Vodafone is most complained-about broadband provider, Ofcom report claims

Broadband, Telecoms

Ofcom has published the latest figures for complaints it has received about the UK’s main landline, broadband, mobile and pay-TV services with Vodafone being the most complained about broadband provider for the period.

These figures cover the period from April to June 2023, and show that while the volume of complaints remained consistent with the previous quarter, there was a slight increase when compared to the same time last year.

We’ve highlighted the main trends from this quarter’s data:

  • Vodafone was the most complained-about broadband provider, with a substantial rise in complaints from the previous quarter. Customers’ complaints were mainly driven by their experience with faults, service and getting services connected. Ofcom has engaged with Vodafone regarding its performance in this latest round of complaints data – it has been taking steps to identify and address the causes of these complaints and Ofcom expects to see the results of this to show in the coming months.
  • TalkTalkShell Energy and Virgin Media were the most complained-about landline providers. TalkTalk saw a small decrease, Shell Energy remained static and Virgin Media saw a small increase in their complaints since the previous quarter. Shell Energy’s complaints were mainly driven by customers’ experience with faults, service and getting services connected, while TalkTalk and Virgin’s complaints were mainly driven by how they handled customers’ complaints.
  • Sky continued to generate the fewest complaints in both broadband and landline.
  • BT Mobile was the most complained-about mobile operator, with customers primarily complaining about how their complaints were being handled and issues changing provider. Sky MobileEE and Tesco Mobile were the mobile providers who received the fewest complaints.
  • BT and Virgin Media attracted the most complaints among pay-TV providers. BT’s complaints were mainly driven by customers’ experience with faults, service and getting services connected, while Virgin’s complaints were driven mainly by how customers’ complaints were handled. Sky received the fewest pay-TV complaints.

Commenting on the complaints data from this quarter, Fergal Farragher, Ofcom’s Consumer Protection Director, said:

“It is positive to see that overall, complaints volumes have remained consistent compared to the previous quarter. However, complaints are still slightly higher than they were in 2022, and this shows that providers still have work to do in improving customers’ experiences.

“We work alongside providers to help make sure they improve their performance and acknowledge Vodafone is taking steps to identify and address the increased volume of complaints during this period.”

Adds Alex Tofts, broadband expert at Broadband Genie:

“While the number of broadband complaints has remained stable, the latest figures show there is now a new frontrunner when it comes to generating customer anger.

“Vodafone has now claimed the undesirable top spot, with 50% more of its internet customers moved to complain to Ofcom than any other provider, relative to its size.

“The minimum people expect from their broadband is for it to work, so it’s disappointing that the bulk of Vodafone complaints were down to basic issues, such as faulty connections. As one of the UK’s biggest providers – and one that raised most household broadband bills by 14% in April – it’s understandable that customers have been more willing to make their feelings known.”

Compiling this data helps Ofcom understand the reasons for customers’ dissatisfaction across the sectors. To compare providers’ performance, every quarter it publishes the number of complaints it has received about providers relative to the size of their customer bases – per 100,000 customers.

Chris Price
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