Broadband complaints peak in three-year lockdown
Broadband complaints peaked in three years on lockdowns, as official figures show complaints increased when workers and students needed a reliable internet connection most
- Virgin Media saw the biggest increase in broadband complaints this year
- Complaints hit their highest level in three years in third lockdown
- TalkTalk and Vodafone were second in complaints, with 24 per 100,000
Complaints about the UK’s failing broadband system increased when workers, schoolchildren and students needed it most.
Official figures show complaints about broadband and fixed-line services reached their highest level in three years during the third lockdown.
Regulator Ofcom said the average number of complaints it received on all broadband services fell from 16 per 100,000 customers in the last three months of 2020 to 19 in the first three months of this year. .
Much of this can be explained by an increase in complaints about Virgin Media, from 23 to 33 per 100,000.
Official figures show complaints about broadband and fixed-line services peaked in three years during third lockdown [stock image]
TalkTalk and Vodafone were second in complaints, with 24 per 100,000.
They were followed by Plusnet, with 21 complaints per 100,000.
Many of the failures at Virgin Media involved issues handling complaints, including customers on hold for a long time.
Virgin has claimed its service levels have deteriorated because it has had to close call centers due to Covid-19, but claims response times have improved since then after hiring more staff from UK based customer service.
This is largely explained by an increase in complaints about Virgin Media, from 23 to 33 per 100,000.
Fergal Farragher, Ofcom’s director of consumer protection, said: “These complaint numbers come from the peak of the pandemic, which has been a difficult time for everyone, including businesses.
“But some vendors clearly had more difficulty than others with customer service, and we understand how frustrating it must have been for their customers at a time when they needed their communications services the most.”
He added: “We have made it clear to suppliers that we expect performance to now return to at least the levels we saw before the pandemic – or even better.”
EE and Sky were the least criticized providers, a position they have held since 2019.