Latest telecoms and pay-TV complaints revealed

30 January 2019

Ofcom has today published the latest league tables on the complaints we receive about the UK’s major providers of telecoms and pay-TV services.

The quarterly report reveals the number of complaints made to Ofcom, from July to September last year, about providers with a market share over 1.5% in the home broadband, landline telephone, pay-monthly mobile and pay-TV markets. For the first time, Vodafone has met this benchmark for inclusion on broadband and landline. The company is the most complained-about provider for both these services.

Virgin Media generated the most complaints for both pay-monthly mobile and pay-TV services. The company’s main complaint drivers were contract issues and complaints handling.

Post Office is now also included for broadband for the first time, and has performed better than the industry average. Sky, Tesco Mobile, EE and O2 continue to perform better than the industry averages for the services they offer.

Complaints information helps people to consider service quality when they are shopping around for a new provider, and incentivises operators to improve their performance. Our service quality hub offers further information on choosing the best provider.

Jane Rumble, Ofcom’s Director of Consumer Policy, said: “With so much competition in telecoms and TV services, companies that are falling short need to make service quality and complaints handling their priority. Customers who aren’t happy with their provider 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.

Anyone experiencing problems should complain to their provider first. If they are unhappy with the outcome, people 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

Table showing the number of complaints to broadband providers: Vodafone = 27, TalkTalk = 23, BT = 22, Plusnet = 21, the industry average = 15, Virgin Media = 13, Post Office = 9, EE = 8, Sky = 5.

Graph illustrating change in the number of complaints to broadband providers from Q4 2016 to Q3 2018.

Landline telephone complaints per 100,000 customers

Table illustrating landline telephone complaints per 100,000 customers: Vodafone = 19, TalkTalk = 18, Plusnet = 17, BT = 13, Virgin Media = 12, the industry average = 11, Post Office = 9, EE = 6, Sky = 5.

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) Virgin Media and the industry average; 2) EE and Sky.

Graph illustrating change in landline telephone complaints per 100,000 customers, from Q4 2016 to Q3 2018.

Pay-monthly mobile complaints per 100,000 customers

Table illustrating pay-monthly mobile complaints per 100,000 customers. Virgin Mobile = 11, BT Mobile = 8, Vodafone = 8, iD Mobile = 5, the industry average = 4, Three = 4, O2 = 3, EE = 3, Tesco Mobile = 1.

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 and Vodafone; 2) iD Mobile, the industry average and Three; 3) Three and O2; 4) O2 and EE.

Graph illustrating pay-monthly mobile complaints per 100 customers, from Q4 2016 to Q3 2018.

Pay-TV complaints per 100,000 customers

Table illustrating Pay-TV complaints per 100,000 customers. Virgin Media = 19, BT = 15, TalkTalk = 8, the industry average = 7, Sky = 1.

Graph illustrating Pay-TV complaints per 100,000 customers, from Q4 2016 to Q3 2018.

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

Graph illustrating the relative scale of average complaints per 100,000 customers, by sector (quarterly)

ENDS

CONTACT

Harry Rippon
harry.rippon@ofcom.org.uk
0300 123 1795