BT fined record £42m for delays to installing broadband

BT broadband Most Complained About for fifth time in a row

BT broadband has again attracted more complaints than any other provider in the latest Ofcom customer satisfaction report.

The industry regulator found that the telecoms supplier had the most complaints for the fifth quarter in a row.

Vodafone, Post Office and TalkTalk were also singled out for “falling a long way short” of customers’ expectations.

Ofcom received 28 complaints about BT broadband per 100,000 customers across April to June 2017.

BT customers ‘let down’

While the number of complaints didn’t quite hit the low point of the last quarter, BT’s fall has been unassailable.

Despite promising improvements, the best known name in British broadband had the most issues
with technical faults, billing problems or poor customer service.

The company’s subscription TV service, BT TV, also attracted 13 complaints per 100,000 customers over the same three month period.

TalkTalk, another repeat offender, came second-worst in the rankings for broadband service, and third-worst for its pay-monthly mobile service.

Saying sorry

A BT spokesperson apologised to dismayed customers.

They also outlined BT’s plans to improve its service for customers, although this may just be about making it easier to make a complaint, instead of substantive changes.

“Customers are seeing an improvement as our multi-million pound investment takes effect”, the spokesperson said.

“We’ve invested heavily to make improvements, including hiring 2,200 extra people which is helping us to answer calls more quickly than ever before.”

More: Plusnet up, TalkTalk dead last in latest Which? survey

The spokesperson also reassured customers that 80% of calls were now answered in the UK and Ireland.

Jane Rumble, Director of Consumer Policy at Ofcom, said “There can be no room for complacency.

“We expect providers, particularly those who have been consistently under-performing, to make service quality and complaints handling their number one priority.”

Use it wisely

Ofcom produces a report four times a year showing how the major broadband providers are doing with customer complaints. The publications aim to arm customers with as much information as possible before they buy or switch suppliers.

The next Ofcom report, for the period of July to September 2017, will be published at the end of the year.

Across all providers, average figures for the second quarter were 21 complaints per 100,000 people about broadband and four out of every 100,000 for subscription TV.

Complaints taken up with the Financial Ombudsman or directly made to ISPs were not included, suggesting the actual number of complaints may be much higher.

By:

Aran is a technology journalist with an interest in consumer issues.
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