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Ofcom tells industry to “up its game” on customer service

Manny Pham
April 18, 2017

Tesco Mobile customers had the highest levels of satisfaction compared to the mobile sector as a whole (96 per cent)

Ofcom has told the telecoms industry to “up its game” while presenting its first ‘comparing service quality’ report on April 12.

In the report covering the calendar year of 2016, Ofcom found mobile (92 per cent), landline (89 per cent) and broadband customers (87 per cent) were satisfied with their service.

Virgin Media customers were the happiest with their broadband service (91 per cent), compared to the sector overall, while BT customers reported the highest levels of overall satisfaction with their landline telephone service (92 per cent). Tesco Mobile customers had the highest levels of satisfaction, compared to the mobile sector as a whole (96 per cent).

13 per cent of broadband customers complained to their provider in 2016 compared to five per cent from landline and four per cent from mobile customers.

Virgin Media and TalkTalk had the highest proportion of complaints for broadband both at 16 per cent. In the mobile market Vodafone customers complained at a rate of seven per cent.

Wait time

Broadband and landline customers had to wait over twice as long to speak to a customer service advisor, two minutes and 51 seconds, compared to mobile customers who waited only a minute.

Plusnet broadband and landline customers waited seven minutes and 27 seconds on average, the longest duration. 21 per cent hung up before getting through. TalkTalk responded quickest to broadband and landline customers, taking on average 47 seconds. Alongside EE, TalkTalk had the lowest rate of calls abandoned at four per cent.

In mobile O2 customers were kept waiting the longest at two minutes and three seconds on average. Tesco performed the best at 30 seconds to an answer. Eight per cent of O2 customers hung up before speaking to someone, compared to three per cent of EE’s mobile customers.


The regulatory body has also launched a service comparison interactive tool for consumers.

Ofcom chief executive Sharon White said: “We’re determined to help bring about a service revolution in the telecoms sector, where consistency and excellence becomes the norm, and customers always come first.

“Today we want to shine a light on how different providers perform, and are challenging the industry to up its game on customer service. We’ll be monitoring closely to ensure industry service standards are raised.”

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