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Virgin Media's broadband customers are more likely to recommend their provider to a friend than subscribers with other companies, new research has found.

According to Ofcom, the number of Virgin Media broadband customers willing to recommend their provider to others is well above the industry average.

Similarly, Virgin Media was found to have the highest customer satisfaction ratings, with 83 per cent of broadband customers saying they are happy with the service they receive.

By contrast, the report showed that TalkTalk customers are less likely to recommend their provider to a friend, while just 72 per cent said they were satisfied with their broadband service.

Meanwhile, figures revealed that only 40 per cent of TalkTalk customers are happy with how complaints were handled, compared with 46 per cent of Virgin Media subscribers.

EE and Sky scored best in this category, with satisfaction ratings of 59 per cent and 57 per cent respectively.

Overall, 80 per cent of broadband customers said they are satisfied with the service they receive.

However, the proportion of customers with a reason to complain has gone up, rising from 13 per cent in 2016 to 15 per cent in 2017, largely because of slow and patchy connections.

Broadband customers across the board are also increasingly displeased with how grievances are dealt with, as satisfaction over the handling of complaints fell from 56 per cent to 50 per cent.

Ofcom has therefore urged broadband providers to improve how they respond to people's complaints.

Lindsey Fussell, Consumer Group Director at the watchdog, commented: "People often focus on price when they’re choosing a broadband provider, but there are big differences in the customer service offered by providers.

"We’re encouraging people to look beyond the price and consider customer service too. In such a competitive market, companies simply can’t afford to let their service standards slip. If they don’t up their game, customers can vote with their feet.”

Ewan Taylor-Gibson, Telecoms Expert at uSwitch, added that Ofcom's findings might give several providers "pause for thought".

"Clearly one in seven broadband customers having a reason to complain is just not good enough," he said.

"In the case of TalkTalk, which scores poorly in terms of a range of customer service measures, there’s a feeling that the provider has struggled to redress its public image since the high-profile data breach of 2015."

However, Mr Taylor-Gibson insisted that unhappy customers do not have to "stick it out" and should be willing to complain to their provider.

Furthermore, he said that if people are not happy with the solution they offer, a free ombudsman service can review their case.

"Customers shouldn’t suffer shoddy service," Mr Taylor-Gibson continued.

"They can vote with their feet, as the likelihood is that there’s a better suited service that is more appropriate for their needs - and they may even save money in the process too."

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