Two in five consumers complain about servicesBroadband, mobiles and energy most complained about

17 July 2013

Woman on phone looking at laptop

Two in five British consumers have had to make a complaint about a service in the last 12 months, a new Which? survey has revealed.

The most complained about sectors are broadband, mobile phone, and energy services.

Almost one in five broadband and landline customers have made a complaint about their service, with 14% of all mobile phone and energy customers making a complaint, according to the Which? survey of more than 2000 people. 

Of all complaints 40% are not resolved by the provider.

Which? executive director, Richard Lloyd, said: ‘It's incredibly frustrating to get poor service, especially if you've had to repeatedly contact a firm or your complaint is passed on from department to department.

‘It's in every company's interests, if they want to succeed, to treat their customers properly and provide them with the best possible service.’

If you want to make a complaint to your broadband provider, you can use our step-by-step guide to help you complain about your broadband service.

Unresolved complaints

The top reason given to customers for failing to resolve a complaint was that the problem was outside the service provider’s control (26%).

Other explanations included that another company was responsible (15%), that it wasn't possible to fix the problem (15%) and that the provider had done what they had promised to do (13%).

Problems not being resolved by the provider were most prevalent in trade services, where 58% of complaints were left unresolved. 

Airlines and holiday operators failed to resolve 56% of complaints, while 53% of all car and vehicle repair complaints were also not resolved, according to the survey.  

If you're unhappy with a service follow our step-by-step guide to cancelling a contract without being penalised.

Broadband and phone customer satisfaction

Which? surveys thousands of customers to find the best and worst recommended energy suppliers, broadband, home phone and mobile phone providers.

For broadband and phone providers Zen Internet secured the number one position with an 87% customer rating while AOL Broadband came bottom with a lowly 36%.

Plusnet and Utility Warehouse were also highly praised achieving a Recommended Provider award for broadband and phone packages.

If you’re looking for a broadband only deal, our Which? Recommended Providers are Zen (85%), Be (82%) and Plusnet (76%).

Our latest ratings are based on an online survey of 5,191 Which? Connect members.

Energy customer satisfaction

Our Which? Switch survey rates 17 UK gas and electricity suppliers through the biggest publicly available survey of its kind.

It gathers opinions from more than 10,000 energy customers and rates energy suppliers on a range of measures including customer service, value for money and accuracy of bills.

The top energy providers according to our poll are Good Energy (85%) and Ecotricity (80%).

The big energy companies do poorly in terms of customer satisfaction. Of the big six energy suppliers, SSE and Eon come first with a customer score of 51%, while Npower comes last with only 39%.

Mobile phone customer satisfaction

Which? Recommended Provider Tesco Mobile tops the list of our annual mobile phone satisfaction survey with a customer score of 72%. Last year’s top provider, 02, has dropped two spots to third on the survey.

Vodafone ranked lowest in the survey with a score of 55%. Poor internet coverage and the cost of calls were among the complaints. 

If you're dissatisfied with your mobile provider find out how to cancel your contract early with our guide. 

More on this...