Telecoms complaints increase twenty times over last decade

COMPLAINTS about the actions of telecoms firms have increased twenty fold over the last ten years, according to the annual report of Ombudsman Services.

The not-for-profit company, which is approved by regulators to handle complaints on behalf of 650 telecoms firms, said it resolved 10,331 communications complaints during the 2012-13 financial year, up from around 500 in 2002-03.

More than a third of these telecoms complaints referred to the quality of customer service rather than issues with the products themselves.

“In the early days complaints were about landlines and dial up,” said ombudsman Sarah Daniel. “Now consumers have multiple devices for use on the move, such as smartphones, tablets and dongles, as well as traditional landlines and broadband services.”

The company also resolved more than 8,000 complaints on behalf of energy companies, almost all of which related to customer disagreements over billing issues and disputed meter readings for gas and electricity payments.