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TalkTalk is worst broadband provider for customer service. So, should you avoid them? Not necessarily …

Robin Bowman

Robin Bowman
May 3, 2018


TalkTalk’s broadband service is officially the pits for complaint handling and reliability, says the latest survey from telecoms watchdog, Ofcom.

The provider’s customers were the least likely to recommend it to friends.

Commenting on the findings, TalkTalk said in a statement that while the "results are disappointing", the company was rolling out major service improvements.

Virgin Media had the most satisfied customers for broadband speeds.

TalkTalk said: "We've closed down our call centres in India. We have introduced new online tools to help customers resolve issues quickly and conveniently. And we are launching new Wi-Fi routers to strengthen network reliability.

"All these initiatives are starting to deliver material improvement in satisfaction levels."

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The report covers the quality of service broadband users can expect from the UK's six biggest providers.

It is part of Ofcom's efforts to encourage consumers to "shop around" for providers that best meet their needs.

Overall, 80% of  broadband customers said they were satisfied with their service, while 15% had a reason to complain.

Virgin Media was the only provider with above-average customer satisfaction for broadband speeds.

And Virgin’s customers were more likely than the average to recommend the service to a friend.

The report also showed that throughout the industry, satisfaction with complaints handling could be a lot better.

Avoid TalkTalk?

So, should you avoid TalkTalk as their customer service rating is so low?

We’d say, no, not necessarily.

The whole point of these surveys is to shock big providers out of any complacency, make they bring in changes to improve things. These companies hate bad publicity that shrinks their customer base.

And they’ll do two things to turn things around ­– make genuine improvements, some of which will take a while to filter through, and be more competitive than their rivals on price. So, a big provider like TalkTalk is always worth considering when they are making changes and trying to win back market share.

Mobiles

The survey also covered mobile phone providers and found that overall 91% of customers were satisfied with their provider, and only 4% had a reason to make a complaint.  

Vodafone and Virgin Mobile customers were least likely to recommend these companies to others.

Tesco Mobile and Giffgaff fared best in the same category.

"People often focus on price when they're choosing a phone or broadband provider, but there are big differences in the customer service offered by providers," Lindsey Fussell, Ofcom's consumer group director, said.

 

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