Faced with telecom operators, the French are losing patience and file a complaint


The health crisis, repeated confinements and the generalization of teleworking got the better of the patience of the French towards their telecom operators. Thus, in 2020, the Telecoms Ombudsman recorded a 13% increase in complaints filed against Orange, Bouygues, SFR and Free.

The Telecoms Ombudsman records an increase in complaints in 2020

In her annual report for 2020, the Telecoms Mediator, in charge of mediating disputes between users and operators, noted a 13% increase in complaints filed. Thus, in 2020, 11,919 new files were processed by the institution with an average response time of 61 days. According to the Ombudsman, this increase in the number of complaints in 2020 is the result of a loss of patience among the French. The latter confined, were quicker to file complaints when connection problems were slow to be resolved, while the health crisis generalized the practice of teleworking.

Thus, the Mediator recorded an increase in the filing of complaints but also an increase in the inadmissibility of the latter. 7,492 cases were deemed inadmissible in 2020, i.e. 63% of the total number of complaints filed, against 58% in 2019. Recourse to the Telecoms Ombudsman must be made when all other remedies have been found to be ineffective.

The report states: ” The number of inadmissible cases is on the rise mainly due to non-compliance by consumers with the criteria for referral to the Mediator. This can be explained by a certain impatience of consumers in connection with the need for them to have means of communication within the framework of containment and teleworking which has become widespread in 2020 due to COVID-19 “.

The number one mobile phone for complaints in 2020

In detail, the complaints mainly targeted the mobile which once again remains in the lead with 41% of cases submitted. If the mobile remains the most affected by complaints, the number of these against it fell by six points in 2020. Among these complaints, 42% relate to billing. A reason that was at the heart of many controversies in 2020.

Fiber (25% of cases) and ADSL (31% of cases) are also subject to numerous complaints. The technical problems are mainly mentioned, as well as the problems related to the termination of contracts. Increasing shares which can be explained according to the report by ” strong consumer expectations and the intensive deployment in the 2020 health context (which) notably had the impact of activation delays, technical connection difficulties and poor services at the consumer’s home. “.

The report therefore recommends that operators take care of their dialogue with customers by setting up real-time information systems in order to allow the applicant to know the status of the processing of his request.