Latest telecoms and pay-TV complaints revealed

30 April 2019

Ofcom has today published the latest league tables on the complaints we receive about the UK’s major home phone, broadband, mobile and pay TV firms.

The quarterly report reveals the number of complaints made to Ofcom between October and December last year, about firms in the home broadband, landline telephone, pay-monthly mobile and pay TV markets. All providers with a market share over 1.5% are included.

For the first time, Sky was included in the mobile market and entered the league table with the fewest complaints. This means Sky is the least-complained-about provider across all four services.

Complaints from Plusnet's broadband customers more than doubled in the last quarter of 2018. In that period, the company experienced issues with a new billing system it launched.

BT has replaced Virgin Media as the most complained-about pay TV provider, while both companies drew the highest complaints figures for mobile, along with Vodafone. The main reasons for complaints about all three providers were issues around billing, pricing and complaints handling.

Complaints information helps people to think about quality of service when they are shopping around for a new provider, and encourages firms to improve their performance. Our service quality hub offers further information on choosing the best provider.

Fergal Farragher, Ofcom’s Director of Consumer Policy, said: "There's never been more choice in phone and broadband services. We’re glad to see this fierce competition is driving some companies to push themselves to deliver better customer service.

"Unfortunately, some firms are lagging behind or struggling with consistency. It’s important they remember customers who aren’t happy can shop around and vote with their feet.”

Although Ofcom cannot resolve individual complaints, we offer consumers advice, and the information we receive can lead to us launching investigations.

If you experience problems, complain to your provider first. If you are unhappy with the outcome, you can take the complaint to an independent ombudsman, who will look at the case and make a judgment on it.

Home broadband complaints per 100,000 customers

Broadband complaints per 100,000 customers. Plusnet had the most complaints with 43, followed by Vodafone with 25, TalkTalk with 20, BT with 18, Virgin Media with 14, EE with 9, Post Office with 8, and Sky having the fewest complaints at 5. The industry average is 15.

The actual measurable difference between certain broadband complaints figures per 100,000 subscribers is less than one, so the following results should be considered comparable: 1) Virgin Media and the industry average; 2) EE and Post Office.

From Q3 2018 to Q4 2018, the broadband complaints figures per 100,000 customers decreased for BT from 22 to 18; decreased for TalkTalk from 23 to 20; decreased for Vodafone from 27 to 25; increased for Plusnet from 21 to 43; increased for EE from 8 to 9; increased for Virgin Media from 13 to 14; decreased for Post Office from 9 to 8; Sky's remained at 5; the industry average remained at 15

Landline telephone complaints per 100,000 customers

Landline complaints per 100,000 customers. Plusnet had the most complaints with 33, followed by TalkTalk with 16, Vodafone with 14, BT with 12, Virgin Media with 11, Post Office with 9, EE with 5, and Sky having the fewest complaints at 4. The industry average is 11.

The actual measurable difference between certain landline complaints figures per 100,000 subscribers is less than one, so the following results should be considered comparable: 1) BT, Virgin Media and the industry average; 2) EE and Sky.

From Q3 2018 to Q4 2018, the landline complaints figures per 100,000 customers decreased for BT from 13 to 12; decreased for TalkTalk from 18 to 16; decreased for Vodafone from 19 to 14; increased for Plusnet from 17 to 33; decreased for EE from 6 to 5; decreased for Virgin Media from 12 to 11; Post Office's remained at 9; Sky's decreased from 5 to 4; the industry average remained at 11

Pay-monthly mobile complaints per 100,000 customers

Pay-monthly mobile complaints per 100,000 customers. BT Mobile, Vodafone and Virgin Mobile shared the most complaints with 7, followed by Three UK with 4, O2 with 3, iD Mobile and EE with 2, and Tesco Mobile and Sky Mobile with 1. The industry average is 4

The actual measurable difference between certain pay-monthly mobile complaints figures per 100,000 subscribers is less than one, so the following results should be considered comparable: 1) BT, Vodafone and Virgin Mobile; 2) Three, the industry average and O2; 3) iD Mobile and EE; 4) EE and Tesco Mobile; 5) Tesco Mobile and Sky Mobile.

From Q3 2018 to Q4 2018, the pay-monthly mobile complaints figures per 100,000 customers decreased for Vodafone from 8 to 7; decreased for Virgin Mobile from 11 to 7; remained at 4 for Three UK; decreased from 8 to 7 for BT; remained at 1 for Tesco Mobile; started at 1 for Sky Mobile; decreased from 5 to 3

Pay TV complaints per 100,000 customers

Pay-TV complaints per 100,000 customers. BT had the most complaints at 12, followed by Virgin Media with 10, TalkTalk Group with 7, and Sky with 1. The industry average is 4

From Q3 2018 to Q4 2018, the pay-TV complaints figures per 100,000 customers decreased for BT from 15 to 12; decreased for Virgin Media from 19 to 10; decreased from 8 to 7 for TalkTalk Group; and Sky's remained at 1

Relative scale of average complaints per 100,000 customers, by sector (quarterly)

The relative scale of fixed broadband complaints remains at 15; landline remains at 11; mobile pay-monthly remains at 4 and pay TV has decreased to 4