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Plusnet tops broadband and landline regulator complaints

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Written by: Emma Lunn
23/07/2019
Ofcom also named Vodafone and Virgin Mobile as the most complained about mobile firms.

Ofcom has published its latest league tables on the complaints the regulator received about the UK’s major broadband, home phone, mobile and pay-TV firms.

The quarterly report looks at the number of complaints made to Ofcom between January and March this year. It examines all providers with a market share of 1.5 per cent or more of the relevant market.

Broadband and landline

Plusnet was the most complained-about provider for both broadband and landline services, with 31 and 24 complaints per 100,000 customers respectively between January and March. It is the second quarter in a row that Plusnet has occupied the top spot for broadband complaints.

Plusnet’s customer complaints mainly centred around billing, pricing and charges (38 per cent), with 28 per cent of customers annoyed at how complaints were handled, and 24 per cent irritated by faults, service and provision issues.

Vodafone was the second most complained about broadband provider with 30 complaints per 100,000 customers.

However, these figures were lower than in the previous quarter, reflecting the general trend in complaints for the broadband and landline markets. Ofcom said the average number of complaints per 100,000 customers stood at 13 in the first quarter.

Sky and EE were the least complained about broadband providers, with both receiving five complaints per 100,000 customers. The pair also received the fewest complaints for landline services, with Sky receiving five complaints per 100,000 customers, and EE just four.

Mobile

Vodafone and Virgin Mobile were jointly the most complained-about mobile providers, with six complaints per 100,000 customers, against an industry average of three.

The biggest reasons for complaints were problems with billing, pricing and issues related to changing providers. Ofcom’s new text-to-switch initiative is designed to make switching easier and should help to reduce consumer frustration when changing providers.

Tesco received the fewest complaints about its mobile service – just one complaint per 100,000 customers.

Pay-TV

TalkTalk was the most complained-about pay TV provider, after its complaints per 100,000 subscribers doubled from seven in the previous quarter to 14 this quarter.

Sky received the fewest complaints about its TV service – just one per 100,000 customers.

Dani Warner, broadband expert at uSwitch.com, said: “It’s disappointing to once again see Plusnet as the most complained about provider for landline and broadband, despite the volume of complaints falling since the end of last year. Overall, however, the bigger picture presents a better story, with fewer complaints about both mobile and broadband providers across the board.

“In a competitive marketplace where consumers are spoilt for choice by a wide range of comparable and high-quality offerings, customer service is a crucial battleground for providers to attract and retain users. But for many companies, customer service still does not meet the standards that consumers deserve and expect.

“You shouldn’t be reluctant to complain to your provider if you have a problem or aren’t happy with the service you are paying for. If you remain dissatisfied, don’t forget you can take your complaint to the appropriate ombudsman services, who will review your case free of charge.”

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