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TalkTalk still the most complained about broadband provider
Thursday 22 September 2011 12:01:35 by John Hunt

Ofcom have released their latest data on complaints about broadband, phone and mobile providers and TalkTalk have come out as the most complained about provider again in both the landline phone service and fixed broadband categories. Ofcom receive around 350 complaints a day from consumers about telecoms providers and is now releasing stats from these in a quarterly publication. Only providers with more than 4% market share are included. For landline services, this means BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin, with broadband covering the same providers and also Orange.

The period covers Q2 2011 (April to June) and sees that TalkTalk are still at the bottom of the table. In the landline category, they have significantly more complaints than other providers - 0.8 per 1000 customers - compared with BT and BSkyB on 0.25, and Virgin Media (who were the least complained about) on 0.15. It should be noted however that TalkTalk's result is a significant improvement on previous quarters which came in at 1.16 and 1.12 for Q4 2010 and Q1 2011 respectively.

Fixed telephone line complaints per 1000 customers/connections October 2010 - June 2011, Source: Ofcom
Fixed telephone line complaints per 1000 customers/connections October 2010 - June 2011, Source: Ofcom

In fixed-broadband TalkTalk have also seen a similar trend, with an improvement from 0.81 to 0.58 complaints per 1000 customers, although they are still the most complained about provider. Virgin Media come out best again in this category with 0.15 complaints per 1000 customers.

Fixed broadband complaints per 1000 customers/connections October 2010 - June 2011, Source: Ofcom
Fixed broadband complaints per 1000 customers/connections October 2010 - June 2011, Source: Ofcom

Whilst TalkTalk have come worst for the second consecutive quarter, they are improving, and if the current rate continues, they could be on a similar level to BT by next quarter.

"It's encouraging that Ofcom's data demonstrates that, following the Tiscali integration, the service we offer our customers has significantly improved in the last quarter with the number of complaints as a percentage of customers dropping by over 50%. We're simplifying our business for the benefit of our customers and calls to our customer services teams are down 40% from this time last year. We're also connecting new customers much more quickly and efficiently, last year it took an average of 23 days, today a customer will be connected in 14 days (which is the minimum allowed due to the cooling off period).

We're committed to providing good service alongside our best value and, while we clearly still have lots to do, we're confident that our customers are beginning to see the benefits of the changes we continue to make."

TalkTalk Statement

In the mobile category, Three remained the most complained about provider with the firm seeing a rise in complaints compared with the last quarter (now up to 0.14 complaints per 1000). This has been put down to disputes over charges and customer service issues. O2 ranked best, maintaining their low level of just 0.02 complaints per 1000 customers.

Ofcom's data does only include complaints that it has received, so the data may look different if everyone who had an issue complained. It would be also useful to see a breakdown into categories of what the complaints were about as different issues could affect providers in different ways which could create an unfair comparison. If you are thinking about complaining about your provider have a look at Ofcom's consumer guide for telecoms complaints.


Posted by baby_frogmella over 6 years ago
As a Talktalk customer, i'll be the first admit their phone support isn't the best (but then again what do you expect for £3.49pm broadband?!), HOWEVER their actual LLU broadband service is superb. Line speeds 24/7, not a single outage in the 12+ months i've been with them, gaming pings of less than 20ms and stutter-free online videos...oh and they throttle P2P which means more bandwidth for the rest of us:)
Posted by James1o1o over 6 years ago
After 2 years with TalkTalk, I can certainly tell you they do NOT throttle P2P.
Posted by baby_frogmella over 6 years ago
TalkTalk's P2P throttling is dynamic and it all depends on how heavily your exchange is congested at any particular time for the throttling to kick in, so yes it may possible that some users may not experience P2P throttling at all. Or yoou could ask for static IP address which removes all throttling but it aint easy to get one! I got one after a lot of begging on the TT forums:)
Posted by jtthedevil over 6 years ago
I use both talktalk and three and must say i'd recommend them to anyone. Phone support is dire and usually a complete waste of time, but the support forums are fantastic and have helped me out a couple of times. Both are seen as the budget option, but people just expect too much for what they are paying. If they don't like the service they receive, there's plenty of other suppliers out there, just pay the extra money!
Posted by Fenris over 6 years ago
I wish I had more to complain about, TalkTalk have been great and the most reliable connection I've had compared to BT resellers [IDNet, PlusNet, Zen ect. It's just Noobs moaning or people not liking the phone support mainly I bet.
Posted by tommy45 over 6 years ago
It's down to there mis selling and misleading adverts,and mot being very forth coming with a certain number of aspects of their service, largely due to the their sale staff who think nothing of speaking bull,IMO their should be a minimum standard that all isp support should be made to adhere to
Posted by otester over 6 years ago
You can get their LLU service for the same price with resellers (minus the bad support/performance/throttling).

Xilo being an example (check their forums/ring them as it's a custom unlisted package)
Posted by otester over 6 years ago
Also regarding TT, for what you pay it isn't that bad, forum support > telephone support and the FUP they have (100GB) isn't rigorously enforced (keep heavy downloading out of peak times).

Taking the 75GB version with Xilo was a hard choice indeed, maybe a bad one at that.
Posted by otester over 6 years ago
Throttling is also not really an issue since if you have a seedbox/VPN you can scoot round it.
Posted by NilSatisOptimum over 6 years ago
All said and done its still damming and not a title to aspire too. It certainly keeps me away, they are also the only ISP that come knocking at my door every few months, promising double the speed, which simply is not true at my attenuation, always wondered where the Swiss Toni like mortgage advisers went after 2008, on my doorstep trying to sell me TT services.
Posted by otester over 6 years ago

Are you on ADSL2+ at the moment?
Posted by NilSatisOptimum over 6 years ago
No however it wont double with my attenuation of 42, also the very good chance of a increase of attenuation to boot. All the evidence around me suggests it wont either.
Posted by chrysalis over 6 years ago
Interesting how VM have declined since introducing shaping, 100mbit and the superhub of around oct last year.
Posted by trav743 over 6 years ago
I'm happy to recommend Talktalk. I live in the stcks 3 miles from the exchange and with a download speed which has improved from 0.25 mbs to 0.7 mbs over the 3 years I've been with them. I spoke to Sky but according to them I can't get broadband out here! The help desk is very good, answered very quickly and problems also resolved speedily.
Posted by asrobs over 6 years ago
A lot of the complaints are due to talktalk using India as their call centre,the operators can have difficult accents so it can lead to errors in communication, I have been with them over two years and have been satisfied with their response, I suppose the price does dictate ther call centre location.
Posted by otester over 6 years ago

I have an attenuation of 50.

I saw a jump from 2-3.5Mbps to 3.5-5.5Mbps.
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