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Voice of the Customer

Which? surveyed more than 7,000 consumers to rate call-centre staff based on knowledge, phone menu system, politeness, helpfulness and waiting times.

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.

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.”

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