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TalkTalk still the most whinged about telco

Ofcom numbers show provider is most bemoaned in the second quarter

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TalkTalk has retained its tarnished crown as the telco consumers complain most about, according to Ofcom's sums.

The communications watchdog continues to receive oodles of gripes about the nation's providers, an average of 360 a day, and TalkTalk is the most unloved with 0.8 complaints per 1,000 users on its landline services and 0.58 per 1,000 on broadband.

It's not a great result for the telco, but the figures are an improvement on the previous quarter, when 1.12 complaints per 1,000 were made about its landlines and 0.8 per 1,000 over its broadband services.

The watchdog said:

The spike in complaints against TalkTalk Group in November 2010 largely reflects Ofcom’s announcement on 2 November that it had instructed TalkTalk and Tiscali to stop breaching telecoms regulations by issuing bills to consumers for services that have not been provided. Since then complaints about TalkTalk have declined.

TalkTalk's statement, in response to the new figures, said that its service had significantly improved after the integration with Tiscali:

We’re committed to providing good service alongside our best value and, while we clearly still have lots to do, we’re confident that our customers are beginning to see the benefits of the changes we continue to make.

For landlines and broadband, the least moaned-about telco was Virgin Media, with BT, BSkyB – and for broadband, Orange – coming somewhere in the middle. Ofcom only has figures for criticisms that come to the watchdog rather than directly to providers, and it only looks at those telcos that have more than five per cent of the market and get at least 30 complaints a month.

When it comes to mobiles, 3UK has also hung on to the top spot and even seen an increase since the previous quarter in the number of complaints about its service. There were 0.14 complaints per 1,000 users between April and June, compared to 0.11 per 1,000 from January to March.

"The increase in complaints about 3UK seems to have been driven by disputed charges and customer service issues," Ofcom said.

O2 was the least whinged about mobile provider, with just 0.02 grievances per 1,000 customers and Orange, T-Mobile, Virgin and Vodafone all sat in the 0.05/1,000 to 0.07/1,000 range. ®

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