| Further to a damning report on BBC TV's Watchdog programme in October this year, comes the results of a UK Oftel Customer Satisfaction Report.|
The UK's Guardian newspaper reported " Fledgling mobile phone network 3 was dealt another blow yesterday as official figures showed that Oftel, the telecoms watchdog, received 14 times more complaints about its service over the last six months than about any of its competitors.
The figures also showed that Orange, which in the past has prided itself on being the UK's best network, lost its top position to Vodafone. Oftel received 0.2 complaints per 1,000 customers about O2, Orange and T-Mobile and only 0.1 complaint per 1,000 about Vodafone".
The Oftel report figures were based on UK mobile company's complaints per 1,000 customers ( business and residential combined ) for the last six months. This related to complaints for all services accessed from a mobile telephone.
Oftel received 552 complaints about Hutchison 3G ("3 UK"), but Oftel were unable to obtain customer base information from 3.
The likelihood of 3 UK reaching its predicted 1 million subscribers by the end of 2003 looks impossible. In August 2003, 3 reported a 3G subscriber base of 155,000 in the UK. That meant they would need to sign up an additional 845,000 subscribers by the end of 2003.
However, in August 2003, that target seemed feasible with retailers like the Car Phone Warehouse signing up 5,000 new subscribers a week - as heavily discounted voice call tariffs were released by 3.