Orange tops complaints list after broadband hike

A CONTROVERSIAL decision from mobile firm Orange to start charging some customers extra for its broadband service has seen complaints about the operator rocket, figures from industry watchdog Ofcom have revealed.

The regulator’s data for the third quarter of the year, published yesterday, showed that Orange saw the highest level of complaints out of any of the major broadband operators, with numbers almost doubling since the previous quarter.

Ofcom put this down to parent company EE’s decision to cut off Orange’s free broadband service for mobile customers unless they paid the company for line rental. Orange recently made some concessions on the decision following an outcry from consumers.

This was the first time that TalkTalk has not topped the quarterly broadband list in the two years Ofcom has been publishing the data, though complaints about the budget telecoms firm were still above the industry average.

TalkTalk, which recently launched a pay-TV offering and is aiming to bolster its mobile network presence, has invested heavily in customer service in recent months, following report after report putting it at the top of Ofcom’s most-complained-about lists.

And while TalkTalk retained its undesirable crown as the landline telephone operator with the most complaints, it saw these levels fall by 25 per cent since the year’s second quarter.

The news is likely to be a fillip for chief executive Dido Harding, who recently saw Sky overtake her firm as the UK’s third-largest broadband provider behind BT and Virgin Media.

Both Sky and Virgin Media saw relatively low levels of complaints

T-Mobile was the most complained about mobile network, while BT’s TV service, BT Vision, saw a disproportionate number of complaints – six times greater than the industry average. Overall complaints fell or stayed even in each industry sector.