For ages Talk Talk has held a title it would have liked to shake off. And finally, according to latest figures from industry regulator Ofcom, Orange has taken the crown as the most complained-about broadband provider.
So, if you’re looking for a new broadband provider, the Ofcom complaints figures showing how many disgruntled customers each company has may just help you make up your mind – after all, you don’t want to become one of those unhappy punters.
Orange saw a spike in complaints in September after the company withdrew its free broadband offer unless customers had line rental from the firm. The figures, which are for the third quarter of 2012 are based on the percentage of customers who complain, rather than actual numbers to garner a more accurate comparison.
They show a higher proportion of Orange consumers lodged complaints about their broadband services than those with any other firm.
Talk Talk, which has topped the complaints table since it started in 2010, slipped to second most complained about company.
Orange, which is now known as Everything Everywhere (EE) had almost twice as many complaints for every thousand customers, which Ofcom put down to EE telling customers they would lose their free broadband unless they signed up for a £14-a-month line rental plan. The regulator said lots of customers had expected they would keep the free service until their current monthly mobile contract ran out.
Talk Talk complaints about broadband services are falling, though are still above average. Talk Talk had around 0.35 complaints for every 1,000 of its customers while, on average, Internet Service Providers get 0.24 complaints for every 1,000 users. Orange had 0.50 per 1,000, an increase from 0.29 per 1,000 three months earlier.
It’s the seventh such report that Ofcom has produced. It records complaints about broadband and telephone services, Pay TV and pay monthly mobile services in a bid to help consumers make more informed choices.
In total, more than 300 people a day are complaining about their broadband service, with Sky attracting the fewest gripes. BT’s complaints levels rose quarter-on-quarter from 0.31 to 0.34 per 1,000 while Sky’s service attracted 0.09 per 1,000 users. Virgin media had 0.12 complaints per 1,000 customers.
But all of those figures are really just the tip of the iceberg as the data only covers complaints consumers have chosen to take to Ofcom and not those they may have made directly to their providers. As a result, they tend to be the most serious complaints, the ones that have not been resolved despite previous attempts.
Talk Talk said it had made significant improvements during the year and was continually looking at ways to improve its customer service and experience.
Talking about overall complaints, the Ofcom report says: “The total volume of complaints fell, making this the fifth consecutive quarter of decline. This was largely driven by a fall in the volume of fixed line complaints as across the other services there were only minor variations. Broadband services generated the highest number of complaints relative to the other services, with the fewest complaints made about mobile pay-as-you-go services.”