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Ofcom: TalkTalk "most complained about ISP"


By Stewart Mitchell

Posted on 22 Mar 2012 at 11:00

TalkTalk has again attracted the most complaints of any ISP, for the fifth quarter in a row, Ofcom has said.

In the last three months of 2011, the ISP saw 0.61 complaints per 1,000 customers, while BT saw 0.5 complaints per 1,000 customers, with Orange recording 0.48 unhappy users per 1,000.

According to Ofcom, TalkTalk’s customer criticism “was largely driven by line faults and other service issues”.

The figures showed the least complained about ISPs were Sky and Virgin, with 0.17 and 0.18 complaints per 1,000 customers respectively.

The significant increase in complaints against Orange was driven by their announcement to increase their monthly plan prices for all customers including those who were tied into existing contracts

TalkTalk has at least recovered from its Q1 2011 high of 0.81 complaints per 1,000 customers and said it believed the trend was improving.

"While there will always be variations in the quarterly data, we are confident that the longterm trend is positive - fewer complaints, more calls being resolved first time and improving customer service," the company said in a statement.

"There is more work to do, but we are confident that the measures we've put in place are paying dividends.”

It was, however, also by far the most complained about landline operator (0.78 complaints per 1,000) with more than four times the number of unhappy customers than best-ranked Virgin.

Mobile providers

Mobile providers received far fewer negative comments from users, Ofcom said, but top offender Orange was hit by a huge spike in complaints following an in-contract price hike. The carrier saw the number of critics swell from 0.07 customers per 1,000 to 0.17.

“The significant increase in complaints against Orange was driven by their announcement to increase their monthly plan prices for all customers including those who were tied into existing contracts,” Ofcom said.

The regulator said it received the second most complaints about mobile services from 3 UK, driven by complaints about disputed charges and customer services.

O2 recorded the fewest complaints, with only 0.02 complaints per 1,000 subscribers, Ofcom said.

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User comments

TalkTalk has yet to return a call

You own me a new keyboard for that! Coffee all over it...

By greemble on 22 Mar 2012

Sounds about right

I think these complaints boil down to satisfaction after contacting customer support:
A mate has had a bad line from Sky recently and they've been very fair in their fiscal compromise. My mum is with TalkTalk up North and she says there's nothing to be gained from getting in touch.
I'm on O2 mobile and apart from an issue when I first joined (for which the charge was refunded) it's been slow but solid - and after two years, two days ago my signal letter changed from G to H so I'm deleriously happy with them now.

By dubiou on 22 Mar 2012

Talk Talk refuse to Return Stolen Money

As an ex-Pipex customer, I was horrified when I found out they were being taken over by TalkTalk and immediately cancelled. TalkTalk continued to bill me for months and now refuse to return my money despite 54 calls to them over a 6 month period. OfCom can't help and I've tried the ombudsman. Always the same line from TalkTalk "a supervisor will call you back within 48 hours", they never do. I'm now being told they cannot access Pipex customer details anymore as that system has been taken offline. I'm out of pocket over £80. OfCom forced TalkTalk to set up a team to deal with overbilled customers but when I ask to be put through to this team I'm told they do not exist and then put through to an automated survey.
DO NOT sign up to TalkTalk, if it's too late, leave as soon as you can. You have been warned...

By KingJamie on 22 Mar 2012

I've got lovely new business cards

but I wouldn't have needed them if TalkTalk hadn't irrevocably deleted our phone line.

Still... I'm now a happy BT Infinity customer and I've mostly put the whole awful experience of being a TalkTalk customer behind me.

By revsorg on 22 Mar 2012

Protect your privacy

The privacy rights that we are supposedly afforded in life don’t translate to our online lives. When we send a letter we have a reasonable expectation of privacy. The letter will arrive at its destination, unopened.

You can stop ISP's from spying on you and protect your online privacy by clearing evercookies ( and getting an encrypted tunnel like

Most proxies available are SSL based and as such are prone to trusted man in the middle attacks. Hush Tunnel uses SSH and is the easiest way to protect your online privacy.

By akentrepreneur on 23 Mar 2012

Not all bad

Our Talktalk phone line went crackly, I phoned them up and they had someone out the next day.

By john_coller on 23 Mar 2012

Equally appauled

I am as appauled with TalkTalk as any other complainant. As an IT and mobile telecoms expert I sometimes feel I shoud've known better than to sign up to TalkTalk. Last year my bandwidth and latency was miraculously reduced to an unbearable level. I was receiving a ping of around 1500ms and my bandwidth was 500kbps. Obviously I called them and used their 'TalkTalk Members' site to diagnose the problem and the end result was, according to them, that my microwave and DAB radio were causing the problems. They were incredibly patronising and treated me as if I was a complete noob. Asking me, "can you find the Start button" when I blatantly told them I'm a Linux user and them asking me to scan for viruses just made me feel a bit of a fool. Strangely my connection has recently returned to normal since I lodged a full complaint, but I must say, once my dreadful 24-month contract is up, I'm off! Regrettably however my ISP of choice (O2) is not available in Swansea.

TalkTalk: terrible customer services, dire billing system, sub-standard connection.

By ntpreece on 24 Mar 2012

try Virgin

I've been with Virgin (ADSL) for a few years and it is very solid (about 4km from the exchange in mid-Wales). Not cheapest (just going up to £20 pm), but the only time I needed assistance they were spot on (knew which router I was using and instructed me how to reset it).

By KMJones1 on 24 Mar 2012

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