UK consumers largely satisfied with comms services – Ofcom

Ofcom has published a research report claiming UK consumers are predominantly satisfied with their communications services. However, the research also found service quality still needs improvement.

The Consumer Experience 2014 report showed the proportion of subscribers who were dissatisfied was either stable or declined from the year before. This was the case for all five reporting segments: fixed-line, mobile, broadband, digital TV and bundle.

At 9% the highest dissatisfaction rate was in the broadband category, while 6% of mobile users, 4% of landline subscribers and 4% of digital TV viewers said they weren’t happy with their service (please see graph below).

Ofcom said the purpose of the report is to assess the quality of communications services, and gain understanding what is needed to further develop the market.

“People in the UK increasingly depend on telephone, broadband, broadcasting and postal services in their personal and professional lives,” the regulator said in a statement. “Today’s report highlights Ofcom’s work to ensure good communications services for consumers wherever they live, and whatever their circumstances.”

In what feels like a bid of a déjà vu, Ofcom announced five conclusions it has apparently made based on the report.

Firstly the regulator said telecoms installations and repairs need improvement. Ofcom said the requirements it imposed on BT’s network maintenance company Openreach in June under which it is required to fix major faults within two working days, are already helping.

Another area for work announced was improving mobile calls entailing the recently announced agreement between operators and the government to extend each telco’s voice and text coverage to 90% of the UK geography by 2017. Ofcom was also keen to point out it has set a rule that requires 4G mobile broadband to reach 98% of the population.

Other targets included better subtitling on TV for the advantage of the deaf and hard of hearing, making information available to help consumers choose services and incentivise providers, and continuous monitoring of Royal Mail’s postal targets.

On a separate note, Ofcom also said its research last year found 85% of UK SMEs felt well-served by their communications providers, while some still had concerns especially over obtaining new services and their reliability. The competition watchdog said based on this consultation, it is now considering what policies could address the issues, and expects to outline next steps by spring 2015.


Ofcom Consumer Experience report graph

One comment

  1. Avatar Keith Jones 29/01/2015 @ 8:01 am

    Recently I had very poor to no Broadband service from BT and No phone line service for nearly a month. BT stated time and time again that I had no long term contract and they refused to replace the faulty home hub. In the end I switched to another supplier. Today BT charged me £30.00 for ending my broadband service. How can this be right ? Surely we should be free to switch at no cost?

    I notice that 9% of customers are unhappy. How many people is that ? A few million ?

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