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Ofcom Praise Sky and Virgin Media in Q2 2017 UK Consumer Complaints Study

Ofcom Praise Sky And Virgin Media In Q2 2017 UK Consumer Complaints Study

Broadband providers Virgin Media and Sky Broadband have today been praised by Ofcom‘s Q2 2017 UK consumer complaints report after they received fewer gripes than any other ISP for their service. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for BT and TalkTalk, which attracted the most complaints.1234

The report, which also examined Landline Phone, Mobile and Pay TV providers, notes that Ofcom5 continue to receive “nearly250 complaints per day (down from “nearly” 300 at the last report), although their study only includes feedback from the biggest providers (i.e. those with a market share of at least 1.5%). The data itself is reflected as a proportion of residential subscribers (i.e. the total number of quarterly complaints per 100,000 customers), which makes it easier to compare providers in a market where the biggest ISPs can vary significantly in size.

Overall the total volume of complaints across all service sectors has decreased during the first half of 2017 and this quarter sees the addition of BT Mobile’s pay-monthly product into the table, which occurs because the service has now achieved “sufficient market share“. By comparison with Q1 2017, the total volume of complaints decreased by four for landline services, decreased by three for fixed broadband services, and decreased by one for both pay-monthly mobile and pay-TV services. However fixed broadband and landline services continue to generate the highest number of complaints.

Jane Rumble, Ofcom’s Director of Consumer Policy, said:

“Complaints about telecoms and pay-TV may be falling this year, but some providers are falling a long way short on customer service. There can be no room for complacency. We expect providers, particularly those who have been consistently under-performing, to make service quality and complaints handling their number one priority.”

Take note, today’s report only covers complaints that the regulator itself has received and not those sent directly to an ISP or ombudsman.

Ofcom does not itself deal with individual complaints but they do monitor them and can take action if enough people raise a problem. Consumers who are unable to resolve a complaint with their communications provider can (after 8 weeks) raise a case with one of the two ombudsman providers – Ombudsman Services: Communications or CISAS – under the Alternative Dispute Resolution6 process (they will investigate the issue at no cost to yourself).

Fixed Line Home Broadband Complaints

Overall BT generated the highest relative complaint volumes in Q2 2017 and the main complaint drivers for them related to faults, service and provision issues, followed by complaints handling and billing, pricing and charges.However it has to be said that almost every provider saw a reduction in complaint volumes during Q2. By comparison Virgin Media7 and Sky Broadband8 all generated the lowest relative complaint volumes and remain below the industry average volume of complaints. Both operators have also just been joined by EE, which is a welcome development.

Ofcom Praise Sky And Virgin Media In Q2 2017 UK Consumer Complaints Study

Fixed Line Phone Complaints

In terms of phone line services, the most complaints were generated by TalkTalk9 and the Post Office10, which was largely due to complaints relating to faults, service and provision issues. Ofcom also believes that BT’s performance may be comparable to those two, although they show up as being lower because they used a different methodology to compile their subscriber figures. Once again EE, Sky Broadband and Virgin Media remain below the line and received the fewest complaints overall.

Ofcom Praise Sky And Virgin Media In Q2 2017 UK Consumer Complaints Study

Mobile Complaints

Both Vodafone11 and BT Mobile received the most complaints this quarter, although Vodafone12‘s complaint levels have dropped sharply over the past six months. Vodafone and BT’s main complaint drivers were gripes related to handling, followed by issues around billing, pricing and charges.

Ofcom Praise Sky And Virgin Media In Q2 2017 UK Consumer Complaints Study

Pay TV Complaints

Sadly BT continues to generate the highest relative volume of Pay TV complaints, although they have seen a big drop in the amount being received and that’s a positive development. The main driver of BT’s complaints related to faults, service and provision issues, complaints handling and billing, pricing and charges. On the flip side Sky TV received the fewest gripes of anybody and is the only operator below the line for industry average (that’s a good thing).

Ofcom Praise Sky And Virgin Media In Q2 2017 UK Consumer Complaints Study

Ofcom’s Complaints Report Q2 2017
https://www.ofcom.org.uk/../Telecoms-pay-TV-complaints-Q2-2017.pdf13

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References

  1. ^ Virgin Media (www.ispreview.co.uk)
  2. ^ Sky Broadband (www.ispreview.co.uk)
  3. ^ Ofcom (www.ofcom.org.uk)
  4. ^ TalkTalk (www.ispreview.co.uk)
  5. ^ Ofcom (www.ofcom.org.uk)
  6. ^ Alternative Dispute Resolution (www.ispreview.co.uk)
  7. ^ Virgin Media (www.ispreview.co.uk)
  8. ^ Sky Broadband (www.ispreview.co.uk)
  9. ^ TalkTalk (www.ispreview.co.uk)
  10. ^ Post Office (www.ispreview.co.uk)
  11. ^ Vodafone (www.ispreview.co.uk)
  12. ^ Vodafone (www.ispreview.co.uk)
  13. ^ https://www.ofcom.org.uk/../Telecoms-pay-TV-complaints-Q2-2017.pdf (www.ofcom.org.uk)

Openreach excited about potential of ultrafast broadband network

Openreach has expressed excitement about its trials of ultrafast broadband technology G.fast. The pilot areas will benefit from download speeds of up to 330Mbps, which means households will be able to download 45-minute TV programmes in HD quality in just 16 seconds, while a two-hour HD film can be downloaded in 90 seconds. Glasgow is among the areas to take part in the pilot and engineers are continuing to install more G.fast connections across the city, the Daily Record reports.

David Nixon, Senior Fibre Delivery manager in Scotland, commented: “My team are excited to be part of this work in Glasgow to pilot the latest technology.

“Developing the technology of the future is a key part of Openreach’s work.”

Mr Nixon said around nine in ten homes and businesses in Glasgow already have access to superfast speeds over the Openreach network, with about 580 service providers. However, he stated that faster speeds are “more important than ever”.

“We’re sure our new ultrafast network will play an important part in the future success of Glasgow,” Mr Nixon said. Councillor Susan Aitken, leader of Glasgow City Council, added that the arrival of ultrafast broadband will enable local and firms to “do more online more quickly and on multiple devices”.

Furthermore, she said there is lots of evidence to show that it boosts the local economy.

“I want Glasgow to be the leading digital city in Scotland and this investment from Openreach will support that,” Cllr Aitken stated.

Fibre-to-the-premises the “only real future proof” broadband solution for the UK

Civil engineering company John Henry Group has hailed the growing deployment of fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) broadband. According to Mark Heraghty, Non-Executive Chairman of the firm, FTTP is the best “future-proof” broadband option for the UK. Speaking to ISPreview.co.uk, he pointed out that 96 per cent of of the UK is already receiving superfast hybrid fibre/copper (or similar) networks.

However, Mr Heraghty said these networks do still have limitations, particularly if a household wants to enjoy access to high-definition streaming.

“As the devices that provide these services also become more affordable, this will increase the strain on the final third of the copper network (into the home/premises),” he commented. Mr Heraghty added that demand for bandwidth will keep growing as people’s appetite for smart electronics, thermostats, fridges and products such as the Amazon Echo is increasing. This, he said, is pushing up the demand for bandwidth in residential areas, hence the growing need for FTTP.

“People’s homes are becoming more intelligent,” Mr Heraghty observed.

Source: ISPreview.co.uk1

References

  1. ^ ISPreview.co.uk (www.ispreview.co.uk)