The UK's best and worst broadband providers based on complaints


Updated on 11 December 2020 | 46 Comments

TalkTalk has replaced Vodafone as the UK’s worst broadband provider, while EE retains its title of best provider. We look at how the major broadband firms compare in the latest Ofcom complaints tables.

TalkTalk has racked up the most official broadband complaints from customers, latest figures from Ofcom have revealed.

The most common gripe about TalkTalk was its poor complaints handling (41%), followed by faults, service and provisioning issues (33%) and problems with billing, pricing and charges (16%). 

At the other end of the scale, EE generated the fewest complaints for the second quarter running.

The latest figures from Ofcom cover the three months between April and June of this year, providing the first clear look at complaint levels during the initial lockdown. 

What's remarkable is that overall complaints actually dipped slightly compared to the first three months of the year. 

Remember this was at a time when far more of us were working from home and it was feared that failures and gripes could skyrocket as short-staffed broadband firms struggled. 

Thankfully that doesn't seem to have transpired, so let's take a closer look at how each of the major broadband firms fared.

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How the best & worst firms are ranked

Every quarter, Ofcom provides its breakdown of complaints per 100,000 customers that each major provider attracts. 

If your provider features near the top of the complaints list, or you simply want a cheaper deal, make sure you compare broadband deals in your area today.

It's straightforward and you could save hundreds, especially if you opt to bundle your broadband with your landline and pay TV provider.

As a final point, while the figures might sound extremely low, it's worth remembering these aren't just for complaints made to broadband firms: they are issues that have been escalated to the regulator because customers have been unable to get their issue resolved directly with their provider.

The actual number of unhappy customers will be far higher than this as these are only the documented extreme cases.

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Complaints ranked from least to most

Ofcom broadband complaints (Image: Ofcom)

UK's worst broadband providers

As mentioned earlier, TalkTalk replaced Vodafone as the worst performer, generating 22 complaints per 100,000 customers in the second quarter of 2020.

With Vodafone racking up 21 complaints per 100,000, the two providers remain relatively far adrift of their rivals – the next-worst firm is the Post Office on 16, while the industry average is just 10.

Your rights if your broadband connection goes down

UK's best broadband providers

At the other end of the league table, EE retained the top spot, with complaints unchanged at three per 100,000 customers.

Sky has long performed well in terms of complaints and was only marginally behind EE with four per 100,000 (interested in joining Sky? Check out the latest deals here).  

BT retained third place, although it did achieve a sharp reduction in official complaints, which fell from 12 per 100,000 to just seven.

Below are the results over the past six quarters to give you a clearer picture of how well (or not) the various broadband providers treat their customers over time.

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Complaints to Ofcom per 100,000 customers 

Provider

Q1 2019

Q2 2019

Q3 2019

Q4 2019

Q1 2020

Q2 2020

TalkTalk

24

23

22

19

22

22

Plusnet

31

26

22

20

16

9

BT

15

12

13

10

12

7

Virgin Media

10

16

20

14

13

12

EE

5

6

5

5

3

3

Sky

5

5

5

5

6

4

Vodafone

30

30

26

28

23

21

Post Office

8

7

10

13

16

16

Industry average

13

13

14

12

12

10

Should you switch even if you're happy?

The above figures give you a good idea which firms have the worst track records for treating customers fairly. 

But even if you are with one of the better performers, it's seriously worth considering switching if you've been with them for more than a couple of years.

Why? Recent research has highlighted how broadband firms are charging existing customers the best part of £200 a year more for the identical service being offered to new customers.

So even if you're happy with your service, you should still ensure you aren't getting ripped off by regularly shopping around for cheap broadband deals

Which are the best and worst telecoms firms?

So, there you have it, your round-up of the UK's best and worst broadband providers.

Find out which other telecoms firms you should be dodging by reading The UK’s worst pay TV providerThe UK's worst home phone provider and The UK’s best and worst mobile networks.

*This article contains affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission on any sales of products or services we write about. This article was written completely independently.

 

More on phone and broadband:

The cheapest and best broadband deals

How to save money on your BT phone, broadband and TV deals

How to cut the cost of your Sky TV, broadband and phone bills

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