Numbers of telecoms companies compensating customers on the rise

According to the company Servion, who undertook a study after being granted information by the financial ombudsman, the number of complaints which culminated in financial compensation rose by 15% in the past year for UK telecoms providers.

The study also showed that there was a 132% increase in the number of complaints being resolved in 2016 compared to 2016 (going from 12,715 to 29,503). The typical figure paid out by communications providers was found to be around £50.

Some of the statistics included appear to be derived from the Ombudsman’s 2017 Consumer Action Monitor (CAM), which was published in February 2017, and showed that around 55 million complaints were filed in 2016 alone, with 6.9 million of them being related to the telecoms industry.

Shashi Nirale, SVP and GM for Servion said: “Consumers will no longer accept a poor customer experience, hidden costs, or sub-standard services – and organisations that aren’t keeping up are paying a heavy price. Paying out for the majority of customer complaints is simply not sustainable.

As this data from the Ombudsmen shows, companies that continue to offer a substandard customer experience are making a costly mistake. Not only are their finances suffering, but their reputations are taking a similar nosedive.”

One thing to consider is the fact that Servion, who specialise in customer experience will be focused in trying to sell their own solutions to issues relating to customer service. Essentially, it is a possibility that their target is to try and make current support systems more efficient as opposed to trying to solve the problem of mobile and broadband coverage from the ground up, which is a far more difficult issue.

It’s also important to note that simply throwing money at customers who complain doesn’t necessarily solve the issues at hand. Most people who complain about poor service are really doing so in the hope that the problem will be fixed and simply giving pay-outs simply treats the symptoms rather than the issues which are causing complaints.

The communications watchdog Ofcom have recently outlined plans for a new Automatic Compensation system which makes it compulsory for customers who are cut off from broadband services to receive compensation. Stipulations include that the lack of connections must be longer than 2 working days, inconveniences such as missed appointments and delays with maintenance will also be included. The new system is far from being completed however and it is unlikely that such changes will be enforced until 2019.

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