TalkTalk received the highest number of complaints from customers for both its broadband and landline services in the first three months of the year, according to Ofcom.
It is the third quarter running that TalkTalk has been given the unwanted top spot for broadband complaints and the second for landline.
But if you’re with TalkTalk, or you’re unhappy with your provider, you have the right to complain and ask for the problem to be fixed or you may be able to switch without penalty to a new deal.
TalkTalk received the highest number of complaints for broadband and landline services in the first three months of the year
TalkTalk received 29 complaints per 100,000 customers for broadband and 20 complaints per 100,000 customers for its landline service. The main reason for complaints were faults with the service followed by failures to handle complaints properly, the telecoms regulator said.
It wasn’t the only provider to score badly and other big firms, including BT, Plusnet and Virgin Mobile, also received a high number of complaints.
For broadband, BT took second place, which is the same position it held for the last three months of 2017. While for landline complaints Plusnet was in second place, followed by BT and then the Post Office.
At the other end of the scale Sky received the lowest number of complaints for broadband services, with five per 100,000 customers. It also had the lowest number of complaints for landline services, again with five per 100,000 customers.
For pay-monthly mobile customers, Virgin Mobile had the most recorded complaints, followed by ID Mobile and Vodafone, with 11, 10 and nine complaints per 100,000 customers respectively. Tesco Mobile received the lowest, with just one complaint per 100,000 customers.
Pay TV services are also included and BT received the highest number of complaints while Sky received the lowers, at 16 and two per 100,000 customers respectively.
A TalkTalk spokesperson said: ‘While these historical numbers by Ofcom are disappointing, it doesn’t reflect the current customer experience.
Sky has remained constantly at the bottom end of the tables for complaints from customers
‘The most recent data shows a significant reduction in complaint numbers, customer satisfaction is on the rise and we’ve seen more customers than ever staying with us this year.’
Overall, the levels of satisfaction with communications services was high in the latest report, at 87 per cent for landline, 80 per cent for broadband and 91 per cent for mobile services.
Ofgem says it receives almost 300 consumer contacts a day by phone, email and letter of which many are complaints whereby the customer hasn’t been able to resolve a problem with their provider.
The research also shows that the total amount of complaints has fallen for broadband and landline services and remained the same for pay TV and pay-monthly mobile services.
Jane Rumble, Ofcom’s director of consumer policy, said: ‘It’s frustrating enough when things go wrong, without having to put up with poor customer service as well.
‘So it’s encouraging to see complaint numbers falling in some areas, and we want to see this continue.
‘Anyone fed up with their provider can easily shop around and see if there’s a better service out there for them.’
In the past two years BT, Plusnet and TalkTalk have remained at the top of complaints tables
If you are unhappy with your provider, be it for landline, broadband, TV, or mobile, you have the right to complain or you could switch.
This can be for anything including regular faults with the service, if the customer service is dismal or you’re not getting good value for money.
Contact your provider directly at first and outline your complaint, along with what you would like it to do to correct it. If after eight weeks you’ve still not received a response, or you’re not happy with the response you have received, you can escalate the problem.
All communications providers have to sign up to an alternative dispute resolution scheme with either CISAS or the Ombudsman Services: Communications.
It will look at your case independently and if it rules in your favour it could ask the provider to pay you for any money you’ve lost.
It may also tell the provider to pay you for extra costs, such as time spent on the phone or money spent accessing the internet through alternative means such as with a dongle.
You may also be able to leave the contract early, without penalty, if you’ve been left without a decent service for some time. This should be detailed in your contract but if not keep a note of how long your service has been down and include this with your complaint and request to be able to leave.