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EE most complained about broadband operator, says Ofcom

Ofcom releases statistics on the number of consumer complaints against broadband, phone and pay TV operators, collaring EE as the worst offender

EE is failing broadband customers on faults, service and provision, billing and complaints handling, according to quarterly complaints statistics released by Ofcom – and rival Vodafone is not faring much better on mobile services.

Ofcom’s latest round-up of consumer complaint volumes, made against landline, broadband, mobile and pay TV providers, covers the first three months of 2015. The regulator publishes this data to help consumers compare performance and evaluate the possibility of switching, and to give operators an incentive to improve their service.

Ofcom found complaints for broadband and pay TV services rose in the first quarter of 2015, but there were fewer landline and mobile complaints than in the last three months of 2014. Broadband services attracted the most complaints.

Ofcom found EE generated 0.51 complaints per 1,000 customers, an increase on the fourth quarter of 2014, with faults, service and provision making up 37% of the total. BT, Plusnet and TalkTalk were also generating complaint volumes above average. Virgin Media complaints, at 0.09 per 1,000, were well below average, although they increased quarter-on-quarter, while Sky emerged as the best performing operator, generating 0.05 complaints for every 1,000 users.

EE poor for landline and mobile services

Ofcom hauled EE over the coals when it came to landline telephones, with volumes up to 0.39 per 1,000, mostly relating to problems changing provider. BT, Plusnet and TalkTalk were again singled out for criticism, and Sky named as the best performing operator.

On mobile pay-monthly services, Vodafone continued to generate the most complaints, with billing, pricing and charges the most annoying issue for customers. EE and TalkTalk Mobile were also above average, although were seen to have improved over the final quarter of 2014, while Virgin Mobile, O2, Three and Tesco Mobile were all below average, with Tesco the best performing operator, at just 0.01 complaints per 1,000 users.

Ofcom reviews EE's complaint handling

Finally, BT continued to generate the highest volume of pay TV complaints per 1,000 customers, at 0.15, with TalkTalk’s service also proving troublesome for users. Virgin Media was in line with the average, while industry grandfather Sky was the best performing operator once again, with 0.01 complaints per 1,000 customers.

Ofcom said it received an average of 300 complaints a day from consumers, and would use its data to help decide where it may need to step in – it is currently probing Vodafone’s compliance with its rules on complaints, billing and sales and marketing practice, and is also investigating EE’s complaints handling procedure.

“The reduction in the total number of complaints is welcome but there is still room for providers to improve their performance,” said Ofcom’s director of Content and Consumer Group, Claudio Pollack. “This report is one of a number of ways we seek to give providers incentive to address areas of customer dissatisfaction.”

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