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Ofcom's first comparing service quality report

28 April 2017

Ofcom has released its first ‘Comparing Service Quality’ report, and produced an online tool to help phone and broadband customers compare the performance of the providers of these services in regard to answering customer calls, handling complaints, and reliability of their services. Ofcom hopes the findings will incentivise providers to improve their service quality and fix recurring problems.

The data draws on a combination of consumer research and complaints figures, as well as statistics obtained directly from providers that have not been published before. In the case of mobile the report reveals:

  • More than 1 in 12 mobile customers are dissatisfied with their mobile reception – increasing to 1 in 5 in rural areas.
  • 28% of mobile customers cannot get a decent 4G signal indoors from all providers – limiting their choice.
  • 2 in 5 mobile data connections made by 4G customers were on 3G or even 2G connections

Satisfaction with complaint handling varies dramatically across mobile providers: 74% of Tesco Mobile customers are happy with this compared to only 46% of Vodafone.

The broadband statistics reveal that one in twenty installations took more than 30 days and 1 in 13 customers felt they had a reason to complain about the service they received.

And on landline and broadband customer service, the average time to pick up a sales call is 1 min 19 secs but for support it is just short of 4 minutes: 10% of callers hang up before ever getting through. The worst offender, Plusnet, recorded an average of 7 minutes 27 secs to pick up a call.

These are issues we have raised with the industry and Ofcom and we will continue to highlight poor service such as this. Publishing this data is something the Panel has called for, and we hope to see the providers assist too, by sharing more data in future.

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