EE vows investment as Ofcom again receives most complaints about its broadband service


Operator says customers will see improvements as it tops broadband complaints rankings for eighth straight quarter

EE has vowed to increase investment in the quality of its broadband, after finishing bottom in the rankings of a recent Telecoms and Pay TV Complaints Ofcom report.

The company, now owned by BT following a £12.5bn acquisition in January, has held the unwanted spot for eight consecutive quarters.

EE told Mobile News in September last year, it was “addressing the issue” surrounding complaints, describing it as a priority.

This included an overhaul of its broadband customer service team and the creation of new operations hub ‘Broadband Service First’, employing 500 additional staff.

However, the report shows complaints matched numbers in the last three months of 2015, averaging 34 per 100,000 customers.

This was, though, a marked improvement on the same period a year ago where the telecoms regulator received 51 complaints per 100,000 customers.

Ofcom said the mobile operator’s main complaint drivers were related to faults, service and provision issues, complaints handling; and also issues with billing, pricing and charges.

More work to be done

An EE spokesman said: “While complaints have dropped or stayed flat in all categories, there is still more work to be done to improve our landline and broadband service.

“Our customers will see further improvements as we continue to invest heavily in providing the best possible experience.”

BT overtook TalkTalk as the second-most complained-about broadband provider, with Ofcom receiving 31 complaints per 100,000 customers – up from 28 in the previous quarter.

Complaints for TalkTalk fell marginally from 31 to 30 per 100,000 customers in the first three months of this year.

A BT spokesperson said it is “investing heavily” to improve customer service by vowing to answer 90 per cent of its customers’ calls by next March, and introducing dedicated advisors for complex problems.

Heavy investment

“We apologise to any customers we’ve let down. BT cares about the service it gives and we know we need to do better.

“We’ve been investing heavily in improvements to customer service. We’re upgrading our level of service to next-day repair and have promised to answer 90 per cent of our customers’ calls in the UK by the end of March 2017. We’ve introduced dedicated advisors to help individual customers with complex problems as well as installing new software and systems so customers can serve themselves online.

“These improvements should also ensure that we keep our promises to call customers when we say we will. Customers are beginning to benefit from these changes and should continue to see an improvement as our investment continues to take effect over the rest of 2016.”

In the fixed-line sector,  Post Office HomePhone rated worst in the January-March period, with complaints up significantly on the last quarter from 20 to 29 per 100,000.

TalkTalk followed with 28 complaints per 100,000 customers, though this fell from 30 per 100,000 the previous quarter.

Ofcom said both Post Office HomePhone’s and TalkTalk’s complaints chiefly related to issues around faults, service and complaints handling.