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Virgin Mobile, TalkTalk and BT receive most complaints – Ofcom

New research reveals the providers that customers struggle with the most

Ofcom has released its latest league tables of complaints received about the UK’s major mobile phone, broadband and pay-TV providers, covering the first quarter of 2018.

Virgin Mobile was the mobile phone provider to receive the most complaints. TalkTalk had the dubious honour of being named the most-complained-about broadband provider, while BT received the most as a pay-TV provider.

Sky was named the least-complained-about broadband, landline and pay-TV provider (of those Ofcom reports on).

Ofcom noted that while complaints about broadband have decreased since the final quarter of 2017, complaints about mobile phone providers and pay-TV had remained constant.

Find out who Which? rated as the best mobile providers, the best broadband providers and best broadband and TV providers for 2018.

woman angry with phone

Issues with mobile phones

Virgin Mobile received 11 complaints per 100,000 pay-monthly customers, narrowly beating new-entrant iD Mobile to the top of the charts.

Vodafone, BT Mobile and TalkTalk Mobile all received an above-average number of complaints for their mobile phone networks. The industry average was five complaints per 100,000 customers. TalkTalk Mobile closed during the reporting period.

Unsurprisingly, Virgin Mobile was one of the lowest-rated providers in our recent survey exploring the best mobile networks, in which we asked more than 3,500 customers to tell us about their experiences with their provider, rating their customer service, value for money and incentives as well as their overall satisfaction.

Tesco Mobile was the provider that received the fewest complaints in Ofcom’s report, with just one per 100,000 customers.

Mobile phone provider Number of complaints (per 100,000 customers)
Virgin Mobile 11
 iD Mobile 10
Vodafone 9
BT 8
TalkTalk 5
Three 3
EE 3
O2 3
Tesco Mobile 1
Industry average 5

Complaints about broadband providers

TalkTalk continues to be the most-complained-about broadband provider, having first topped Ofcom’s table in the third quarter of 2017. TalkTalk received 29 complaints per 100,000 customers, seven more than BT. Plusnet also received an above average number of complaints.

TalkTalk customers’ main reason for complaining related to service faults or issues. This was followed by TalkTalk’s complaints handling and its billing, prices and charges.

Sky received the fewest complaints about its broadband, receiving five complaints per 100,000 customers.

TalkTalk also struggled in our most recent survey exploring the best and worst broadband providers. In December 2017 and January 2018 we surveyed more than 1,900 broadband users about their provider and found that TalkTalk customers complained more of problems relating to connection speed and reliability than customers of many other providers.

Broadband provider Number of complaints (per 100,000 customers)
TalkTalk 29
BT 23
Plusnet 20
EE 13
Virgin Media 12
Sky 5
Industry average 16

What to do if you have a problem with your provider

We increasingly rely on our mobile phone and internet connections, so it can be incredibly frustrating when your provider doesn’t keep up its end of the bargain.

You can check your mobile phone providers’ coverage where you live using our free mobile phone coverage map. Ensure your provider is giving you the best deal by using our guide on how to haggle for the best mobile phone deals.

If you experience issues with slow or unreliable broadband, browse our in-depth guides on fixing bad broadband for a range of help and advice, including how to fix a router, how to set up a mobile phone wi-fi hotspot and how to speed up slow broadband.

If you’re experiencing an interruption to your broadband service or need to make a complaint about broadband speed, use our step-by-step guides to help resolve your problem with your broadband provider.

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