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Revealed: The most complained about broadband and mobile providers

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Written by: Sarah Davidson
13/07/2022
Sky, EE and Tesco Mobile were the least complained about TV, broadband, mobile and phone providers in the first three months of the year, Ofcom’s latest customer complaints report shows.

While overall complaints to the regulator stayed broadly flat on the previous quarter, grievances about fixed broadband and pay-TV services referred to Ofcom rose between January and March.

Shell Energy attracted the most broadband complaints (22 per 100,000 customers), primarily due to faults, service and provisioning. EE and Sky attracted the fewest broadband complaints with three and four per 100,000 customers respectively.

Shell Energy was also the most complained-about landline provider (20 per 100,000 customers), with faults, service and provisioning again making up the bulk of customers’ woes. EE attracted the fewest landline complaints (one per 100,000).

Virgin Mobile, BT Mobile and O2 were the most complained about mobile providers (with three and four complaints per 100,000) with customers mainly unhappy about how their complaint had been handled. Virgin Media also generated the highest volume of pay-TV complaints at 10 per 100,000.

Sky, Tesco Mobile and EE attracted the fewest complaints in the mobile sector and Sky was also the least complained-about pay-TV provider.

Fergal Farragher, Ofcom’s consumer protection director, said: “While the overall level of complaints has been consistently low over recent months, the gap between the best and worst providers in the broadband, landline and pay-TV sectors is widening.

“The figures highlight how some firms have plenty of work to do to keep their customers happy and catch up with their rivals. If you’re not happy with the service you’re getting, consider shopping around and moving elsewhere.”

Although Ofcom is unable to resolve individual complaints, the communications watchdog does offer advice to people about the telecoms and pay-TV services they use.

Where complaints are particularly high or serious, the regulator will also launch a formal investigation.

If you’re experiencing problems with your home phone, broadband, mobile or pay-TV service, you should complain to your provider first.

If you are unhappy with the outcome, you can take the complaint to an independent ombudsman, which will look at the case and make a judgment on it. Most broadband, mobile and TV complaints are directed either to the Communications and Internet Services Adjudication Scheme (CISAS) or to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

What do the providers say?

Stephen van Rooyen, chief executive of Sky UK & Europe, said: “Sky’s customer service continues to be the best performing in the pay-TV and mobile sectors.

“Having received the fewest complaints to Ofcom again, this continues our 10-year streak of leading the way in the pay-TV industry. The hard work, dedication and strength of our customer service teams is also evident across broadband and talk where we have performed to a very high standard in Ofcom’s latest complaints data.”

An EE spokesperson said: “Our customers already know we provide the best customer service across the industry, and our teams in UK and Ireland provide the best personal and local service in our contact centres and retail stores. EE mobile and broadband customers enjoy being part of the UK’s biggest and fastest network with more 5G coverage than any other provider and ultrafast full fibre broadband.”

A Shell Energy broadband spokesperson said the company is “committed to offering great customer support”.

They added: “We are investing over the long-term in new ways to provide the best possible experience for every customer.”

A Virgin Media spokesperson, said: “We’re unwavering in our commitment to improve customer service by investing in our people, processes and procedures. Complaints are down year-on-year across all services but we know there is more to do so we will continue to prioritise giving all customers a great service and ensure we keep improving.”

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