Helping customers get fair treatment and fair prices

09 January 2020

Phone and broadband customers can easily compare which firms offer the best service and value for money, thanks to new performance scorecards published today.

As part of a new initiative from the UK Regulators Network (UKRN), regulators in telecoms, water, energy and banking have partnered to compare how customers rate the biggest companies who provide services people rely on every day.

Broadband, landline and mobile customers can use this customer service checker to easily see which providers perform best for customer satisfaction, complaints and value for money.

Overall, most people are happy with the service they get, with satisfaction in the mobile, broadband and landline markets at 93%, 86% and 83% respectively.

When you’re shopping around for a phone or broadband provider, there are lots of different things to think about – from price to the quality of service you’re likely to get. These scorecards help you easily compare how different providers perform, so you can choose the right service for you. Lindsey Fussell, Ofcom’s Consumer Group Director

New pricing research

The scorecards are published alongside Ofcom’s annual Pricing Trends report. This looks at what UK customers paid for broadband, phone and pay-TV services in 2019. The main findings include:

Mobile prices continue to fall. Mobile customers in the UK pay less than those in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the US, with the cost of average mobile call, text and data use now £13 per month – £2 lower than in 2018.

Switching to save. Some customers are still paying more than they need to. For example, around three quarters (73%) of mobile customers who have passed their initial deal could pay less by switching to a SIM-only deal - saving an average of £11 per month. While out-of-contract broadband customers can save £8-10 per month by taking up a new deal.

People buying bundles pay lower prices. Customers who bundle two or more services pay less than those who buy their broadband, phone and TV services separately. The more services that are bundled together, the more people save.

Putting fairness first

Our Fairness for Customers programme is aimed at making sure customers are treated fairly and can find the best deals for them. Today we have published an update on action from the programme over the last year:

  • Fairer prices for broadband and mobile customers. Following our reviews of both broadband and mobile pricing, providers have committed to reduce the prices out-of-contract customers pay.
  • New end-of-contract alerts. From next month, broadband, phone and TV customers must be told when their initial contract is coming to an end, and shown the best deals available.
  • Protecting vulnerable customers. We’ve proposed new guidelines to help make sure companies improve how they identify and support vulnerable customers.
  • Simpler switching. People can now change their mobile provider by sending a simple text. We’ve also proposed new rules to make it easier to switch broadband networks; and unveiled plans to make switching easier by banning mobile handsets ‘locked’ to a network.
  • Challenging firms to put fairness first. We welcome the UK’s biggest broadband, phone and pay-TV companies committing to put fairness at the heart of their business, by signing up to Ofcom’s Fairness for Customers commitments.
  • Clear, honest information for broadband shoppers. Broadband shoppers can now get better information before they commit to a contract, including speed guarantees.