Feeds

Ofcom: Where's the broadband beef?

Mobile grumbles down, silent call complaints up

Intelligent flash storage arrays

UK regulator Ofcom has been looking into what customers dislike in their communications, culminating in the publication of the third annual report on what's been riling users most over the last 12 months.

The report covers every aspect of the communications industry, and runs to 167 pages (pdf). Mobile phone users seem remarkably happy, with only three per cent dissatisfied with their service, compared to 25 per cent of broadband users who reckon they aren't getting the speed they deserve. Most of those seem pretty sanguine about things though, as despite poor speeds only ten per cent of broadband users told Ofcom they were unsatisfied with their supplier.

Mobile phone cashback deals, which have been the subject of a crackdown after a couple of high-profile failures earlier in the year, aren't attracting the same level of complaint these days: only 70 people complained in September 2008, compared to 600 in the same period last year.

More worrying is the increase in silent calls, where a computer connects the call expecting a human agent to be available at the right moment, and just leaves the callee hanging if no human is available; to most of us an irritation, but to some rather scary. Those calls are attracting 1,050 complaints a month now, more than three times the level in 2007 despite Ofcom taking action against Abbey and Barclaycard amongst others.

Recipients of such calls can now turn to new leaflets from Ofcom explaining how to complain - though there's nothing revolutionary in the advice. Everyone should join the telephone preference service, which helps but can't stop calls from abroad; though they will send you a nice letter explaining that if you complain.

Silent calls can be hard to identify, and Ofcom recommends reporting the matter to your telephony provider if you can't work out who it is calling you, and provides alternative contacts if that doesn't work.

The complainers' guides are available from Ofcom, and probably worth getting hold of before the removal of termination fees leads to the inevitable increase in cold calling. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Same old iPad? NO. The new 'soft SIMs' are BIG NEWS
AppleSIM 'ware to allow quick switch of carriers
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Brits: Google, can you scrape 60k pages from web, pleeease
Hey, c'mon Choc Factory, it's our 'right to be forgotten'
Of COURSE Stephen Elop's to blame for Nokia woes, says author
'Google did have some unique propositions for Nokia'
It's even GRIMMER up North after MEGA SKY BROADBAND OUTAGE
By 'eck! Eccles cake production thrown into jeopardy
Mobile coverage on trains really is pants
You thought it was just *insert your provider here*, but now we have numbers
Don't mess with Texas ('cos it's getting Google Fiber and you're not)
A bit late, but company says 1Gbps Austin network almost ready to compete with AT&T
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.