As Black Friday approaches, most broadband service providers are launching early deals on their broadband and TV products. There are discounts and gift cards available on a number of broadband deals, but how can you be sure you’re getting the best deal and service from your new provider?
Ofcom is the regulatory body that oversees the telecommunications market, ensuring that providers act fairly and are held accountable when their service levels drop. Each quarter, it publishes a report of all complaints made by customers directly to Ofcom about their provider, recording performance improvements, connection issues, and which provider received the most complaints.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and our increased reliance on broadband and home phone services, customer service is more important than ever when it comes to choosing a broadband service provider.
The latest report highlights the number of complaints filed with Ofcom between April and June 2021. And as UK lockdown restrictions have started to ease, complaints have fallen across the board to levels not seen since before the pandemic.
Fergal Farragher, Ofcom’s director of consumer protection, said: “It is encouraging to see complaint numbers falling across the board to pre-pandemic levels, but vendors cannot be complacent about them. customer service.
“Those with consistently high complaints have a lot of work to do to ensure they are meeting their customers’ expectations. “
EE and Sky receive the fewest complaints for broadband, landline and mobile services
Once again, EE and Sky remain at the top of the list of telecommunications providers, receiving the fewest complaints per 100,000 customers across the board.
EE received only four complaints per 100,000 customers for its broadband services and Sky received only five per 100,000. Likewise, EE received only two complaints per 100,000 customers regarding its telephony services. fixed, while Sky only received three.
TalkTalk and Virgin Media improve, but still bottom of the rankings for broadband and pay TV
Virgin Media is often at the bottom of these Ofcom rankings, but it is encouraging to see that the provider has seen its complaint volumes drop significantly for broadband, pay TV, landline and mobile services. In previous quarters, Ofcom has raised concerns with Virgin Media about its customer service.
And while improvements have been made, it has consistently received the most complaints about its pay-TV services, with the top cause for complaint being recorded as how the company handled their complaints.
On broadband, Virgin Media did slightly better than TalkTalk, which received the most complaints with 19 complaints per 100,000 customers for the quarter.
For TalkTalk customers, their main cause of complaint was faults and service issues.
Ernest Doku, broadband expert at Uswitch.com, said: “Customer complaints increased during the Covid-19 pandemic as consumers depended on a reliable internet connection but struggled to contact their suppliers when things were going wrong.
“These numbers show that complaints have returned to pre-pandemic levels and are near record lows we saw before ‘social distancing’ entered our vocabulary.
“It is reassuring to see that the majority of customers are satisfied with their broadband, mobile and pay TV services, but providers still have work to do.
“Virgin Media is still the most criticized pay TV provider – ironically because of the way it has handled customer complaints that have come to it.
“TalkTalk recorded the highest number of complaints for broadband and fixed line services, while Virgin Mobile led the mobile rankings.
“The Ofcom report shows that more than four in ten complaints about fixed broadband were about outages, service and supply. With so many homes currently relying on their internet connections for work, education, and entertainment, it’s clear that providers need to do more to prioritize these types of issues.
What can customers do?
While Ofcom cannot resolve individual complaints, it is a great source of advice, information, and support if you are unable to obtain a satisfactory resolution from your supplier. However, contacting your supplier should always be your first step.
“Over 15 million consumers have experienced a broadband outage in the past year, so it’s clear that there are still issues facing broadband providers. If you have experienced a loss of service, be sure to raise the issue with your provider and bring it to the appropriate ombudsperson if they cannot resolve your complaint.
Upgrade to Black Friday Broadband Deals now
With a few weeks of Black Friday 2021, most UK broadband service providers have already launched their Black Friday deals. You could get discounted rates, several months of bill credit, and gift certificates in November, making this a great time to switch up if you’re not happy with your supplier.