TalkTalk comes off worst in Ofcom complaint stats

TalkTalk comes off worst in Ofcom complaint stats

Summary: The company's landline and broadband services inspired more complaints to the telecoms regulator than those of any other major provider, Ofcom has said


TalkTalk's customers have lodged more complaints with Ofcom than those of any other landline and broadband provider, according to statistics from the telecoms regulator.

Follow the campaign

Data-roaming charges campaign

Find interviews, analysis and news to keep you up-to-date with the fight against the excessive costs faced by people who want data on the move, regardless of borders.

Read more

On Thursday, Ofcom said it receives a total of 450 complaints each day about mis-selling, billing errors, lack of service and customer service problems from customers of all companies.

Between October 2010 and February 2011, 1.78 out of every thousand TalkTalk customers complained to the regulator about the company's landline services — the second-worst figure was for BSkyB customers, with just 0.41 out of every thousand, while Virgin Media had the lowest level of complaints at 0.21 per thousand customers.

On the fixed broadband front, TalkTalk also had the highest level of complaints, at 1.27 complaints per thousand customers. BT Retail was next at 0.61 per thousand, while Virgin Media again had the lowest level at 0.2 complaints per thousand customers. Only the big four fixed-line providers were evaluated.

"Consumers should have access to as much information as possible to allow them to choose between providers and to take full advantage of the competition in the sector," Ofcom chief executive Ed Richards said in a statement. "By publishing complaints data, Ofcom aims to provide useful information to consumers, and also to give telecoms providers an incentive to improve their customer service."

TalkTalk said on Thursday that it had "grown rapidly thanks to [its customers'] recommendation", but it recognised that, in the period in question, "not all customers received the service they deserved as we completed the complex task of moving [former Tiscali customers] to our network and a new billing platform".

We're sorry for the disruption caused and, while it's encouraging to see the number of complaints decreasing towards the end of this period, we continue to work tirelessly to improve.

– TalkTalk

"We're sorry for the disruption this caused and, while it's encouraging to see the number of complaints decreasing towards the end of this period, we continue to work tirelessly to improve," the company said.

Ofcom's data also covered the big five mobile operators: T-Mobile, Orange, 3, Vodafone and O2. Here, no operator inspired more than 0.15 complaints per thousand customers — the complaint level for 3. O2 had the lowest complaint levels, at 0.04 per thousand customers.

The regulator uses the complaints it receives to identify market problems rather than investigating specific complaints. Customers with an issue that needs resolving should complain to their provider first. If the problem remains unresolved after eight weeks, customers should take it to one of the two dispute resolution services — Cisas or Ombudsman Services: Communications.

Get the latest technology news and analysis, blogs and reviews delivered directly to your inbox with ZDNet UK's newsletters.

Topics: Broadband, Networking

David Meyer

About David Meyer

David Meyer is a freelance technology journalist. He fell into journalism when he realised his musical career wouldn't pay the bills. David's main focus is on communications, as well as internet technologies, regulation and mobile devices.

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • As a Talk Talk customer for several years I am inclined to have mixed feelings about the service which I receive from them, when it comes to telephone services I have to be perfectly honest and say that Talk Talk are hard to beat, I pay a fixed monthly fee and I get all of my UK geographic calls included with no time limits, I even get 0845 and 0870 numbers included as well and a very competitive rate on calls to overseas numbers, BT can't get anywhere near the level of service or value for money as far as I am concerned but when it comes to broadband then Talk Talk fall rather short of the mark, I am certain that they restrict bandwidth in busy periods even though they claim not to do so, the speeds that they advertise are only really available in the larger metropolitan areas, I am lucky if I get 2.4 mpbs most of the time but my local exchange is supposed to give up to 24 mpbs, on rare occasions I have managed just over 6 mpbs but only very very rarely, living where I live I have noted that BT will not be installing Fibre Optic capabilities at least until sometime after 2015 and Talk Talk? well forget it, Lowestoft is in the dark ages when it comes to transport or investment from government so why not leave the place behind when it comes to digital media as well? The trouble is that all the investment and latest public services go to cities like London, Manchester or Birmingham, everyone else has to play catch up and it is the same with broadband, oh well, C'est la vie.
  • When it comes to broadband service Talk Talk rules, all my customers websites and servers run from a talk talk phone line and broadband service, therefore saving me over £300.00/mounth in hosting fees. The only thing I dont like about talk talk is their customer service hours. Its very short 9-5 monday to friday. But normally you dont have alot of changing Ip address problems even when the company like bt or virgin promise you a static ip address, and slow network speeds therefore is no need to call them. From my experience with bt and virgin, talk talk is the best. Here is one of the site that is hosted on our servers Check for yourself to see talk talk in action, once you know one of the website you can then findout exactly how much is on the server and which ISP is providing the broadband service to servers hosting the websites.