Vodafone most complained about broadband provider

27 January 2020   By Dr Lucy Brown, Editor

Vodafone are struggling with faults and service issues as they top Ofcom complaints figures for broadband, home phone and pay monthly mobile.

Although their performance on broadband complaints is improving, they remain the worst of all the major suppliers in the figures released for Q3 2019.

Virgin Media's complaint figures also rose across broadband, home phone and pay TV while Plusnet continues to improve.

Meanwhile, Sky and EE generated the fewest complaints of all broadband and landline providers.

vodafone store front
Credit: kailim/Shutterstock.com

Vodafone's struggles

Vodafone's latest broadband complaint figures of 26 per 100,000 customers is a decrease from their peak of 30 in Q1 and Q2 2019, but it's still far above the industry average of 14.

Although they were beaten to the top of the table by Plusnet in Q4 2018 and Q1 2019, Plusnet's difficulties were directly related to their implementation of a new billing system, and they're gradually improving.

Vodafone, on the other hand, haven't dropped below an average of 25 (Q4 2018) since they first obtained a large enough market share to be included in the figures back in Q3 2018.

Ofcom's breakdown found Vodafone are struggling most with faults, service and provisioning (31%), complaints handling (23%) and issues relating to switching (23%) on broadband, with complaints handling (35%) the biggest issue for pay monthly customers.

Read our review of Vodafone's broadband offer here.

Virgin's continuing problems

When the figures for Q2 2019 emerged, we highlighted Virgin Media's comparatively poor performance, with their figures rising across all categories.

We suggested this was due to Virgin's notable service outage in May 2019, and it's possible their latest poor figures are directly related to the fallout from that.

Their broadband complaints per 100,000 customers rose from 10 in Q1 2019 to 16 in Q2 2019 and to 20 in Q3 2019. Landline complaints rose from 9 to 13 to 16 in the same period.

While they managed to reduce their pay monthly complaints (8 per 100,000 in Q2 and down to 7 in Q3), pay TV complaints also rocketed from 7 in Q1 up to 11 and then 14 in Q3 2019.

Our review of Virgin Media broadband can be found here.

Who's the best?

Both Sky and EE have kept their broadband complaint levels low for the last year of reporting, with Sky registering 5 per 100,000 customers every quarter since Q1 2018.

Those two are also the best performers for landline complaints in the latest figures, and Sky consistently keep their pay TV complaints the lowest of all providers. It's notable, though, that their pay monthly complaints have increased from 1 in Q4 2018 up to 4 in the latest figures, putting them in line with the industry average.

It's Tesco Mobile who remain the least complained about pay monthly mobile provider, registering only 1 complaint per 100,000 customers.

EE and O2 also come in underneath the industry average in that category with 2 and 3 complaints per 100,000 respectively. iD Mobile and Three join Sky on 4 per 100,000.

The general trends for communications complaints are downward ones, although broadband, pay monthly mobile and pay TV averages all increased by a single point between Q2 and Q3 2019.

Nevertheless, compared to the peak of an average of 40 complaints per 100,000 customers back in 2011, the current average of 14 is a vast improvement.

Compare deals across all major providers using our free broadband comparison tool.

Which broadband & TV deals are available in your area?

independent comparison

We are independent of all of the products and services we compare.

fair comparison

We order our comparison tables by price or feature and never by referral revenue.

charity donations and climate positive

We donate at least 5% of our profits to charity, and we have a climate positive workforce.

Get insider tips and the latest offers in our newsletter