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Ofcom reveals Plusnet, Virgin Mobile and Vodafone receive most complaints

Telecoms regulator singles out the worst broadband and mobile phone providers

Plusnet, Virgin Mobile and Vodafone have been named the worst telecoms providers for customer service in Ofcom’s latest report, covering January to March of this year.

The telecoms regulator uses a combination of interviews with customers and industry data to produce a league table of providers. While complaints were down at the beginning of this year when compared with the final quarter of 2018, some providers still had overly high levels of complaints.

Read our overview of the best mobile phone providers and best broadband providers to see which came top in our own extensive survey.


If you’re not getting a decent broadband or mobile phone service, use Which? Switch Broadband to compare broadband packages in your area.


Best and worst broadband providers

According to Ofcom, Plusnet was the most complained-about broadband provider, topping the table with 31 complaints per 100,000 customers. Plusnet customers’ main reasons for complaints related to billing and prices, complaints handling, or faults and service issues.

Vodafone was close behind, taking second place with 30 complaints per 100,000 customers for its broadband service.

In contrast, the industry average was 13 complaints per 100,000 customers – a decrease from 15 per 100,000 in the second half of 2018.

TalkTalk and BT also received an above-average number of complaints, with 24 and 15 per 100,000 customers respectively. EE and Sky were the least complained-about providers, with each receiving just five complaints per 100,000 customers.

Mobile phone networks compared

Virgin Mobile and Vodafone topped the league table for pay-monthly mobile complaints – each received six per 100,000 customers.

Virgin Mobile customers typically complained about their provider’s complaints handling, issues related to billing and pricing, or contract issues. Vodafone customers also complained of issues relating to complaints handling and billing, although around one in eight complained of issues relating to changing mobile phone provider. Ofcom has recently introduced text-to-switch in the hope that it will make switching mobile provider quicker and easier.

BT mobile also generated an above-average level of complaints, with five complaints per 100,000 customers.

Tesco Mobile was the least complained-about mobile phone provider, with just one complaint per 100,000 customers.

Unhappy with the price you’re paying for your mobile phone or broadband contract? Use our guides on how to haggle for the best mobile deal and how to haggle for the best broadband deal for help securing a discount.

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