Press 1 to find the worst call-centre offenders in new Which? survey

New Which? research has revealed BT, TalkTalk and Scottish Power are the companies we dread calling as their call-centres are ranked bottom of our customer satisfaction survey.

We asked more than 7,000 consumers to rate the heroes and villains of the call-centre world based on staff knowledge, phone menu system, politeness, helpfulness and waiting times.

The broadband and energy sectors fared worst overall with consumers frustrated by long waiting times, poor staff knowledge and lengthy phone menus. BT, TalkTalk and Scottish Power all scored an overall rating of just one star.

The survey found:

  • Just 58% of broadband providers answered calls in the first five minutes, compared to 89% of car insurers and 83% of banks.
  • Around one in ten (12%) customers felt the person they spoke to at their energy provider had poor or very poor product knowledge – 17% of callers to broadband firms felt the same.
  • More than a third (34%) of BT Broadband customers rated its customer service as poor or very poor.
  • Around one in five (21%) of Scottish Power electricity customers had spent more than 20 minutes waiting for an answer in the last six months and 18% of npower’s electricity customers thought staff knowledge of its products and services was poor or very poor.
  • By contrast Ovo Energy, NFU Mutual, Zen Internet and First Direct all scored five stars across the board.

Which? executive director, Richard Lloyd 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.”

Notes to Editors

1.    We surveyed 7,057 Which? members between February 26th and March 13th 2015 asking them to rate call-centres based on staff knowledge, phone menu system, politeness, helpfulness and waiting times.

2.    Customers told us the key things they wanted from a call-centre were:

  • Calls should be answered within five minutes by a human voice, not an automated service (95% of respondents wanted this)
  • UK companies should operate UK call centres (90% of respondents wanted this).

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