EE, BT, iD Mobile and Three all saw their average call waiting times increase compared with 2021, while O2, Tesco Mobile, Virgin Mobile and Vodafone reduced theirs.
EE has the longest average call waiting times of three minutes and 41 seconds,up from tw minutes and 25 seconds over the year before. Last year’s worst performer O2 has improved average waiting time from from four minutes to two minutes and 33 seconds.
Mobile customers spent an average of 2min 23s in a queue last year, up from 2min 15 seconds the previous year. Broadband and landline customers waited 2min 37 seconds on average, compared to two minutes 16 seconds in 2021.
Ofcom’s seventh annual comparing customer service report paints a mixed picture of how providers performed in 2022.
It reveals that people were more likely to be satisfied with their mobile provider (87 per cent) than their broadband (82 per cent) or landline company (77 per cent). And while average numbers of overall complaints to Ofcom fell year-on-year, there are clear areas where the industry needs to improve, particularly around call waiting times and complaints handling.
Phone is the most popular way by far for customers to contact their provider accounting for 77 per cent of mobile customer contacts and 90 per cent of landline and broadband contacts. Webchat was the next most popular way, at 17 per cent and six per cent respectively.
Virgin Mobile scored lower than average for overall satisfaction (81 per cent), while Tesco Mobile and giffgaff customers had higher-than-average satisfaction (both 95 per cent). Tesco Mobile (95 per cent) and giffgaff (93% per cent ) also scored above average for value for money, with EE (74 per cent ) and Vodafone (76 per cent) scoring below average.
“We asked telecoms customers what frustrates them most with their providers. The message is clear: they want to get through to the right person on the phone quickly, and have their complaints dealt with first time. With switching becoming simpler, providers that continue to let standards slip should expect customers to show them the door.” said Ian Macrae, Ofcom’s director of market intelligence.