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Vodafone tops broadband complaints charts

Written by: Danielle Levy
Vodafone was the most complained about broadband and landline provider between July and September last year, according to regulator Ofcom’s figures.

Virgin Media also generated the most complaints for pay-monthly mobile and pay-TV services during the third quarter, according to Ofcom’s data. The two most common areas that Virgin’s customers complained about were contract issues and the company’s handling of complaints.

In contrast, Sky generated the lowest volume of complaints per 100,000 subscribers for pay-TV, and also claimed bottom spot alongside EE for complaints relating to landline services.

Tesco Mobile also fared well, generating the lowest volume of complaints for pay-monthly mobile.

Vodafone topped the complaints charts for both broadband and landline services for the first time, with consumers expressing their frustrations about the company’s complaints handling process, faults, as well as service and provision issues.

It replaced TalkTalk as the most complained about provider. Nevertheless, TalkTalk still generated complaint volumes above the industry average for fixed broadband and landline services. BT and Plusnet also fell into this category.

Across all services, the regulator noted that broadband and landline continued to generate the highest volume of complaints, while pay-monthly mobile and pay-TV generated the lowest amount of complaints.

Time to switch?

Commenting on the figures, Jane Rumble, Ofcom’s director of consumer policy, said: “With so much competition in telecoms and TV services, companies that are falling short need to make service quality and complaints handling their priority. Customers who aren’t happy with their provider can shop around and vote with their feet.”

Meanwhile, Ernest Doku, telecoms expert at comparison site uSwitch, noted that the complaints tables provided cause for concern for companies in the ultra-competitive environment we find ourselves in today.

“Vodafone will especially be feeling the heat here as, for the first time, the provider has topped the table for receiving the highest number of complaints for its broadband and landline services,”

“However, this is the first time the provider has had enough customers – proportionally – to justify its inclusion in these figures,” he added.

Alex Neill, Which? managing director of home products and services, noted that customers continue to suffer with problems ranging from slow speeds to unexpected price hikes and connection dropouts.

“And to make matters worse, our research has shown that long-standing customers are most likely to be overpaying for shoddy broadband service,” she added.

Don’t be afraid to complain

Doku added that any consumers who are unhappy with the service they are receiving from their provider should not be afraid to shop around or complain.

“If you have a problem or aren’t happy with the service you are paying for, let them know. If you remain dissatisfied don’t forget you can take your complaint to the ombudsman services, who will review your case free of charge,” he added.

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