SSE: Broadband providers ‘have a duty to go further for customers’
SSE has warned that businesses have “nowhere to hide” if they do not put their customers first. According to Will Morris, Group Managing Director of Retail at SSE, no company or industry is perfect, but all of them “have a duty to go further” for their customers.
“If we don’t, not only is it wrong, but we know that as more suppliers join the market, customers will vote with their feet,” he told City A.M.
“Increased levels of political, regulatory and media scrutiny means there’s nowhere to hide if you aren’t acting in the interests of customers.”
Mr Morris pointed out that broadband was once seen as a luxury, which means it was rare for systems that identified and addressed particularly vulnerable customers to be designed. However, he said this has changed as customers now see broadband as an essential service, with much of people’s day-to-day lives relying them having a decent connection.
“It’s now commonplace to hear broadband being referred to as essential, akin to electricity, gas and water,” Mr Morris observed.
Nevertheless, Mr Morris stated that at times, the industry does not always realise that broadband “is not ‘like an essential service’: it is an essential service”.
“As a result, you have an obligation to take care of your customers, especially the vulnerable,” he insisted. Mr Morris went on to state that Ofcom has identified customer service and protecting vulnerable customers as two priorities for the telecoms sector. However, he said the regulator could take stronger measures unless providers show that they are willing to improve in these areas without external pressure.