Virgin Media struggling in latest Ofcom complaint figures

9 September 2021, 15:50   By Dr Lucy Brown, Editor

Latest regulator figures show Virgin Media complaint levels are the highest of all providers across broadband, landline and pay TV.

Virgin registered 33 complaints per 100,000 broadband customers in Q1 2021, high above the industry average of 19.

They also topped the rankings for high complaints for landline customers and pay TV customers.

Three were the most complained about mobile provider with 6 complaints per 100,000 customers while Virgin were joint second with 5.

ofcom mobile phone
Source: Ofcom

Virgin Media

With 33 complaints per 100,000 customers in Q1 2021, Virgin Media were the poorest performer of all major broadband providers.

We noted when the previous complaints figures were released in April 2021 that Virgin's complaints were on a upward trajectory and they have now risen from 13 in Q1 2020 to 33 exactly a year later.

These trends are similar across landline and pay TV:

  • Landline complaints rose from 10 to 19
  • Pay TV complaints rose from 8 to 17

On the mobile side of things, Virgin has improved after a major spike to 9 complaints per 100,000 customers in Q3 2020. Their levels are still above the mobile industry average, however.

A spokesperson for Virgin Media told Choose: "Providing a great customer experience alongside fast, reliable services is our number one priority. Since Ofcom collected its data for this report, we have made a number of improvements to our customer service, including hiring more than 500 care agents, which has seen complaints decrease by 70% putting them at their lowest level since 2018. We will keep investing and making improvements to give our customers the high-quality service they rightly expect."

Find out more on Virgin's performance in our full review of Virgin broadband.

Broadband complaints

The average number of complaints across the broadband sector in Q1 2021 was 19 per 100,000 customers, an increase of 3 compared to the previous quarter. This was partly driven by Virgin's increase, but TalkTalk also saw an uptick from 19 to 24.

We've often discussed Vodafone's poor performance in these broadband complaint figures, so it's welcome to see their complaints drop from 30 to 24, their lowest level since Q2 2020.

At the other end of the table, we find Sky and EE tied again with 7 complaints per 100,000 customers.

While these figures are much lower than even their closest competitor (BT with 15), it's still worth noting the steady increase from Q2 2020 when Sky had 4 complaints per 100,000 and EE had 3.

In Ofcom's Comparing Service Quality report for 2020, EE were the provider most likely to be recommended as well as registering the lowest number of complaints for any ISP during 2020.

Read more on which broadband provider has the best customer service.

Other sectors

Landline complaints tend to track broadband complaints, albeit at a lower level. That's the case again, with Virgin and TalkTalk posting poorer figures and EE tying with Sky for lower levels of complaints.

On pay TV, Virgin's spike of 17 is high above the 8 recorded by BT or the 5 recorded by TalkTalk. Once again, Sky is the leader with just 2 complaints per 100,000 customers.

Complaints within the mobile industry have been driven down to low levels with an average of 3 complaints per 100,000 at Q1 2021.

Three's complaint figures remain high (6), but Virgin Media and iD Mobile both have 5 and Vodafone are slightly above the industry average with 4.

Tesco Mobile, Sky Mobile and EE are the best performers in this sector with around 1 complaint per 100,000 customers in the first quarter of 2021.

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