TalkTalk scores lowest in Ofcom broadband satisfaction survey as Orange turns tables


TalkTalk scores lowest in Ofcom broadband satisfaction survey as Orange turns tables

Warwick Ashford

Broadband connection speeds remain the biggest issue for UK broadband customers, according to the latest customer service satisfaction survey by telecoms regulator Ofcom.

Concern about connection speeds is followed by changing packages. Increasingly, higher than expected bills are also causes for concern.

TalkTalk/Tiscali has the worst level of customer service, the survey revealed, with the lowest satisfaction score of 52% and highest dissatisfaction score of 23%.

TalkTalk also has the least loyal customers with 34% saying they are less likely to use TalkTalk again for their broadband service.

Top of the rankings for broadband customer service is Orange with a satisfaction score of 76% and a dissatisfaction score of only 11%. This constitutes a marked improvement from 2009, when Orange had the lowest satisfaction levels at 42%.

In the satisfaction rankings, Orange is followed by BSkyB (60%), BT (57%) and Virgin Media (56%).

BT and Virgin Media both emerged with a dissatisfaction score of 20%, only 3% away from worst scoring TalkTalk/Tiscali. But BT customers reported improved satisfaction scores on six customer service criteria, as did BSkyB.

Ofcom - which polled 3,000 consumers for the survey - has announced a free, independent complaint-resolution service.

If a complaint about fixed line, broadband or mobile services remains unresolved after eight weeks, customers have the right to refer their complaint to the Ombudsman Services.

From 22 July, phone and broadband providers will also have to include information of the relevant dispute resolution service on all paper bills. Phone and broadband providers will also have to write to customers whose complaints have not been resolved within eight weeks to inform them of their right to take their complaint to a dispute-resolution service.

Ofcom is also considering ways to make the switching processes quicker and easier across communications services, to improve consumers' experience and to make competition more effective. Ofcom expects to issue an update to its switching review later this year.

Ofcom consumer group director, Claudio Pollack, says research shows there can be considerable differences in consumers' experiences of customer service.

"By publishing this research we want to give consumers an insight into the standard of customer service being offered across the communications sector. The more information of this kind consumers have, the more effectively they can exercise their choice," Claudio Pollack said.

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