Ofcom customer service updatesSophie James
New research published by Ofcom highlights which phone and broadband companies are setting the industry standard for good customer service in the UK.
Sharing the data, based on company performance up to January 2020, therefore before the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded, Ofcom’s fourth annual Comparing Customer Service report shows that overall, 85% of broadband customers say they are satisfied with their service. Specifically, the report looks at how each of the major telecoms providers performed in 2019 on measures including customer complaints received, value for money and overall customer satisfaction.
Twelve per cent of broadband customers say they had a reason to complain about their service or provider, in line with 2018 – although people were more likely to be happy with how their complaints were handled than in 2018 (up to 53% from 49% in 2018). Ofcom notes that, in sharing the customer service performance of the UK’s main mobile, broadband and home phone providers, the report allows people to look beyond the price and see what level of service they can expect from different providers, as well as incentivising providers to improve their customer service.
To coincide with the Comparing Customer Service annual report, Ofcom has also published its findings from a review of the automatic compensation scheme. The voluntary scheme was introduced in April 2019 to ensure that, when things go wrong, people get money back from their provider without having to ask for it. The graphic below shows how it works:
Between July and December 2019, Ofcom’s automatic compensation scheme saw over £20.7 million paid out to broadband and landline customers who experienced problems with their services. This is more than double the £8m the regulator estimated was paid out over an equivalent six-month period before the scheme was in place. The scheme is voluntary, and now covers around 80% of broadband and landline customers in the country. Ofcom states that, overall, the scheme is operating as intended and signatories have taken steps to address issues that have occurred.