunately though, many loyal home phone customers are now finding themselves paying more for a service which, they believe, has declined. On top of the recent hikes to line rental and call charges, 13 million customers are being stung by additional fees of up to £237m a year simply for receiving their bills by paper or paying by methods other than Direct Debit. It’s extremely disappointing that 24 years since the market was deregulated to increase consumer choice and reduce prices, phone companies are still not getting it right.
“The key point is that loyalty does not pay, and it’s now up to the 7.5 million customers who have never switched to make competition work for them and vote with their feet. Switching home phone is a very simple process and by shopping around for the best deal, consumers could save up to £200 a year.”
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