Disputes with your broadband, phone and TV provider can be difficult, time-consuming and stressful. However, a little organisation and a lot of patience can go a long way towards ensuring problems are dealt with quickly and to your satisfaction.
How to complain successfully to your provider
Here are our top 10 tips for making complaints and come out on top in a dispute with your provider.
1) Knowledge is power
Before you enter any disputes, make sure you have a good understanding of the company's official complaints procedure. Have someone explain it to you if necessary - it'll help if you're able to work within the system
2) Manage your paperwork
Even if your relationship with the provider is running smoothly, make sure that your paperwork is in order. Billing inaccuracies will be easier to resolve if your bills and statements are organised, and stored somewhere safe.
3) Keep things ordered
Make sure bills and other correspondence between you and your supplier are stored chronologically, so that it's easy to find a specific document or email if you need it.
4) Money talks
If you get into a financial dispute, such as billing mistakes, you can use bank statements to add credibility to your claims.
5) Log your calls
Keep a log that details each call that you make to your provider. Make a note of who you spoke to, the date and time of the call, and how long it lasted in case you want to claim back call costs.
6) Keep calm and carry on
When communicating with your provider you should be both patient and personable. Even if you're angry, or the call centre agent appears unhelpful, don't raise your voice or get irritable - you're more likely to get a good result if you stay calm.
7) Stay on target
Make sure that you're targeting the correct department and the right people with your complaints. You'll likely lose a lot of time, and possibly patience, being transferred between departments.
8) Get it in writing
Ask for written confirmation of any changes to your contract, or any verbal agreements that are made over the phone.
9) Talk to the experts
10) Seek legal advice
If all else fails, get legal help. Which? Legal Services provides low-cost consumer legal advice. You could also get advice from your local Citizens Advice Bureau. If you need a bit more of a steer, the telecoms regulator Ofcom has plenty of advice on its website.
Who is the most complained about provider?
Well, it depends on when you ask that question and what service you're asking it about. That's because the amount of complaints providers recieve fluctuates depending on circumstances, such as whether a particular provider taken over by another company, and how established they are at providing a that service - for example, if a particular provider has just launched a TV service, the chances are it'll have some kinks to iron out.
Thankfully, we don't have to keep track of all that, and neither do you, because Ofcom, which oversees all things communication-y in the UK, publishes a report every three months of complaints made about the major broadband, phone and TV providers and mobile networks.