Complaints about BT’s TV service have fallen by more than half since last summer according to the latest Ofcom complaints bulletin.
In the first quarter of the year (January and March), the ISP and broadcaster received 0.25 complaints per 1,000 subscribers, down from 0.55 in the third quarter of 2013.
The numbers are still far above the industry average of 0.05 and BT remains the most complained about of the UK’s four pay-TV services.
TalkTalk was the second most complained about platform with 0.19 per 1,000 while Sky remains the least complained about with just 0.02 per 1,000.
Last year’s BT spike was caused in part by a move to a new user interface for its legacy Vision+ set top boxes which many users have complained is slow and harder to use. The upgrade process from the old software to the new also necessitated the wiping of users’ recordings which is understood to have played a factor in the number of complaints.
BT yesterday announced plans to roll-out a further update later this year which it says will deliver a faster and more reliable user experience.
The firm highlighted that Ofcom’s monthly breakdown shows complaints fell from 0.12 in January to 0.05 in March while TalkTalk had attracted 0.07 complaints per 1,000 subscribers in the same month.
A spokesperson said: “We are working hard to improve our customer service by creating hundreds of extra service jobs in the UK. In addition we are also investing to improve our systems and processes, including our repair process and our approach to diagnosing customer faults.”
Of the largest landline phone providers, TalkTalk generated the most complaints during the quarter, with 0.28 complaints per 1,000 customers – up slightly from the previous period.
BT’s complaints were 0.23 per 1,000 customers, also slightly up. Virgin Media and Sky were both below industry average, attracting 0.07 complaints per 1,000 and 0.10 per 1,000 respectively.
Three fixed-line broadband providers – EE, BT and TalkTalk – performed worse than the industry average of 0.18 complaints per 1,000, scoring .042, 0.33 and 0.24 respectively.
As well as performing poorly in the broadband sector, EE dominates complaints in the mobile market and attracted double the industry average of 0.06 per 1,000.
An EE spokesperson “We are committed to improving service levels and have plans to return over 1,000 customer service roles to the UK from overseas call centres, the first phase of which will see two new UK call centres open in the next few weeks.
“We are of course disappointed but will take on board the findings of this latest Ofcom report as we strive to offer our customers the best possible service.”
Three was the least complained about mobile provider with 0.04 per 1,000.
Commenting on the firm’s performance across all sectors, a TalkTalk spokesperson said: “The overall number of complaints about our services continues to fall, and we are pleased to see this reflected in Ofcom’s report.
“Complaints about broadband are down by two thirds compared to three years ago, and we are seeing far fewer complaints about landlines. We’ve continued to make significant improvements while building a TV business of over one million customers in just under 18 months.
“We set out to do this in a careful and managed way, which is reflected both in high levels of customer satisfaction and the low numbers of complaints for such a fast growing business.”
Claudio Pollack, Director of Ofcom’s Consumer Group said: “Publishing complaints data is a key part of our work to provide useful comparative information for consumers, and drive improvements in quality of service across the communications sector.
“The report highlights the performance of providers relative to each other. This is valuable information that consumers may wish to consider alongside other factors such as price and availability, for example, when choosing a provider”.