Choosing a landline provider

30 April 2019

There are lots of things to consider when choosing which landline provider to use.

We have gathered together some useful information on the main questions that you might have about providers. What matters to you?

Overall satisfaction with provider

Average satisfaction with overall service is 86%. BT = 88%. EE = 90%. Plusnet = 89%. Sky = 86%. TalkTalk = 81%. Virgin Mobile = 83%. Average satisfaction with reliability of service is 90%. BT = 92%. EE = 93%. Plusnet = 90%. Sky = 89%. TalkTalk = 85%. Virgin Mobile = 89%

Note: For definitions and methodology see the comparing service quality 2018 report (PDF, 8.2 MB) and methodology annex (PDF, 112.8 KB).

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How much will it cost?

The price of a contract can vary, according to provider, any extra features, the length of the contract, and whether there are installation fees. It’s important to think about the monthly cost as well as any upfront charges.

If you are buying broadband as well, it’s usually cheaper to buy them together than separately. If you’re just buying a landline, we have advice on choosing the right service.

One way to decide if the price is right for you is to use a price comparison website. Ofcom accredits price comparison services that are transparent, accessible, accurate, comprehensive and up to date, and all our members must list their deals from cheapest to most expensive (across the whole contract). See a list of accredited websites.

Would other customers recommend them?

There’s nothing quite like knowing what existing customers think of a provider. We asked customers whether they would be likely to recommend their current provider*, and here are the results:

There are no providers that customers are more likely to recommend, but they are less likely to recommend TalkTalk.

*Net Promoter ScoreTM - see methodology annex details (PDF, 112.8 KB)

How many customers complain?

If you know that current customers don’t have much of a reason to complain, you might be more confident about taking a new service with a new provider. We looked at how many people complained directly to Ofcom about providers in 2018:

Plusnet received 76 complaints per 100,000 customers in 2018. TalkTalk = 70. BT = 48. Virgin Mobile = 45. Post Office = 44. EE = 23. Sky = 18.

How quickly can I speak to someone if I have a problem?

If something does go wrong, it might be important to you to talk to someone as quickly as possible and for this to be an easy process. We asked providers to tell us how quickly their customers can talk to an agent and how many people hang up while they’re waiting:

The average call waiting time is 01:37. BT = 01:13. EE = 00:35. KCOM = 02:44. Plusnet = 06:47. Post Office = 00:34. Sky = 01: 24. TalkTalk = 00:33. Virgin Mobile  = 02:19.

How well will my complaint be handled?

It’s not just important that you can get through to your provider easily – it’s also vital that you’re happy with how they deal with any problems. We asked people how satisfied they were with how their complaint was handled:

The average satisfaction rate with how complaints are handled is 51%. BT = 50%. EE = 63%. Sky = 52%. TalkTalk = 48%. Virgin Mobile = 52%.

From 15 February 2020, broadband, phone and pay-TV customers must be told about their provider’s best deals when their initial contract is coming to an end, and every year after that if they remain out of contract.

For more information on these notifications, see our latest update.

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