Vodafone is the most complained about broadband, mobile and landline provider, new data has revealed.

It is the second report in a row it has been ranked the worst telecoms firm for broadband – the main bulk of customer gripes relate to faults, service and installation problems, according to Ofcom.

The watchdog has published the latest league tables on the complaints it has received about the Britain’s major home phone, broadband, mobile and pay-TV firms.

It found that TalkTalk was the next most complained about landline provider, closely followed by Plusnet, both with an average of 17 complaints per 100,000 customers. 

Voda-moan: Vodafone was the most complained about telecoms firm for broadband, landline and mobile

Voda-moan: Vodafone was the most complained about telecoms firm for broadband, landline and mobile

Ofcom reveals the most complained about firms every three month period by looking at how many complaints were made per 100,000 customers.

It revealed that there was a small increase in the number of complaints it received for broadband, mobile and pay-TV compared to last quarter – figures for landline services broadly stayed the same.

While Vodafone got the most complaints, EE and Sky attracted the least complaints among broadband providers, both getting just an average of five per 100,000 customers. 

Vodafone also got the most complaints for landline providers with TalkTalk and Plusnet following closely behind, according to the data from July to September 2019.

Ofcom reveals the most broadband complaints

Ofcom reveals the most landline complaints

Ofcom has revealed the most complained about telecoms companies for the different sectors

Complaints handling was the biggest issue raised regarding TalkTalk. By comparison, EE attracted the fewest complaints among landline providers.

For mobile providers, Vodafone and Virgin Mobile were the most complained-about with the main reason being complaints handling.

A Virgin Media spokesperson said: ‘We are completely committed to improving our customers’ experience and, alongside a renewed strategy and focus, we are investing to provide the very best service.’ 

A Vodafone spokesperson said: ‘The long-term trends in complaint numbers are improving and we are giving home broadband customer service our full attention. 

‘This includes our technical teams working closely with our infrastructure partner to fix any faults at the broadband street cabinet as quickly as possible.’ 

Change: Graph showing how complaints have changed in each sector over the last four years

 Change: Graph showing how complaints have changed in each sector over the last four years

On the other end of the table, Tesco Mobile was the least complained about pay-monthly mobile provider with just one complaint per 100,000 customers.  

Virgin Media remained the most complained-about pay-TV provider, with handling of complaints being the primary reason.

There was an average of 14 complaints per 100,000 customers, followed closely by BT with 12.  

Sky continued to attract the least complaints for pay-TV.

Fergal Farragher, Ofcom’s director of consumer policy, said: ‘People have never had more choice in the phone and broadband markets.

‘It’s also never been easier to switch your service. So companies that don’t prioritise great service could see customers leaving them for ones that do.’

How broadband complaints have changed in the last few years, showing a major decrease

How broadband complaints have changed in the last few years, showing a major decrease

Jodi Hamilton, relationships director at Ombudsman Services, which investigates unresolved telecoms complaints, added: ‘Customer service and complaint handling are key battlegrounds in the fight to retain and attract customers in the ultra-competitive telecoms sector.

‘We work with communications providers that belong to our scheme to help them improve their complaint handling, for the benefit of consumers.

‘Any consumer with a broadband, mobile or landline issue should contact their provider in the first instance. 

‘If the company cannot resolve the complaint within eight weeks, we might be able to help.’ 

However, there were also concerns from experts that not enough people were complaining about problems they have encountered.  

Richard Neudegg, head of regulation at uSwitch, said: ‘Complaints about mobile, broadband and landline to Ofcom have fallen to historic lows over the last decade, so it’s disappointing to see a slight increase this time around.

‘We hope this isn’t a sign that telecoms providers have taken their eye off the ball, as there is still room for improvement.

‘If you are unhappy with the service you’re paying for and you’re out of contract, it’s easy to switch to a better deal. 

‘Don’t hesitate to complain to your provider. If you have a problem or aren’t happy with the service you are paying for, let them know.

‘If you are still unhappy, you can take your complaint to the appropriate ombudsman services, who will review your case free of charge.’


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