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Named – UK Mobile Operators that Cause People the Most Stress

Thursday, April 29th, 2021 (9:00 am) - Score 4,608
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A new survey from Broadband Genie, which used a special tool to analyse and estimate the consumer stress levels of 344,243 tweets that were aimed at UK mobile operators, claims to have identified those that had the most stressed customers. Apparently, customers of iD Mobile are the most frustrated.

The data was gathered from the Twitter handles of the UK’s major broadband providers between March 2020 and March 2021. After that it was analysed by the TensiStregth tool, developed by Mike Thelwall, Professor of IT at Wolverhampton University.

The new tool essentially attempts to estimate the stress levels in short texts, based on the classification of words related to stress, frustration, anxiety, anger and negativity. The scale used to measure stress levels is approximately as follows: 1 (not stressed), 2 (low stress), 3 (moderate stress), 4 (high stress) and 5 (very stressed).

However, examining bulk data like this could overlook some of the all-important context in tweets. Likewise, the study cannot accurately confirm whether all the tweets were from actual customers. On top of that the results for some providers, such as ASDA Mobile and Lebara, should be taken with a pinch of salt due to the extremely low amount of data samples involved.

Nevertheless, this is an interesting study, partly because we haven’t seen it done for mobile operators before, but you probably shouldn’t take it too seriously.

Mobile Operator Tweets % Stressed Tweets
ID Mobile 2452 26.1
Asda (Mobile) 81 21
Three UK 37237 20.6
Vodafone 90709 19.3
O2 60336 18.5
Lebara 551 16.7
Smarty 2503 16.6
EE 111644 15.7
Tesco 17232 13.7
Voxi 6851 10.8
GiffGaff 14647 9

Overall, the study found that customers of iD seemed to be the most frustrated, with over a quarter (26%) of tweets categorised as stressed. At the opposite end of the scale is giffgaff, which had the lowest proportion of stressed tweets (9%).

A giffgaff Spokesperson said:

“Whilst we are delighted to see giffgaff rank as the least stressful mobile network provider, we appreciate that this is no time to rest on our laurels. Before giffgaff was even a business, we had our community – so we’ve always been member-led and continue to stick to our value and promise of being run by you.

We have dedicated resource to answering our member queries and we aim to respond to all social media comments within 15 minutes. Meanwhile the fact that our members are so involved and help out could make people feel a greater sense of reassurance that giffgaff is built on a genuine and caring community.”

The scores are an improvement compared to last year’s study into the most stressed broadband customers (here). Broadband ISPs averaged 24% of stressed tweets, while mobile providers are lower at 17%.

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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.
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8 Responses
  1. Steven Brown says:

    It doesn’t help that ID have closed the only call centre they had (in South Africa) so now you can only use we chat. But you can however cancel your contract online unlike other providers.

  2. Pezza says:

    Very interesting, although I’d like to know exactly what a ‘stressed tweet’ looks like? But GiffGaff and EE are knocking it out the park on these stats. But I have seen some GiffGaff customers stating how stressed they were before. Also on Trust Pilot EE scores very very low, so a bit of contradiction perhaps?

    1. Lexx says:

      Giffgaff stress level probably low because it’s easy to switch and most use the community fourm for complaints

      They unsure if they still get low data QOS data pirorty on o2 network so it can be unusable at some times when I used it (but more reliable then 3 at least)

      Surprised 3 isn’t the top of the list really

    2. Mike says:

      People usually only go on there to complain, companies that push customers to do reviews tend to have more balanced feedback.

    3. Pezza says:

      @Lexx Oh I think O2 are far worst then 3. EE just like to overcharge you. Hmm I believe Vodafone was caught doing that once too? Personally I’d place O2 firmly in last place for their illegal throttling, as portrayed by the fines levied against them for doing so.
      Hence why this survey is not accurate.

  3. anonymous says:

    Something odd about that table.

    No Virgin Media in it for a start!

    Having been on the end of a bodged migration by Virgin from EE to Vodafone and rollback again, taking months; and other people having similar issues; find it incredible that their lack of contact availability to offshore call centres (VM Mobile) has shown in the table…

  4. xchris says:

    “The data was gathered from the Twitter”

    ok… survey, for the LOLz

  5. JP says:

    How can the data between mobile users and fixed line services be determined from Twitter??

    Most mobile operators are running a Broadband service now, and some of them even TV services.

    As has been mentioned Virgin Media has been ‘conveniently’ left out of the results which would of surely tipped the balance ‘negatively’ when we consider the number of complaints they receive about home service and the fact that they are a very large mobile provider that is currently going through a ‘troublesome’ network migration.

    Overall, just logging into Twitter causes a stress level to increase, and why companies decided and still use Twitter as a customer service platform is beyond me, I guess it does showcase how irrational customers can be though.

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