The Worst UK ISP Call Centre Award Goes Too.. BT and TalkTalk - ISPreview UK
Consumer magazine Which? has surveyed 7,057 of its readers to learn which companies offered the country’s best and worst customer call centres. Unfortunately it’s bad news for BT and TalkTalk, which both ranked the lowest with just a single star out of five for satisfaction. Meanwhile Zen Internet did well to come top with five starts.

The survey asked respondents to rank various different companies by several categories including staff knowledge, phone menu system, politeness, helpfulness and waiting times. Sadly this revealed that only 58% of the broadband ISPs surveyed answered calls within the first five minutes, which is significantly worse than the 89% scored by car insurers and 83% for banks.

Similarly 17% of those who contacted broadband providers felt as if they had poor or very poor product knowledge, although admittedly this is still better than the 12% scored by energy providers. Meanwhile it’s noted that 34% rated BT’s customer service as poor or very poor.

Richard Lloyd, Which? Executive Director, said:

Unfortunately, poor customer service from call centres has become a 21st century bug-bear for too many people. Customers should vote with their feet if they’re tired of waiting or fed up with the service they get. We want the worst offenders in our survey to raise their game by answering the phone quicker and improving staff training to demonstrate they really value their customers’ time.”
In response BT said they were “disappointed by the results” and noted how they are “investing significantly” in improvements. Meanwhile a TalkTalk spokesperson similarly boasted about the “significant improvements” they’re making, before adding that they remain “absolutely committed to improving customer service“.

Big providers are often fans of outsourcing their customer support to other countries, yet it will come as no surprise to find that 90% of the survey respondents wanted UK companies to operate UK call centres and 95% expected their calls to be answered within five minutes by a real human. As usual the full results will probably only be available to those who buy or subscribe to the magazine.