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Broadband complaints hit three-year high during lockdown; Virgin Media rated worst

Virgin Media has been rated by regulator Ofcom as the worst telecom provider for the first three months of this year.

Ofcom’s latest rankings on the number of complaints it received about the UK’s main telephone, broadband, mobile, and pay-TV companies took place during the UK’s third Covid-19 lockdown when millions of people depended heavily on their telecom services.

While complaints about mobile services remained broadly stable, complaints about broadband and home telephones reached a three-year high, while complaints about pay-TV services also increased.

This was largely due to Virgin Media, the most complained about broadband, home phones, and pay-TV. The main reason customers complained to Ofcom about Virgin Media had to do with the way the company handled their complaints.

Jointly second on the list with the most complaints were TalkTalk and Vodafone, each with 24 complaints per 100,000, followed by Plusnet with 21 complaints per 100,000 customers.

Virgin Mobile was also the most complained about the mobile operator, along with Three; while Tesco Mobile, Sky Mobile, and EE generated the fewest complaints. Sky and EE were also the least complained about broadband and home phone providers. Sky also received the fewest complaints about pay TV.

Fergal Farragher, director of consumer protection at Ofcom, said: “These complaint figures are from the height of the pandemic, which has been a difficult time for everyone, including businesses, but some providers have clearly struggled more with customer service than others and we understand how frustrating that is. must have been for their customers at a time when they most needed their communications services.

“We’ve made it clear to providers that we expect performance to now returns to the levels we saw before the pandemic, or even better.”

Virgin Media said: “Since Ofcom collected its data for this report, we have made a number of improvements to our customer service, including hiring more than 500 healthcare workers, reducing complaints by 70 percent, placing them at the lowest level. since 2018. We continue to invest and improve to provide our customers with the high-quality service they rightly expect.”

Last month, the government announced a £5 billion plan to upgrade about two million homes nationwide with gigabit broadband.