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East Anglia Future 50

How does your broadband or mobile phone provider score for customer service?

PUBLISHED: 08:32 03 May 2018 | UPDATED: 08:33 03 May 2018

Ofcom claims the new survey is its

Ofcom claims the new survey is its "most comprehensive" on telecoms customer service to date. Picture: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

Archant

TalkTalk's customer service is the worst among broadband providers, while Vodafone and Virgin Mobile have turned in below-average scores among mobile companies, an Ofcom survey has found.

According to the regulator’s “most comprehensive” survey into telecoms customer service, TalkTalk customers are less likely to recommend their provider to a friend and their overall satisfaction is below average.

Ofcom said TalkTalk customers are less satisfied with reliability, more likely to have a reason to complain and less satisfied with how their complaints are handled than any other provider.

Overall, eight in 10 broadband customers (80%) said they were satisfied with their service.

Virgin Media was the only provider with above-average customer satisfaction for broadband speeds and its broadband customers are more likely than average to recommend the company to a friend.

However, Ofcom said the broadband industry could improve its handling of complaints, with the amount of time people are kept waiting on the phone to customer service lines varying widely.

Plusnet customers had to wait the longest at an average of almost eight minutes, while EE customers had an average wait of just 48 seconds.

Among mobile providers, Vodafone and Virgin Mobile scored below average in several satisfaction rankings, particularly in complaints handling.

Overall, 91% of customers said they were satisfied with their mobile phone service, with just 4% having a reason to complain.

Tesco Mobile and giffgaff customers were more likely to recommend their provider to a friend, while the two providers as well as EE generally scored highly compared to the sector average for the quality of their service.

Ofcom encouraged customers to compare providers and switch if they are “not getting the service they deserve”.

Lindsey Fussell, Ofcom’s consumer group director, said: “People often focus on price when they’re choosing a phone or broadband provider. But there are big differences in the customer service offered by providers.

“We’re encouraging people to look beyond the price and consider customer service too. In such a competitive market, companies simply can’t afford to let their service standards slip.

“If they don’t up their game, customers can vote with their feet.”

A TalkTalk spokesman said: “While these results are disappointing, we are already seeing more customers staying with us than ever before as we roll out major service improvements.

“We’ve closed down our call centres in India, we have introduced new online tools to help customers resolve issues quickly and conveniently and we are launching new wi-fi routers to strengthen network reliability.

“All these initiatives are starting to deliver material improvement in satisfaction levels.”

Vodafone said its own, independently verified consumer satisfaction score increased 12 points in the last year to its best ever level.

A spokeswoman said: “But we know there is still more to do. This year, we’re recruiting even more UK-based customer service employees and are empowering our front-line team to resolve more customer inquiries first time.”

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