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TalkTalk tops table – for Ofcom complaints

David Pawsey, Friday September 23, 2011 - 10:14 AM

TalkTalk is the most complained about broadband provider, figures published by Ofcom have revealed.

Data taken from the second quarter of the year, April to June, revealed the telecoms watchdog received 0.58 complaints for every 1,000 customers for TalkTalk’s broadband service.

This is the second consecutive quarter TalkTalk has topped the table for complaints, with 0.81 complaints for every 1,000 customers between January and March of 2011.

Although the number of complaints about TalkTalk has fallen significantly over the past year, the latest data follows a £3m fine the provider received for incorrectly billing 65,000 customers for services they had not received. It is the largest financial penalty ever imposed on a telecoms provider by Ofcom.

The data revealed Virgin Media was the least maligned provider with just 0.15 complaints per 1,000 users. Claudio Pollack, the consumer group director of Ofcom, said the reports gave the customers important information and “hopes to incentivise communications providers to improve their performance”.

A spokesperson for TalkTalk said: “It is encouraging that Ofcom’s data demonstrates that, following the Tiscali integration, the service we offer our customers has significantly improved in the last quarter with the number of complaints as a percentage of customers dropping by over 50 per cent. We are simplifying our business for the benefit of our customers, and calls to our customer services teams are down 40 per cent from this time last year. We are also connecting new customers much more quickly and efficiently – last year it took an average of 23 days, today a customer will be connected in 14 days, which is the minimum allowed due to the cooling-off period.”

The Ofcom data covers 89 per cent of the fixed telephone, fixed broadband and mobile markets, and was widened this quarter to include providers with at least a 4 per cent market share (it was previously 5 per cent) who generate at least 30 complaints a month. The data only covers telecoms complaints that consumers have chosen to report to Ofcom, and does not represent complaints consumers may have made directly to providers.

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Article keywords:   Broadband, Ofcom, Talktalk, Virgin Media