Save, make, understand money

Household Bills

Virgin Media most complained-about provider... again

Virgin Media most complained-about provider... again
Matt Browning
Written By:
Matt Browning

Virgin Media was the most complained-about broadband, landline and pay TV provider for the second consecutive quarter, data finds.

While the media giant had a ‘sizeable’ fall in complaints compared to the previous three-month period, there were ongoing issues found in Ofcom’s complaint data.

The main issue for Virgin Media from customers was how their complaints were being handled, which has led to the regulator investigating its performance in that department.

On average, broadband providers had a third of their complaints (32%) about how complaints were handled, compared to Virgin Media’s 43% of all complaints.

In terms of its landline operations, the firm had a quarter (24%) of complaints about billing, pricing and charging, whereas the industry average was 18%.

Between October and December 2023, Virgin racked up 20 of every 100,000 complaints made to Ofcom.

Virgin Media has ‘further room for improvement’

Fergal Farragher, the regulator’s policy director, said: “We can see from these latest figures that customer dissatisfaction remains at a similar level to the previous quarter.

“While there has been an improvement in Virgin Media’s performance, its position at the bottom of our tables shows there is further room for improvement.”

At the other end of the scale, Sky continued to be the least complained-about provider for both broadband and landline services.

Further, Sky, alongside TalkTalk, had the fewest number of complaints about its TV packages.

For mobile operators, O2 garnered the most complaints in the last quarter of 2023, with customers mostly unhappy with how their concerns were being dealt with.

On the flipside, Sky Mobile, Tesco Mobile, EE and Vodafone only accounted for two complaints per 100,000 made to the regulator, compared to O2’s seven per 100,000.

The complaint figures follow Virgin Media and O2 customers being hit with a “lose-lose” choice of accepting 8.8% price hikes or walking away £700 poorer.

‘No surprise Ofcom is taking action’

Ernest Doku, telecoms expert at Uswitch.com, said: “It’s disappointing to see Virgin Media remains at the bottom of the tables for a consecutive period.”

Doku added: “While people are willing to accept that faults can happen at times, consumers could be tempted away to other providers offering a more supportive response than Virgin Media.

“It’s no surprise that Ofcom is taking action in this area with a proposed ban on inflation-linked percentage price increases, in favour of a clearer ‘pounds and pence’ format. The regulator likely hopes that this change would bring about greater transparency for consumer billing.”

Response from Virgin Media O2

A Virgin Media O2 spokesperson said: “We’re committed to providing an excellent service to our customers, and while overall these complaints represent a very small proportion of our customer base, we acknowledge there is a need for improvement, which is underway, and we’re focused on getting this right.

“We are investing heavily and making changes across our business to deliver tangible improvements – for example through multi-skilling our teams and rolling out new IT platforms that will make it easier for customers to get support when they need it, and empowering our people to resolve any issues quickly and effectively first time.”