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Telecoms providers were worst offenders for nuisance calls and texts in 2021

Telecoms was the most complained about sector in 2021, according to a Freedom of Information Request released this week by customer communications expert Quadient.

The Information Commissioner’s Office received 19,010 complaints about nuisance calls and texts from the telecoms industry in 2021 – almost 15% of the total 131,491 complaints made to the ICO last year. Discussing the statistics, Andrew Stevens, Quadient’s Principal, Banking, Financial Services, and Insurance, says, “We’re beginning to see businesses return to normality – but it appears part of getting ‘back to normal’ is ramping up the volume of irritating customer communications.”

This influx of spam couldn’t have come at a worse time, as Stevens highlights, The number of complaints accelerated towards the end of 2020, but now we’re in a worse position than we were before the pandemic. The sheer volume of spam calls and texts will take a toll on worried customers, who are already grappling with the energy crisis and soaring costs of living.”

Calls make up the majority of the problem – with 9,917 live calls and 8,286 automatic calls from the telecoms sector reported, compared with 807 nuisance texts across the year. But these figures are only the tip of the iceberg, as many nuisance calls and texts from organisations are likely to go unreported.

Telecoms providers need to take these figures seriously, or they stand to see their bottom lines impacted. Stevens warns, “Businesses need to pull the handbrake on annoying customer calls and texts, or they could hit record levels of complaints this year, which would hit revenues when customers decide to leave.”

To avoid frustrating customers, Stevens argues organisations need to shift their attitude to communications. As Stevens describes, “Every piece of communication is an opportunity to impress customers, rather than mark themselves out as an expensive nuisance.” Instead of just throwing communications at a wall and seeing what sticks, messages should be personalised, relevant and over the customer’s preferred channel.

Lisa Baker is Group Editor for the Need to See IT Publishing Group. Lisa writes about HR, Technology, Health, the Environment and Business.
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