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Ofcom release customer service satisfaction results
Friday 25 November 2011 16:17:24 by John Hunt

Customer satisfaction ratings released by Ofcom for customer service show an improvement for TalkTalk since February 2011. Ofcom looked at customer satisfaction levels with consumers over a three month period from July to September 2011, for those providers with more than 4% market share, and asked whether they had contacted their provider in the previous 3 months. The research looked into landline phone, broadband, mobile and pay TV services.

The primary reason for contacting a landline provider was for a customer to change their package or service. Ranked based on satisfaction, Sky came top, followed by BT, TalkTalk then Virgin Media. Sky saw particularly high satisfaction levels, significantly above average, with customers pleased that their issues were taken seriously and goodwill payments offered where appropriate. Dissatisfaction with TalkTalk decreased since February 2011 from 24% being dissatisfied to 18%. Virgin Media saw their customers less satisfied than average, and there was an increase in the number of issues not being satisfactorily resolved, with a decline also in customer loyalty.

The biggest issues in broadband were connection speeds and changing package. No single provider came out above or below the market average. TalkTalk saw continued improvements with complaints handling falling significantly, and now lower than average. The table below compares the satisfaction levels compared with February 2011.

  Satisfaction Neutral Dissatisfaction
  Feb 11 Sep 11 Feb 11 Sep 11 Feb 11 Sep 11
Sky 60% 64% 24% 21% 16% 15%
Orange 76% 58% 13% 26% 11% 16%
BT 57% 57% 23% 24% 20% 18%
Virgin Media 56% 57% 24% 24% 19% 19%
TalkTalk 52% 55% 25% 29% 23% 17%

Customer service satisfaction levels

Whilst orange seemed to be the only provider to see a decline in their customer service satisfaction levels, they do see a 70% satisfaction overall, putting them in-line with Sky and Virgin, and the company stated they were very happy with the figures.

"We're really pleased with our ranking in this latest report, as we've been working hard to substantially improve the level of service we provide our customers over the past 18 months, which has included the transition to a new network with minimal customer disruption.

The broadband sector has traditionally been renowned for underperforming on consumer satisfaction against that of other telecoms services, so we're making it our mission to change this. Moving forward, we're continuing to make a number of significant service improvements to our own offering, the result of which we believe will help us to really deliver on providing a best in class service experience."

Orange spokesperson

With a mandatory code of practice for communication providers in force, which details how they must deal with complaints, Ofcom will enact a monitoring and enforcement programme to check compliance with the code in early 2012. Any breach could see fines up to 10% of relevant turnover, which could be a hefty fine, although the regulator is unlikely to fine to this level.

Comments

Posted by Oldjim over 5 years ago
Would someone kindly explain what this means [quote]Overall satisfaction with customer service by fixed broadband provider
No single provider was above or below the market average.[/quote]
Posted by themanstan over 5 years ago
It means they're all as bad as each other!
Posted by m0aur over 5 years ago
It still looks like BT is the place to be if you are not into unbundling, as any ISP owned by, or who resells BTW simply cannot offer the same at a lower price, BT will make sure of it.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 5 years ago
IMPORTANT: Only providers with a 4% or higher market share are included, thus you CANNOT draw the conclusion you may as go for BT Retail instead of another BT Wholesale provider.

Posted by Bob_s2 over 5 years ago
Customer satisfaction is a preety vague term. Different people will have very different ideas as to what they deem acceptable so unless it actually measure things that can be defined it is pretty meanigless

The sort of thing you could define is time to answer a call. Number of issues cleared first time. Amount of time to resolve an issue (this can be open to fiddling though)
Posted by Thalgrum over 5 years ago
I'm guessing that big drop in orange's score is people who have used their tech support, outsourcing to india is not a good idea when you want something other than a scripted response you struggle to understand....
Posted by zenops over 5 years ago
Shame it excludes around 97.5% of the ISP Industry, assuming Ofcom's own figures of there being 200 UK ISP's is correct.

Just because the 5 listed represent the biggest market share of the consumer space doesn't mean to say the rest of the ISP industry doesn't count when it comes to providing service to its customers, many of who pride themselves in the excellent service customers receive from them ;-)
Posted by peter_20kplus over 5 years ago
Another waste of time and money...Just keeping
OFCOM people in a job.
Posted by michaels_perry over 5 years ago
I do wish everyone concerned with such surveys would separate those on fibre/coax from those restricted to copper services. Virgin gets a better score than I expected because of their substantial fibre/coax user base. Those on xDSL are not as happy due to Virgin's concentration on fibre products and the apparent lack of understanding in 'Support' of xDSL problems. I suspoect the picture would be rather different then.
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