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Consumer group demands Virgin Media to improve customer service

Consumer group Which? has found that Virgin Media was the worst offending telecoms company in terms of customer service.
Consumer group Which? has found that Virgin Media was the worst offending telecoms company in terms of customer service.

The nuisance that is the customer service AI chatbot is about to get a reckoning.

Consumer choice group Which? has issued a call for telecom companies to improve their customer services, following thousands of complaints over the past year.

Since late 2023, Which? has been inundated with complaints of subpar customer service experiences across various sectors, including energy, financial services, telecommunications, and travel.

Telecommunications emerged as one of the most troublesome sectors in terms of customer service.

In Which?’s 2023 customer service survey, over a fifth of respondents expressed dissatisfaction with their most recent interactions with broadband providers.

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Customers were frustrated with the lack of timely and effective responses from companies when reaching out to address issues, citing cases of prolonged wait times, repetitive interactions with artificial intelligence (AI) chatbots, and fruitless transfers between departments.

Rocio Concha, Which? director of policy and advocacy said: “Customer service has hit rock bottom – with some customers stuck in endless loops just trying to get help.

“Virgin Media was named the worst broadband firm for customer service in our research – faring particularly poorly for technical support and providing quick and efficient responses.

“This is particularly unacceptable when the company has enforced mid-contract price hikes of almost nine per cent this April, on top of an increase of almost 14 per cent last April.

“While many consumers will rightly consider switching, firms that are falling short must urgently make improvements so all customers are getting the standard of service and support they need and deserve.”

Virgin Media was the lowest-ranking broadband provider for customer service, scoring poorly across categories such as overall customer service, responsiveness, and technical support.

Zen Internet took first place for overall customer service while Utility Warehouse and Plusnet also performed well.

A Virgin Media spokesperson said: “We are investing and making changes across our business to deliver tangible customer service improvements and ensure all customers receive the best possible service.

“For example, we’re multi-skilling our teams and rolling out new IT platforms that make it easier for customers to get support and have issues resolved the first time they get in touch.

“On average, customer calls were answered within two minutes last year and we resolved 95% of complaints during a customer’s first initial call.”