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Post Office and Vodafone most complained about phone operators

Published 08/07/2016

Vodafone is the most complained about mobile phone operator, Ofcom has revealed
Vodafone is the most complained about mobile phone operator, Ofcom has revealed

The Post Office has become the most complained about landline provider and Vodafone is still the most criticised mobile phone operator, new figures show.

Ofcom said the overall number of complaints about phone, broadband and pay TV companies had stabilised in the first three months of 2016, following a rise in the final few months of last year.

The data showed the Post Office's HomePhone service had overtaken TalkTalk to become the most complained about landline operator for the first time since it was included in the communications regulator's reports.

Vodafone attracted the most complaints of any mobile provider even though numbers dropped to 29 complaints per 100,000 customers - well above the industry average of nine per 100,000 customers.

Customers' grievances, which mainly related to billing, pricing and charges, complaints handling and concerns around faults and service, come as Vodafone faces two investigations by Ofcom.

Meanwhile, Tesco Mobile generated the lowest volume of complaints among mobile providers for the eighth consecutive quarter.

EE retained the top spot as the most complained about broadband provider, generating 34 complaints per 100,000 customers, mainly relating to faults, service, billing and pricing issues and complaints handling.

But BT, TalkTalk and Plusnet all continued to generate broadband complaints above the industry average of 19 per 100,00 customers.

Of the pay TV providers, BT generated the most complaints, with 20 per 100,000 customers, ahead of TalkTalk and Virgin Media, which were both above the industry average of four per 100,000.

Sky were the least complained about with one grievance per 100,000.

The regulator said it receives just under 300 telecoms complaints a day from consumers, with broadband services accounting for the most, followed by landline services.

An Ofcom spokeswoman said: "We're committed to providing consumers with valuable information to help them choose a provider that best suits their needs. We also hope this data will incentivise providers as they work to address issues driving complaints and improve their performance.

"Consumer complaints also help us to identify where to target any necessary enforcement action and ensure that providers comply with our rules."

A programme by Ofcom to monitor providers' complaints handling procedures has led to separate investigations into Three UK, EE and Vodafone.

Ofcom fined Three UK £250,000 in October 2014, and fined EE £1 million in July last year for failing to comply with rules on handling complaints.

The regulator's s pokeswoman added the investigations in Vodafone were "ongoing".

She said: "Ofcom takes customer service and complaints handling failures extremely seriously.

"We're clamping down on providers who don't meet our requisite high standards and have issued fines totalling £1.25 million in the last two years."

A spokeswoman for Vodafone UK said: "Since the beginning of the year we have made significant investments in additional call centre resources and have implemented numerous specific improvements to our systems with the objective of improving the customer experience overall.

"This has led to a reduction of more than 80% in the number of extra calls into our consumer care estate while the number of customers ringing us specifically to ask for their bill to be recalculated has fallen by 90% since November last year.

"We continue to work hard and invest significantly to further improve our customers' experience and we are starting to see the early benefits of the significant efforts we are making, with this report showing a 10% quarter-on-quarter fall in complaints to Ofcom and our own data showing that trend continuing.

"We apologise to any customer who has had an issue with our service, we will do better."

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