Service loss a major concern for mobile users

by Communications Team | Jun 25, 2014

Service related problems are becoming an increasing frustration for thousands of mobile phone and broadband users as complaints made during the 2013/ 2014 financial year soared 49% on levels recorded during the previous year.

In particular, customers were plagued by loss of service with complaints rising 40% on figures recorded in 2012/ 2013, according to Ombudsman Services: Communications, the largest dispute resolution service operating in the telecoms sector.

The figures, released today 25 June to coincide with the publication of the company’s annual report, show that complaints made in relation to overall service issues accounted for almost a quarter (24%) of all complaints made in 2013/ 2014.

The total number of complaints resolved in the last financial year by Ombudsman Services: Communications, which covers 762 telecoms, reached 12,909 – an increase of 25% on figures recorded in 2012/ 2013.

Problems associated with customer service topped the list of grievances, accounting for 28% of all complaints. Despite this, customer service related complaints have actually fallen 9 percentage points compared to levels recorded in 2012/ 2013, suggesting that companies are making improvements to the way they deal with customers.     

Complaints related to contracts were also on the rise – representing 18% of the total number of complaints received in 2013/ 2014. Of these complaints, 1,788 were made in relation to contract cancellations – a rise of 47% compared to 2012/ 2013. Meanwhile complaints made in relation to billing accounted for 9% of all complaints made in 2013/ 2014 – up 53% on 2012/ 2013 levels.

Commenting on the figures Chief Ombudsman Lewis Shand Smith said: “It’s been a record breaking 12 months for Ombudsman Services, during which we were able to provide invaluable help to thousands of consumers. During this time, we resolved almost 13,000 complaints made against mobile and broadband companies – an increase of 25% on levels recorded for the previous financial year.

“As the largest dispute resolution service operating in the communications sector, we play a crucial role in helping companies to spot trends in the types of complaints they receive, allowing them to listen more closely to their customers and take action to improve the way they do business.”

- ENDS -

Notes to editors

  • Ombudsman Services is a not for profit, private company limited by guarantee. 
  • Ombudsman Services runs national, private sector ombudsman schemes which provides independent dispute resolution for the communications, energy, property, copyright licensing sectors, the Green Deal, the ABFA, and Which? Trusted Traders scheme.
  • The Chief Ombudsman’s speech about the future of Ombudsman Services in a changing consumer redress landscape can be accessed here
  • Ombudsman Services provides an expert dispute resolution service. The service focuses on encouraging early-agreed resolution wherever possible and does not charge a fee so it’s able to offer access to redress for consumers to resole their complaints without proceeding to the civil courts.
  • Ombudsman Services is a full member of the Ombudsman Association (OA) and adheres to its principles.
  • Further information about Ombudsman Services can be found at