March 2, 2017 / 10:33 AM / 6 months ago

Stung by widespread criticism, BT vows to up its game

LONDON, March 2 (Reuters) - BT, Britain's biggest telecoms group, vowed to improve its customer service for both the millions of residential consumers and the other telecoms companies that rely on its network after being stung by widespread criticism.

Chief Executive Gavin Patterson said the company had been taken aback by the criticism it received in a regulatory review of the industry which focused on BT's Openreach unit that runs the national broadband network.

"Around the DCR (Digital Communications Review), I think it is fair to say we underestimated the degree of criticism in our service and in our levels of investment, this has eroded trust in our brand," he said at the Deloitte and Enders Analysis Media & Telecoms conference on Thursday.

"We have listened to that criticism and we hope to agree a settlement that protects the millions of UK households, businesses and service providers that rely on our infrastructure."

He said Openreach was "completely open to a more engaged industrial debate about the future of our network with all Openreach customers".

"When it comes to our (consumer and business) customers, let me be absolutely clear, our service must get better."

Reporting by Paul Sandle; editing by Kate Holton

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