EE and Sky shine as telco complaints fall to pre-pandemic levels

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Complaints about the telecoms industry fell to levels seen before the start of the pandemic, according to latest figures from Ofcom.

The regulator publishes data every three months to help consumers make informed decisions and to encourage operators to improve their service and how they handle complaints.

The volume of grievances increased during lockdown, as many people became increasingly reliant on their home and broadband connections for work, education, communication, and entertainment.

Ofcom complaints

The previous reporting period covered January through to March and were the highest quarterly figures for three years. However, Ofcom’s latest report focused on April and June, coinciding with the easing of many lockdown restrictions, allowing for the return of many pre-pandemic behaviours.

As has been in the case in previous quarters, consumers appear to be largely satisfied with their mobile operator given the low number of complaints when compared to other markets.

The industry average was 2 complaints per 100,000 customers, a figure better by Tesco Mobile, BT Mobile, Sky Mobile, EE and O2. Three (3), Vodafone (3) and Virgin Media (4) were all named as the most complained about operators.

Complaints about Virgin Media fell significantly across all four markets (mobile, landline, Pay-TV, and broadband), however it was the most complained about Pay-TV operator. Sky, which has traditionally dominated this category, was the least complained about provider.

Sky was also the least complained about broadband provider, along with EE, with TalkTalk attracted the most complaints with 19 per 100,000 – more than the industry average of 12.  

“It’s encouraging to see complaints figures falling across the board to pre-pandemic levels, but providers cannot be complacent about their customer service,” said Fergal Farragher, Ofcom’s Consumer Protection Director. “Those with a consistently high number of complaints still have a lot of work to do to ensure they meet the expectations of their customers.”

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Steve McCaskill is TechRadar Pro's resident mobile industry expert, covering all aspects of the UK and global news, from operators to service providers and everything in between. He is a former editor of Silicon UK and journalist with over a decade's experience in the technology industry, writing about technology, in particular, telecoms, mobile and sports tech, sports, video games and media.