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


Updated on 08 February 2021 | 48 Comments

Vodafone has replaced TalkTalk as the UK’s worst broadband provider, while Sky knocks EE off top spot. We look at how the major broadband firms compare in the latest Ofcom complaints tables.

Vodafone has racked up the most official broadband complaints from customers as the number of complaints soared across the board, latest figures from Ofcom have revealed.

The most common gripe about Vodafone related to faults, service and provisioning issues (50%), followed by poor complaints handling (20%) and difficulties changing provider (15%). 

At the other end of the scale, Sky generated the fewest complaints despite seeing it's overall number of complaints increase compared to the previous quarter.

The latest figures from Ofcom cover the three months between July and September of 2020 and show overall complaints jumped 50%, mostly driven by faults and service issues. 

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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 below 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 only cover 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, Vodafone replaced TalkTalk as the worst performer, generating 26 complaints per 100,000 customers in the second quarter of 2020.

That's up from 21 complaints in the previous quarter and represents the highest number generated in a year.

Although it fared better than Vodafone, provider Plusnet had arguably the worst quarter as complaints rocketed from nine per 100,000 customers to 23. 

Virgin Media (20 complaints), TalkTalk (18) and BT (16) were the other providers to post complaint levels higher than the industry average.

Speaking of which, it's been a frustrating period for most customers, evidenced by the fact that the average jumped sharply from 10 complaints to 15.

Your rights if your broadband connection goes down

UK's best broadband providers

At the other end of the league table, Sky replaced EE at the top spot despite complaints rising from four to six per 100,000 customers (interested in joining Sky? Check out the latest deals here).

EE also saw complaints levels increase, from four to seven.

The only other firm to come in under the industry average was the Post Office. While its total of 13 per 100,000 is well off the top two, it does represent an improvement from the previous quarter's total of 16 complaints.

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

Q2 2019

Q3 2019

Q4 2019

Q1 2020

Q2 2020

Q3 2020

TalkTalk

23

22

19

22

22

18

Plusnet

26

22

20

16

9

23

BT

12

13

10

12

7

16

Virgin Media

16

20

14

13

12

20

EE

6

5

5

3

3

7

Sky

5

5

5

6

4

6

Vodafone

30

26

28

23

21

26

Post Office

7

10

13

16

16

13

Industry average

13

14

12

12

10

15

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:

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