TalkTalk and BT censured over customer complaints

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The Independent Online

TalkTalk and BT have come under fire from the media regulator Ofcom because of their high level of customer complaints.

Dido Harding, chief executive of TalkTalk, will have been disappointed to see her company received 0.39 complaints per 1,000 landline customers in the first three months of this year. That was double the industry average and up slightly on the rate of 0.36 before Christmas

BT's level of landline complaints was steady at 0.20 per 1,000 customers, while Sky had 0.12 and Virgin Media was best on only 0.10. In the pay-TV market, BT appears to have work to do, with the launch of its Premier League football coverage six weeks away. BT Vision had 0.29 complaints per 1,000 customers – six times greater than the industry average and far worse than rivals Sky and Virgin.

TalkTalk said: "We've made significant improvements across the business. Complaints about both landline and broadband services have substantially reduced."

BT said: "We are not complacent. We are working towards even greater reliability."

Meanwhile, Carphone Warehouse has promoted the head of its retail arm to chief executive after completing the purchase of the 50 per cent stake in the shops business that it did not already own.

Andrew Harrison replaces the departing chief executive, Roger Taylor, who becomes deputy chairman alongside the founder and chairman, Sir Charles Dunstone.

Carphone bought back the 50 per cent stake in its retail arm from Best Buy in April for £471m – far less than the price at which it sold it to its US partner.