The call centres operated by ScottishPower, BT and TalkTalk have been branded the worst in the country after achieving just a one-star rating in a survey of more than 7,000 consumers.
Carried out by Which?, the stusdy asked consumers to rank organisations on staff knowledge, phone menu system, politeness, helpfulness and waiting times.
Rock bottom are the broadband and energy providers, which were slated for long waiting times, poor staff knowledge and lengthy phone menus.
The poll found just 58% of broadband providers answered calls in the first 5 minutes, compared with 89% of car insurers and 83% of banks.
Around one in 10 customers felt the person they spoke to at their energy provider had poor or very poor product knowledge, a belief shared by 17pc of callers to broadband companies.
However, it was not bad news across the board, with First Direct, NFU Mutual, Ovo Energyand Zen Internet all scoring five stars.
Nearly all those surveyed (95%) said calls should be answered within five minutes by a human voice, not an automated service, and 90% said UK companies should operate UK call centres.
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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