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Vodafone Attracts the Most UK ISP Complaints in Q1 2020 – Ofcom

Friday, September 4th, 2020 (10:39 am) - Score 3,904
complaints ofcom report isp broadband tv phone mobile

Ofcom has published their latest Q1 2020 consumer complaints report, which reveals that UK ISP Vodafone attracted the most gripes for broadband, while TalkTalk were the worst for landline phone and BT did the same for Pay TV. Meanwhile Vodafone, Three UK, BT and Virgin Media all tied the bottom spot for mobile.

The following report only covers complaints that the regulator itself has received and not those sent directly to either an ISP, ISPA, ADR complaints handler (i.e. Ombudsman Services or CISAS) or other agencies. Ofcom does not itself deal with individual complaints but they do monitor them and can take action if enough people raise a concern.

NOTE: Ofcom received around 84,000 calls and items of correspondence directly from consumers in 2019/20 (down from 96,000 in 2018/19).

Otherwise the results below reflect a proportion of residential subscribers (i.e. the total number of quarterly complaints per 100,000 customers per provider), which makes it easier to compare providers in a market where the largest ISPs can vary in size. The regulator’s study only covers feedback from the largest ISPs – those with a market share of at least 1.5% – due to limited data.

Overall, the total volume of complaints across all service sectors has decreased since the Q4 2019 report and the overall level of consumer satisfaction with communications services is listed as 85% for landline phone, 85% for broadband and 93% for mobile.

As these results reflect the the first three months of 2020 then any impact from the COVID-19 pandemic will be limited (the lockdown happened at the very end of March 2020) and will most likely show up in the next Q2 2020 results. We recommend readers check out our ISP Complaints and Advice section for more information on how, where and when to submit a complaint.

Fixed Line Home Broadband Complaints

Vodafone generated the highest volume of fixed broadband complaints this quarter and 31% of those were about faults, service and provisioning issues, while the other main drivers were issues relating to changing provider (23%), complaints handling (22%) and issues relating to billing, pricing and charges (21%).

On the flip side both EE and Sky Broadband continued to enjoy their position as recipients of the fewest consumer gripes.


Fixed Line Phone Complaints

TalkTalk generated the highest volume of landline complaints and their main complaints drivers were faults, service and provisioning issues (31%), complaints handling (28%) and issues relating to billing, pricing and charges (18%). Once again EE and Sky Broadband (Sky Talk) generated the fewest gripes.


Mobile Complaints

Vodafone, Three UK, BT Mobile and Virgin Mobile all tied their score for generating the highest volume of pay-monthly mobile complaints.

– Vodafone’s main complaints drivers were complaints handling (31%), issues relating to billing, pricing and charges (26%) and issues relating to changing provider (21%).

– Three’s main complaints drivers were complaints handling (29%), issues relating to faults, services and provision (23%) and issues relating to billing, pricing and charges (22%).

– BT Mobile’s main complaints drivers were issues relating to changing provider (32%), complaints handling (32%) and issues relating to billing, pricing and charges (26%).

Virgin Media’s main complaints drivers were issues relating to billing, pricing and charges (29%), complaints handling (25%), issues relating to changing provider (14%) and issues relating to faults, services and provision (14%).


Pay TV Complaints

Finally, BT generated the highest volume of pay-TV complaints and 40% of those were regarding complaints handling. The other main drivers of BT complaints were issues relating to billing, pricing and charges (28%) and faults, service and provisioning issues (19%). Once again though, Sky (Sky Broadband) came out the best by attracting the fewest gripes.


Ofcom’s Consumer Complaints Report Q1 2020

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
Leave a Comment
5 Responses
  1. ianh says:

    I had tonnes of problems with Vodafone when i joined last year, but to their credit the complaints team handled it well. Obviously nobody likes being cut off for no reason, but they fixed the problem working with openreach and compensated accordingly. They even offered free data if i was with vodafone, which i wasnt, and covered my add on costs with my mobile provider as well.

    I find all providers are crap if you have to call them, its the same with energy companies….brilliant until you need to speak to someone!

  2. Declan M says:

    Never had a problem with Vodafone Broadband very consistent. Just a poor router.

  3. Peter says:

    I’ve had it with the big guys.
    I’m going to support smaller guys going forward!

  4. Louise says:

    Still can’t top up phone. This has been going on since Thursday. What the hell are you guys doing? Sort it out! I need my phone!

  5. Andy says:

    The problem with Vodafone Broadband is most their complaints seem to be when the user joins (could easily be an Openreach issue). They also seem to have the biggest user growth per their overall base so not surprising they are top for fixed.

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