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Vodafone and Virgin Mobile named worst telecoms providers by Ofcom

The regulator has singled out the providers for high levels of customer complaints in its latest report

Ofcom, the telecoms regulator, has named Vodafone and Virgin Mobile the worst providers for customer service in its latest report on complaints in the telecoms sector, covering April to June of this year.

The regulator uses a combination of interviews with customers and information given by providers to produce its league table of results. Overall levels of complaints were similar to those in the previous quarter.

Ofcom’s findings align with our research showing that some providers don’t stack up in terms of customer service, reliability and value for money.

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

Best and worst broadband providers

According to Ofcom, Vodafone was the broadband provider that caused the most complaints, topping the table with 30 complaints per 100,000 customers. More than a third of Vodafone’s customer complaints related to issues around faults and service provision, while a quarter related to issues with complaints handling.

Plusnet came in second place with 26 complaints per 100,000 customers for its broadband service, followed by TalkTalk, which received 23 complaints per 100,000 customers. Of the broadband providers included in Ofcom’s analysis, Sky received the lowest volume of complaints: five per 100,000 customers.

The industry average was 13 complaints per 100,000. This is the same level of complaints seen in Ofcom’s previous report, which covered January to March.

Broadband provider Number of complaints per 100,000 customers
Vodafone 30
Plusnet 26
TalkTalk 23
Virgin Media 16
BT 12
Post Office 7
EE 6
Sky 5
Industry average 13

Have you had enough of substandard customer service from your broadband provider? Use Which? Switch Broadband to compare broadband packages in your area.

Mobile phone providers compared

The industry average number of complaints for mobile phones was much lower for pay-monthly mobile phone providers than for broadband, at just three complaints per 100,000 customers.

Here, Virgin Mobile took the top spot in Ofcom’s league table with eight complaints per 100,000 customers. Virgin Mobile customers were most likely to complain about their provider’s complaints handling, although issues relating to billing/pricing and faults/service were also common. Vodafone and BT Mobile also had above-average levels of complaints, with each receiving six complaints per 100,000 customers.

Of the mobile networks included in Ofcom’s analysis, it was Tesco Mobile that caused the least complaints. It received just one complaint per 100,000 customers.

Pay-monthly mobile phone provider Number of complaints per 100,000 customers
Virgin Mobile 8
Vodafone 6
BT Mobile 6
Sky Mobile 2
Three 2
O2 2
iD Mobile 2
EE 2
Tesco Mobile 1
Industry average 3

In our recent survey of more than 6,000 Which? members, five major mobile networks were awarded poor scores for their customer service. One of the UK’s largest providers earned a measly one star rating. See how all of the providers compare in our mobile phone network reviews.

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