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TalkTalk 'prompts most complaints'

TalkTalk and Orange are among the most unpopular telecoms providers according to their customers, data released by regulator Ofcom has revealed.

Figures for landline services show Ofcom received the most complaints about TalkTalk, with 0.78 complaints per 1,000 customers, largely driven by issues relating to billing and customer service. Virgin Media attracted the fewest complaints, with 0.18 per 1,000 customers, making it the least complained-about landline provider for the last five quarters.

TalkTalk also generated the most complaints among fixed broadband providers, at 0.61 per 1,000 customers, mostly relating to line faults and other service issues. The least complained-about fixed broadband providers over the same period were Sky and Virgin, with 0.17 and 0.18 complaints per 1,000 customers respectively.

Ofcom said complaints about mobile providers were much lower. Orange generated the most complaints among mobile providers, driven by their announcement to increase their monthly plan prices for all customers including those who were tied into existing contracts, Ofcom said.

The second highest number of mobile complaints was about 3UK, mostly regarding disputed charges and customer services. As in all previous quarters, the least complained-about mobile provider was O2, with just 0.02 complaints per 1,000 customers.

The figures for the 15 months to December show the number of complaints as a proportion of each provider's customer base. An Ofcom spokeswoman said: "The quarterly report aims to provide useful information for consumers, and also to incentivise telecoms providers to improve their performance."

A TalkTalk spokesman said: "We're pleased that Ofcom saw less than half as many complaints about our broadband service than this time last year.

"While there will always be variations in the quarterly data we are confident that the long-term trend is positive - fewer complaints, more calls being resolved first time and improving customer service. There is more work to do but we are confident that the measures we've put in place are paying dividends."

An Orange spokesman said: "We are disappointed to have performed less well in this report, particularly as Ofcom ranked us joint first for overall customer satisfaction for mobile operators in a previous report. We understand our performance is reflective of our Pay Monthly price increases communicated to customers in December.

"We will take on board the findings from the Ofcom report, and continue to look to make improvements in the area of customer satisfaction through our existing employee training programme, customer feedback reviews and our investment in technology."

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