The UK's best and worst broadband providers


Updated on 20 November 2019 | 38 Comments

Vodafone has dethroned Plusnet as it is named the UK’s worst broadband provider, while Sky is named the best. We look at how the major broadband firms compare in the latest Ofcom complaints tables.

Vodafone generated the most complaints between April and June 2019 as it struggles to get to grips with faults and issues with coverage and broadband speeds, according to official figures.

Other sore spots for customers included complaints handling and problems relating to switching providers.

At the other end of the scale, Sky once again generated the fewest complaints from its broadband customers.

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How the best and worst firms are ranked

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

Below is the latest breakdown, which covers the three-month period from April to June 2019, the most recent figures available from Ofcom – if your provider features near the top, 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 suggest a low number of complaints, it's worth remembering these are issues that have been escalated to the regulator because customers have been unable to get their issue resolved directly with their provider, as loveMONEY regular Mars Express points out in the comments section.

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

Slow broadband connection? Try these seven steps to boost your speeds.

Best and worst broadband firms, ranked by the amount of customer complaints. (Image: Ofcom)

Worst broadband providers

This isn’t the first time Vodafone has appeared among the broadband providers with the most customer complaints: it received 30 per 100,000 customers in the first quarter of this year, putting it second only to Plusnet, whose own customers had been enduring huge billing issues.

While Plusnet's issues are seemingly subsiding – complaints dropped from 31 per 100,00 customers to 26 –  Vodafone has seemingly failed to get to grips with its issues, as the number of complaints remained stubbornly unmoved at 30.

The fact both companies have received at least double the industry average for complaints highlights just how poor performance has been from these two firms.

In third place on the list of the worst broadband providers is TalkTalk, which saw a small decline in complaints from 24 to 23.

Virgin Media took the fourth spot with 16 complaints per 100,000, up sharply from 10 in the previous quarter.

BT continued to see healthy drop in complaints (from 15 to 12), the latter of which was below the current industry average of 13.

Your rights if your broadband connection goes down

Best broadband providers

Sky continued its long run at the top, (interested in joining Sky? Check out the latest deals here), with complaints remaining unchanged at five per 100,000.

Rival EE lost its previous (joint) top spot with Sky, as its complaints rose from five to six per 100,000 customers.  

The Post Office continued its strong performance as eight complaints in the previous quarter fell to seven between April and June.

Below are the results over the past four 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 over the last 12 months

Provider

Q3 2018

Q4 2018

Q1 2019

Q2 2019

TalkTalk

23

20

24

23

Plusnet

21

43

31

26

BT

22

18

15

12

Virgin Media

13

14

10

16

EE

8

9

5

6

Sky

5

5

5

5

Vodafone

27

25

30

30

Post Office

9

8

8

7

Industry average

12

15

13

13

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

Who are the best and worst telecoms firms?

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

If you'd like to find out which firms topped the home phone complaints list, head this way, while this article will highlight the worst pay TV providers.

*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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