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Shell Energy and TalkTalk receive most broadband complaints

Written by: Emma Lunn
The two firms were bottom of the Ofcom league tables reflecting how many customer complaints were made to the regulator between October and December last year.

Shell had 15 complaints per 100,000 broadband customers taken to Ofcom, mainly driven by faults and service issues. TalkTalk had 14 complaints per 100,000 customers.

The two firms also rated poorly for landline complaints. TalkTalk had 10 complaints per 100,000 customers regarding landlines taken to the regulator, and Shell Energy nine complaints per 100,000 customers.

The broadband firms with the least complaints were Sky and EE with four and five complaints per 100,000 customers respectively passed to the regulator. The same two firms also rated the best for landline complaints, with two and three complaints per 100,000 customers respectively.

Ofcom’s quarterly report found that the number of complaints made to Ofcom remain at all-time low levels. Nearly all providers across all sectors reduced or maintained the same level of complaints from the previous quarter.

EE, Sky Mobile, Tesco Mobile, iD Mobile and BT Mobile all generated the fewest pay-monthly mobile complaints, while Virgin Mobile and Vodafone were the most complained-about mobile operators. Sky also had the fewest complaints about pay-TV, with Virgin Media attracting the most.

Fergal Farragher, Ofcom’s consumer protection director, says: “It’s encouraging that overall complaints remain at record lows, but that doesn’t mean customer service is where it should be across the board.

“There are still big differences in performance between some providers. So it’s definitely worth shopping around and voting with your feet, if you’re not happy with the service you’re getting.”

Anyone experiencing problems with their broadband, landline or mobile should complain to their provider first. Those unhappy with the outcome can take the complaint to an independent ombudsman, who will look at the case and make a judgment on it.

Ernest Doku, telecoms expert at says: “Today’s figures show an overall decline in the number of complaints made to telecom providers in the last quarter of 2021, which is welcome news. Yet since then, prices have increased significantly across broadband, mobile and pay-TV services, so it’s likely that this trend could change in the coming months, with many consumers unhappy with recent bill hikes.

“Shell Energy continues to be the worst performer on customer service, with complaints for its broadband offering well above the national average. Among the largest providers on the market, TalkTalk and Vodafone in particular have their work cut out to reduce their share of dissatisfied customers.

“When it comes to mobile services it is disappointing to see Virgin Mobile customers are experiencing the most problems, especially as Virgin Media is also above the industry average for broadband complaints.

“With budgets being squeezed more than ever before, providers need to not only offer products which are good value for money, but prove that they are genuinely focussed on delivering customer satisfaction.”

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