TalkTalk and Virgin Media customers were the most likely to complain to Ofcom about their services, even though Ofcom will not resolve individual complaints. Overall, fewer customers are complaining to the regulator.
According to Ofcom data, TalkTalk and Shell Energy generated the most broadband complaints, mostly due to faults and service issues. TalkTalk was also the most complained-about landline provider.
Virgin Media generated the most complaints about a pay TV service. Meanwhile, pay monthly mobile customers at iD Mobile, Vodafone and Virgin Mobile were more likely to contact Ofcom. This was mainly to complain about how their company was handling their complaints.
But customers contacting Ofcom expecting a resolution may be in for a disappointment. The regulator admitted that it cannot resolve individual complaints. It says if customers are unhappy with their provider, they should “shop around” and switch.
EE, Tesco Mobile and Sky attracted the fewest complaints in the mobile sector, and Sky was the least complained-about pay-TV provider. EE and Sky also attracted the fewest broadband and landline complaints.
The data is from the regulator’s latest quarterly update, which covers the third quarter of 2021. Ofcom says the number of complaints it receives are at “all time lows”.
What does Ofcom do when it receives complaints?
Ofcom says it “cannot resolve individual complaints”. But it offers consumers “advice”. The information it receives can lead to it “launching investigations”.
Instead, anyone experiencing problems is told to complain to their provider first. Then, if that leads nowhere, a complaint to an independent ombudsman should follow.
So what use is Ofcom? It says: “The information we publish about complaints helps people compare companies when shopping around for a new provider and encourages firms to improve their performance. Our service quality hub offers further information on how people can choose the best provider for them.”
Fergal Farragher, Ofcom’s Consumer Protection Director adds:
“Complaints have fallen to a record low, and we expect providers to keep working to achieve the highest standards. If you’re unhappy with your provider, it’s worth shopping around. We’ve made it easier than ever to switch, and you could end up with better customer service as well saving money.”