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8 Feb 2022

Shell Energy Broadband, TalkTalk and ID Mobile named worst telecoms providers

Above-average levels of complaints about all three providers were received by Ofcom, the telecoms regulator

Shell Energy Broadband, TalkTalk and ID Mobile have been named the worst providers for customer service by telecoms regulator Ofcom, in its latest report on complaints in the telecoms sector covering July to September of 2021.

Ofcom uses a combination of interviews with customers and information given by providers to produce its league table of results. Complaints overall were are an all-time low; while complaints about pay-monthly mobile have been low for some time, the number of complaints about broadband was a significant improvement on the previous three months.

However, there are still large differences between providers - particularly in the broadband market. These findings support our research that shows that some providers simply don't stack up when it comes to customer service, reliability and value for money.


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


Best and worst broadband providers

According to Ofcom,Shell Energy Broadband and TalkTalk were the most complained about broadband providers - they topped the league table with 17 complaints per 100,000 customers. Most of these complaints related to faults and service issues.

Virgin Media, Plusnet and Vodafone also generated above-average levels of complaints. EE received the lowest level of complaints of the broadband providers big enough to be included in Ofcom's analysis - it received four complaints per 100,000 customers.

Broadband providerNumber of complaints per 100,000 customers
Shell Energy Broadband17
TalkTalk17
Virgin Media15
Plusnet13
Vodafone12
BT9
Sky5

When we surveyed over 4,000 broadband customers about their provider, only two companies received four stars for both customer service and technical support. Compare all of the big providers on everything from service to broadband speed and value for money using our broadband provider reviews.


If you've had enough of mediocre customer service from your broadband provider, use Which? Switch broadband to browse the best broadband deals available in your area.


Mobile phone providers compared

The industry average number of complaints for pay-monthly customers was much lower than for broadband - just two per 100,000 customers.

Here, ID Mobile took top spot in Ofcom's league table with four complaints per 100,000 customers. A large proportion of the complaints about ID Mobile related to its own complaints handling and switching.

Three, Vodafone and Virgin Mobile shared second place with three complaints per 100,000 customers apiece.

Of the mobile networks included in Ofcom's analysis, it was EE and Tesco Mobile that received the lowest level of complaints - both received just one complaint per 100,000 customers.

Mobile phone providerNumber of complaints per 100,000 customers
ID Mobile4
Three3
Virgin Mobile3
Vodafone3
BT Mobile2
O22
Sky Mobile2

Don't put up with substandard service from your mobile provider - use Which? Switch Mobile to compare the best mobile phone deals.

You can also read our in-depth guide on how to switch mobile provider for advice on switching whether you're in or out of contract. It also lays out how to make sure you get a good signal with your new provider.