The 10 most common customer service fails by mobile phone operators

Bad customer experiences could be costing UK mobile operators as much as £1.6 billion in lost revenue

Zlata Rodionova
Monday 05 October 2015 15:39 BST
Telephone operators connect callers in 1951
Telephone operators connect callers in 1951

Almost half of British consumers say they have had a bad experience with a phone provider, while one in ten says they have left the operator as a result, according to new research.

Read More: Compare providers and find the best deals with our Mobile Phone Deals page

Over 45 per cent of consumers surveyed by customer engagement company Thunderhead said that they have previously had a bad experience with a mobile operator, and 11 per cent changed operators after that.

The research follows recent data by Ofcom. According to the regulator, EE landline telephone service continues to generate the highest volume of landline complaints despite seeing a reduction since the first quarter of the year.

Changing provider with 32 per cent was the main complaint driver for EE landline, followed by concerns about faults, service and provision with 29 per cent of customers complaining.

Finally 17 per cent were not happy with the handling of their complaints.

While Vodafone has been named as the most complained about mobile phone provider.

“By failing to properly understand where customers are in their journey and communicate through joined-up conversations, mobile operators are pushing their customers out the door, and waving goodbye to perfectly good revenue as they do so,” Glen Manchester CEO of Thunderhead said.

Bad customer experiences could be costing UK mobile operators as much as £1.6 billion in lost revenues according to Thunderhead research.

“Additionally, £1.6 billion could only be the tip of the iceberg. Our research shows that customers pass bad experiences on to as many as 19 people, which could easily be dissuading people from ever signing up with that company” Mr Manchester said.

Here are the top ten most common reasons for customers to get upset with their mobile phone provider.

10. Over familiar tone in communication – 71 per cent

A picture shows emoji characters also known as emoticons on the screens of two mobile phones in Paris on August 6, 2015

09. Receiving little or no communication – 79%

08. Receiving information that is inaccurately targeted - 87% (e.g. offers of a joint bank account when you are single)

Phones have now overtaken personal computers as the most used way of accessing the internet

07.Inacurately tailored communication – 87 % . (e.g. being called “Mr” in a customer letter when you are female)

A boy uses an Apple Ipad tablet computer

06. Treating you with a non-tailored one size fits all approach – 87%

Young telemarketers work in a call center in Manizales, Caldas Department, Colombia

05. Receiving communication that you consider an invasion of privacy – 89% of customers don’t like messages to be send on their personal mobile

The wife was handed a £26,000 fine and expelled from the UAE

04. Receing excessive volumes of communication – 89% of customers considered too many

Duff Watson claims he and his two children were kicked off a Southwest Airlines flight for tweeting about bad customer service

03. Providing information in one channel that then has to be repeated when I interact with them in a different channel – 91 %

The schoolgirl used her school's computers

02. Providing information to one party/person within the business only to have to provide the same information to a different person from that company at a later point – 92 %

Look familiar? A man slouches over his computer

01. Responding to enquires too slowly – 96 %

HUHAI, CHINA - May 27: Citi Call Center on May 27, 2010 in Zhuhai, Guangdong province, China

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in