The communication industry of the United Kingdom can be broken down to many smaller segments. The majority of these segments include mobile phones, landlines, broadband, and Pay TV. These four technology based segments account for a lot of communication and entertainment in the country with the population almost being irrevocably dependent on them, as is the case all over the world. For instance, according to Ofcom’s (industry watchdog) numbers, about 94 percent of adults in the country have and use a mobile phone regularly. In addition to this, more than 24 million homes have landlines as well.
Combine this with the fact that 75 percent of the citizens of the nation have a broadband connection and that 97 percent homes boast of digital TV connections and it shows how dependent the UK is on technology. Of these, BT, or British Telecom as it used to be known, is a major player in the majority of the segments. Thus, if you are looking to BT for a new connection in any one or more of these segments, then it is imperative that you know how the company fares in taking care of its customers. In our opinion, one of the best ways of doing this is by focusing on the BT complaints history.
Delving into BT’s History and Services
BT has a stake in all the aforementioned communication related segments but mobile phones. What this means is that BT offers services in all the three niches i.e. landlines, broadband, and Pay TV. BT has many years of experience to draw upon which is probably why it is one of the leading names telecommunication names in the country and even abroad. For instance, the company traces its roots back down to The Electric Telegraph Company which was established way back in 1846 and is credited with creating the nation’s first proper communications network. The relevance of BT in the UK market is best described by the statistic that it has around 38 percent market share when it comes to providing landline connections. Virgin Media is the closest individual landline providing company to BT in terms of market share and only boasts of 12 percent share.
BT Complaints Statistics
The data shows two things. The first is the quality of its services in terms of hot efficient it is, how rare mistakes are, and how uncommon breakdowns are. However, when the data is derived from an independent third party such as Ofcom, then the report reveals how good the company is at taking care of complaints and requests from its customers. The reason for this is simply that Ofcom’s statistics only reveal only the BT complaints that it receives from BT customers. Moreover, a customer can only take his BT complaints to Ofcom after the company has failed to provide a resolution acceptable to all parties or if eight weeks have gone by without any resolution. Thus, this can be used as a good marker for the performance of the company in terms of how well it takes care of its customers.
BT’s Landline Complaints
As per Ofcom statistics which cover a period between the third quarter of 2011 and the third quarter of 2013, the BT landline complaints show a decline in complaints made to Ofcom. Unfortunately, while the number of complaints has gone down, the decrease is not significant enough. For instance, in Q3, 2011, Ofcom received 0.29 BT complaints for every 1, 000 BT customers but by Q3, 2013 the complaints only went down to 0.23 complaints per 1, 000 customers. Moreover, when compared to its competitors, namely the TalkTalk Group, Sky, and Virgin Media, only the TalkTalk Group had higher number of Ofcom complaints than BT.
Also, while all its competitors showed steady improvement evident from the reducing Ofcom complaints against them, issues against BT only showed a slight decline. In terms of how the company fared against industry standards, BT did well initially being below the industry average of complaints but soon let the advantage slip and ended up having more complaints than the industry average. By the end, BT had 0.23 complaints per 1, 000 customers while the industry average was 0.19.
BT’s Broadband Complaints Service
Even within the broadband segment, BT complaints history patterns remain the same. While complaints against the company to Ofcom reduced in number, the rate of reduction was very small. For instance, in Q3, 2011, BT complaints to Ofcom numbered around 0.50 per 1, 000 customers only going down to 0.42 per 1, 0000 customers by Q3, 2013. When compared to its broadband competitors such as Sky, Orange or EE, the TalkTalk Group, and Virgin Media, BT fared slightly better though. In the initial quarters, BT was second most complained about company behind the TalkTalk Group while in the latter quarters BT shuffled between second and third spots in terms of Ofcom complaints against it. Still, when compared to industry averages, BT fell flat throughout the focused upon quarters. In the last quarter, it posted 0.42 complaints per 1, 000 complaints against the industry average of 0.22.
BT’s Performance in the Pay TV Segment
The worst numbers shown by BT though are in the Pay TV segment wherein the number of complaints against the company actually went up drastically in the period between Q4, 2011 and Q3, 2013. In Q4, 2011, the number of Ofcom complaints against BT was to the tune of 0.38 complaints for every 1, 000 customers while in Q3, 2013 the numbers went up to 0.56 complaints for every 1, 000 customers which is an increase of around 47 percent. Additionally, the company also happens to be the undisputed leader when compared to its competitors in the niche. The BT complaints history clearly shows that complaints against BT are far more in number than complaints against its competitors which are Sky and Virgin Media. To put the performance of companies in contrast, consider Q3, 2013. In this quarter BT complaints were 0.56 complaints per 1, 000 customers, while Sky and Virgin Media recorded 0.02 and 0.05, respectively. There was no comparing industry averages either with the industry average for Q3, 2013 being 0.06 complaints per 1, 000 customers.