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TalkTalk rated bottom for customer service in Ofcom survey
Friday 22 July 2011 11:41:36 by John Hunt

New research by Ofcom into customer service satisfaction levels of the ten biggest communication providers has shown that consumers are least satisfied with the customer service provided by landline and broadband providers. The news comes following new rules that come in to force today which will require communication providers to do more to help consumers with complaints about their service. This includes having to provide information of dispute resolution services on all paper bills, and writing to customers whose complaints have not been resolved within eight weeks.

Ofcom received a higher level of complaints about TalkTalk who came out bottom of the overall satisfaction survey on customer service for their landline products, with only 53% of customers being satisfied and 24% stating they were dissatisfied. BSkyB came top with 66% satisfaction and 17% dissatisfaction. In terms of broadband, TalkTalk/Tiscali again came out bottom with 52% satisfaction and 23% dissatisfaction. Orange came top with satisfaction levels of 76% and dissatisfaction down at 11%.

Ofcom noted that for landline phone services, no scores were significantly better or worse than average, although BT and BSkyB had improved since 2009 on speed at answering the phone and keeping customers informed throughout the process. TalkTalk's low scores were mainly down to customers being unable to get through to the right person, the speed at answering calls, as well as a general dissatisfaction of the customer service advisor.

The feedback for TalkTalk in terms of the broadband service is similar to that of their landline service, whilst both BT and BSkyB received improved satisfaction ratings compared to 2009. The biggest change was Orange who went from bottom in 2009 (with the lowest satisfaction levels) to top this year.

"The research shows that there can be considerable differences in consumers' experiences of customer service. By publishing this research we want to give consumers an insight into the standard of customer service being offered across the communications sector. The more information of this kind consumers have, the more effectively they can exercise their choice."

Claudio Pollack, (Consumer Group Director) Ofcom

Ofcom interviewed 3000 people nationally for their customer services stats and intend to repeat the process again next year to see how providers have changed. Unfortunately, they only include providers with at least 4% market share, which excludes many of the small providers who may offer better customer service, and won't be highlighted as such in this survey. 63% of broadband service issues are dealt with on the phone and 44% of these related to a specific fault with the service. Connection speeds were seen as the biggest issue, whilst 'bill shock' also seems to be increasing.

Our own Customer Service Awards based on regular survey of our users throughout 2010 show a slightly different picture. Orange took bottom place with our users giving orange just 37% satisfaction rating. BE and O2 came out on top within our Large ISP category, both of which were excluded from the Ofcom stats. The difference may come about from when the ratings were completed, with the thinkbroadband survey taking places throughout 2010. Current ratings show an improvement from Orange in this.


Posted by baby_frogmella over 6 years ago
TalkTalk are in a catch 22 situation...they are the cheapest combined landline/broadband supplier (over POTS) which means they attract the masses who only choose them on price. But then for £3.49pm broadband, they're not going to provide AAISP's level of support as it would mean having UK based & trained call centre staff who demand higher salaries. TalkTalk would have to raise their prices to improve customer service...which would also mean the masses would flee them :(
Posted by baby_frogmella over 6 years ago
Personally i'm very happy with TalkTalk...i was fully aware of their atrocious telephone support before signing up (no other LLU operator at my exchange)and get superb support on their online forums. But your average granny will only have dealt with them over the phone.
Posted by Capn over 6 years ago
The vast majority would have to use the phone to resolve problems. I knew their support was terrible but didn't know they were overseas.
Posted by mike41 over 6 years ago
I avoided TT simply because of the complaints from friends who signed up a few years ago when TT started its big recruitment drive. To my horror I became a customer when they bought Tiscali and simply cut off my service. I spent hours on phone and email trying to get it back ... I'm not surprised they are bottom of the pile. After five weeks without service I signed up with another supplier and have no problems since.
Posted by baby_frogmella over 6 years ago
Also, to be fair to TalkTalk's overseas phone support staff, they personally are not to blame...they are only trying to earn a living like the rest of us. If the roles were reversed, I'm sure most people here would jump at the chance to earn £50+ quid an hour working for a Phillipines broadband call centre in blighty.
Posted by stxsl over 6 years ago
Paragraph two, first line, words one and nine:

"Ofcom received a higher level of complaints about Ofcom who came out bottom of the"

Posted by stevepressman over 6 years ago
Posted by stxsl about 1 hour ago
Paragraph two, first line, words one and nine:

"Ofcom received a higher level of complaints about Ofcom who came out bottom of the"


I saw that I guess it is a Typo
Posted by AndrueC over 6 years ago
Meh - I beat you both to that:
Posted by creakycopperline over 6 years ago
none of this surprises me, you would get more sense talking to a wall than one of those script reading robots, as for their customer help forums, it's like some north korean propaganda politics, they all seem to think it's your fault, not that your broadband sucks. not the fact TT could not run a chip shop
assholes the lot ov em
Posted by baby_frogmella over 6 years ago
Contrary to popular opinion, TalkTalk's LLU broadband is actually very very good...its their customer service which lets them down. I get line speeds 24/7, great pings of 15-20ms and not a single outage in the 9 months i've been with them. I would rather pour bleach in my eyes than go back to a BT ipstream service again!
Posted by AndrueC over 6 years ago
For what it's worth I thought my Dad's IPStream based service was good as well. No it was their customer service that let it down. Adding things to his package without asking him then taking two or three calls to get them removed and refunded. Then the biggie - unbundling his exchange but accepting so much new business that there wasn't room for him. Five years a customer and they left him on IPStream - then withdrew the IPStream discount because his exchange was now unbundled.
Posted by creakycopperline over 6 years ago
more than 30 outages in the last 2 and a half years, and was capped to virtual dial up twice.
they're not infallible.
Posted by johnski over 6 years ago
Not surprised. I called them after my sister died to cancel her phone and broadband.

I told them who I was and why I was calling. I was told that I couldn't cancel the services. My sister would have to call them herself! Idiots.
Posted by Whitefort over 6 years ago
They really are utterly crap. Yesterday they made some changes, and email stopped working on all my PCs (Thunderbird) and on my smartphone.

Their 'customer services' solution? We don't do support for Thunderbird or smartphones. Just use our webpage for your emails.

I'm not kidding. Time to get my MAC, for sure.
Posted by BIORAPTOR over 6 years ago
If this were me I would not no if to laugh or cry.
What a bizzar story.
I would take this lack of respect and ignorance to a complaints commity friend.
Posted by chrysalis over 6 years ago
I still have the memory of talktalk estimating 12+mbit on my line. That had best ever sync speed (with 3db snrm) of about 7mbit.
Posted by kennethsross over 6 years ago
FWIW, I've been with TalkTalk for 2 years now, on their Pro package, and I have zero complaints. Any issues have been sorted quickly via their forums - The TalkTalk staff who work the forums not only know their stuff, but have the clout to get things sorted
Posted by stduc over 6 years ago
Like most people have said - Talktalk are cheap - when it all works - just don't try to talk to them - LOL - therein lies the irony.
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