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Ofcom Strategic Review

Ofcom has highlighted improvements in quality of service across the whole telecoms industry as one of its priorities in the initial conclusions of its Strategic Review of Communications in February 2016. Ofcom state that they will make a number of changes to improve customer service including publishing performance tables on quality of service and introducing automatic compensation for consumers:

  1. Ofcom intends to introduce a range of measures designed to ensure that all phone and broadband companies provide the quality of service that customers expect.
  2. First, Openreach will be subject to tougher, minimum requirements to repair faults and install new lines more quickly. These will build on measures introduced by Ofcom in 2014, but will set higher minimum standards and extend to other aspects of performance, such as how often faults occur.
  3. Second, Ofcom will introduce performance tables on quality of service, identifying the best and worst operators on a range of performance measures so that customers can shop around with confidence.
  4. Third, Ofcom intends to introduce automatic compensation for consumers and businesses when things go wrong. Broadband, landline and mobile customers will no longer have to seek redress themselves, but will instead receive refunds automatically for any loss or reduction of service.[1]

Ofcom Statistics

Ofcom publishes quarterly statistics on the number of customer complaints it receives about companies that provide fixed line telephone, fixed line broadband, pay monthly mobile and pay TV services. The most recent statistics, published on 15 December 2015, for Q3 2015 show that Ofcom received 22 complaints about BT per 100,000 customers for landline telephone services compared to an average for 17 per 100,000 across all operators. They also received 35 complaints about BT broadband services per 100,000 customers compared to an average of 22 per 100,000 customers across all operators.

[1]     Ofcom, Strategic Review of Digital Communications, 25 February 2016

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