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TalkTalk drags arse in Ofcom ISP survey

DeafDeaf, more like, say customers

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TalkTalk may be earning plaudits in Whitehall for being the first major UK ISP to implement network-level anti-malware blockers on its service, but the company's customers aren't so easy to please.

Regulator Ofcom published its latest customer satisfaction findings in Blighty's communications market today, based on a survey of 3,000 people.

TalkTalk came last, with nearly a quarter of the telco's punters confirming they were dissatisfied with its call centre response to queries/problems with its landline telephone service.

"This was mainly due to customers being unable to get through to the right person, the speed of answering the phone and general dissatisfaction with the customer service advisor," noted Ofcom in its report.

The watchdog added that it had received a higher than average level of gripes about TalkTalk, compared with its rivals, such as BT and Virgin Media.

BSkyB came out on top as the provider offering the best telephone support to its customers, with 66 per cent of respondents saying they were satisfied with the service.

Similarly, TalkTalk was awarded the wooden spoon by 23 per cent of customers, who were unhappy with calls into the firm about its broadband service.

Orange, in contrast, racked up 11 per cent of customers dissatisfied with its broadband service – while 76 per cent said the company was doing a good job.

BT and BSkyB grabbed most improved broadband customer service satisfaction scores since Ofcom last measured customer happiness.

But TalkTalk really took a beating.

Its "customers are the least satisfied with aspects of customer service, for similar reasons to their landline service," said Ofcom.

"TalkTalk also has the least loyal customers (34 per cent saying they are less likely to use TalkTalk again for their broadband service)."

Ofcom added that mobile phone providers and pay TV services pleasingly scored higher-than-average customer service satisfaction levels.

T-Mobile and BSkyB topped the lists in those respective categories.

Starting tomorrow (22 July), ISPs will be required to include details of the relevant dispute resolution service (DRS) on all their paper bills.

The telcos will also have to write letters to customers whose complaints have not been resolved within eight weeks. Under the ruling by the watchdog, providers will be expected to remind customers about their right to take their complaint to a DRS.

Separately, the regulator has been considering forcing ISPs to make it easier for unhappy customers to switch providers. A review about this is expected from Ofcom later this year. ®

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