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BT and Vodafone named and shamed by Oftel

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BT and Vodafone has been named and shamed by telecoms regulator Oftel for having the most customer complaints in Internet access and mobile services respectively.

Measuring complaints made to Oftel between April and September this year, BT was the villain of the Internet with 0.7 complaints per 1,000 customers - nearly double its nearest rival and over double the industry average. AOL, Freeserve and Telewest came out lowest of those featured with 0.1 complaints.

Meanwhile, Vodafone won the top spot with Cellular Operations, at the remarkable 1.4 customer complaints per 1,000. Vodafone bought Cellular in March, perhaps reflecting some difficulty pulling the company into the wider Vodafone company. Particularly, one suspects, for the 90,000 O2 customers Cellular has on its books (as opposed to the 375,000 Vodafone customers).

Vodafone also came number three with another recent acquisition - 4U. It only bought the company in August so it could be forgiven. Although Oftel does not give a time breakdown for the complaints, so they may well all have occurred in August and September and 4U is set to take the gold medal for complaints next time round.

Vodafone was far more respectable coming behind only Virgin with 0.1 complaints per 1,000. The market average was 0.4.

Complaints were down in the Internet market from 5,235 last time to 4,700 in the past six months. The top three issues accounting for 8, 7 and 6 per cent respectively were: a billing problem, erratic connection and a complaint ignored by the ISP.

Complaints were however up in the mobile phone industry: 19,950 this time compared to 18,000 last time - an increase of nearly 11 per cent. The top three problems this time were: company ignoring a complaint; dodgy tariffs and price plans; and the handset not working. They accounted for 6, 6 and 5 per cent respectively. ®

Related link
Oftel's report

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