Complaints in the communications sector fall by 30% in Q1 2022

In the first quarter of 2022, ANACOM recorded around 27.5 thousand complaints against communications service providers, 30% less than in the same period of the previous year, with values close to those seen in the pre-pandemic period. Electronic communications were the subject of 19.3 thousand complaints (70% of the total), down 20% compared to the first quarter of 2021. Complaints about postal services, 8.1 thousand (30% of the total), fell 46% year-on-year.

In terms of districts, Lisbon takes the lead with around 35 complaints per 10 000 inhabitants, followed by Setubal, with 32. Bragança and Guarda are the districts with the fewest complaints per 10 000 inhabitants (only 8). On the islands, the complaint rate was 13 complaints in Madeira and 12 in the Azores.

Delay or poor repair of service failures was the reason most complained about by users of electronic communications services, accounting for 15% of the sector’s complaints in the quarter; and it prevailed across all providers - mentioned in 19% of complaints against NOWO, 18% in complaints against Vodafone, 14% in complaints against NOS and 13% in complaints against MEO.

Vodafone was the provider that registered the most complaints in absolute terms (36%, around 7 thousand complaints) and the only one that registered an increase in the number of complaints in the period under analysis (+2%), reaching 1.9 complaints per thousand customers. This negative evolution may be related to complaints about tariffs that impose automatic activation of mobile data packages and requests for refund of the amounts charged for this activation, following the decision of the Supreme Court of Justice against Vodafone in this matter, as well as the cyber-attack that this provider suffered in February this year.

NOS was the second provider with the most complaints in the 1st quarter of 2022, with 31% of total complaints in the sector and 2.0 complaints per thousand customers. MEO was responsible for 29% of the sector’s complaints, registering 1.0 complaints per thousand customers. NOWO, which accounted for 3% of complaints, was the provider that registered the greatest decrease (-38%), followed by MEO (-34%) and NOS (-22%).

In postal services, CTT was subject to 7.1 thousand complaints in the 1st quarter, down 42% year-on-year, but is responsible for 87% of complaints in the sector.

DPD was the second provider with the most complaints, with 6% of total complaints, although this was down 70% year-on-year.

The group of other providers with fewer complaints (UPS, General Logistics, Ibercourier, DHL, among others) accounted for 7% of the complaints registered and also saw a 55% reduction in complaints in this period.

Failure to attempt home delivery was the most mentioned reason for complaints regarding postal services (19% of total complaints in the sector) and for all postal providers, its weight decreased in the first quarter of 2022 (-6 p.p.). As regards CTT, complaints regarding customs clearance of postal items increased (+8 p.p.).

Information on the evolution of complaints in the 1st quarter is released today by ANACOM, in a new interactive, more dynamic and more detailed format. ANACOM aims with this to make it easier to access more and better information.

The new report shows which operators received the most complaints, the main reasons for dissatisfaction, the geographical distribution of complaints and the means most used to complain, as well as how they evolve over time.

These different indicators interact with each other, enabling the display, for example, of the geographical distribution of an operator’s complaints, the evolution of complaints in a certain district, the most frequent grounds for complaints against an operator over time.

All the available information can be analysed in a few minutes, which is very useful for consumers, who thus learn more about the behaviour of operators in the market and are better prepared to make their choices.