Complaints to UK regulator Ofcom about broadband and landline services hit a three-year high in the first quarter of this year, while complaints about pay TV services also increased in the three months to March.
According to Ofcom, the increase was largely driven by Virgin Media, which was the most complained-about broadband, landline and pay TV provider. The main reason customers complained to Ofcom about Virgin Media was to do with how the company handled their complaints, the watchdog said.
Virgin Mobile was also the most complained-about mobile operator, along with Three; while Tesco Mobile, Sky Mobile and EE generated the fewest complaints.
Sky and EE were also the least complained-about broadband and landline providers, and Sky attracted the fewest complaints for pay TV.
In pay TV, Virgin Media generated 17 complaints per 100,000 customers, compared with an industry average of six. BT, the second most complained about pay TV provider, generated eight complaints on average while Sky, the least complained about provider, generated two complaints per 100,000 customers.
A Virgin Media spokesperson said: “Providing a great customer experience alongside fast, reliable services is our number one priority. Since Ofcom collected its data for this report, we have made a number of improvements to our customer service, including hiring more than 500 care agents, which has seen complaints decrease by 70% putting them at their lowest level since 2018. We will keep investing and making improvements to give our customers the high-quality service they rightly expect.”
Fergal Farragher, Ofcom’s consumer protection director, said: “These complaints figures are from the peak of the pandemic, which was a difficult time for everyone, including businesses. But some providers clearly struggled with customer service more than others, and we understand how frustrating that must’ve been for their customers at a time when they needed their communications services the most. We have been clear to providers that we expect performance to now return to at least the levels we saw before the pandemic hit – or even better.”
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