The UK's best and worst broadband providers


Updated on 15 February 2019 | 34 Comments

Research from Ofcom reveals new entrant Vodafone has replaced TalkTalk at the bottom of the pile, while Sky remains top. Here, we rank broadband providers from best to worst. How does yours fare?

The service you get from the nation's broadband providers can vary massively. Which are the ones you can trust, and which generate the most complaints from unhappy customers?

When it comes to those most likely to let you down, it's worth taking a look at the Ofcom complaints figures.

The telecoms regulator provides a quarterly breakdown of complaints per 100,000 customers that each major provider attracts. 

Below is the latest breakdown, which cover the three-month period from July to September 2018 – if your provider features near the top, or you simply want a cheaper deal, make sure you compare broadband deals in your area today.

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Broadband customer service (Image: Ofcom)

Worst broadband providers

This marked the first time that Vodafone was included, having attracted enough customers to pass the threshold set by Ofcom, and it rocketed straight to the top of the complaints list with 27 per 100,00 customers.

It finished some way ahead of TalkTalk (23 complaints per 100,000), which had taken the wooden spoon in the previous four quarters.

BT saw a sharp rise in complaints (rising from 15 to 22) to finish narrowly behind TalkTalk over the three month period, while Plusnet fared only marginally better (up five to 21).

The poor performance led to a sharp rise in the industry average, which jumped from 12 complaints per 100,000 to 15.

Best broadband providers

The Post Office was another new entrant in the broadband tables and it performed reasonably well, coming in comfortably below the industry average at nine complaints per 100,000 customers.

Both Virgin Media (up from 11 to 13) and EE (seven to eight) generated more complaints than the previous quarter but still came in below average.

Meanwhile, Sky continued its long run at the top, with the lowest number of complaints at just five per 100,000 customers (interested in joining Sky? Check out the latest deals here).

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.

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Provider

Complaints per 100,000 customers Q2 2017

Complaints per 100,000 customers Q3 2017

Complaints per 100,000 customers Q4 2017

Complaints per 100,000 customers Q1 2018 Complaints per 100,000 customers Q2 2018 Complaints per 100,000 customers Q3 2018

TalkTalk

24

30

31

29

24

23

Plusnet

20

27

27

20

16

21

BT

28

25

27

23

15

22

Virgin Media

13

14

14

13

11

13

EE

15

10

12

13

7

8

Sky

7

7

7

5

4

5

Vodafone

-

-

-

-

-

27

Post Office

-

-

-

-

-

9

Industry average

18

18

18

16

12

15

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What about the service itself?

Consumer champion Which? surveys thousands of internet users to compare experiences with various broadband providers.

Which? asked customers how often they have experienced problems, even if they didn't complain. 

Below is what they found, but bear in mind this research was last carried out in April 2018, so isn't as up to date as the data above.

The majority of Virgin Media customers (70%) said they had experienced a problem, making it the worst provider in the survey. Their top issues were price increases (45%) and the router breaking down (21%).

Second-worst was TalkTalk, with two-thirds (64%) of customers reporting a problem, the most common of which was 'very slow speeds' for a third of customers.

Interestingly, Sky didn't fare particularly well in Which?'s survey.

63% of customers reported an issue with the service - only just worse than TalkTalk - with price increases being the main bugbear.

Of the 12 providers ranked, Zen Internet customers fared the best, although a third still experienced problems.

So there you have it, your round-up of the UK's 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.

Fed up with your broadband? See if you can do better by comparing deals with broadbandchoices.co.uk 

This article is regularly updated

More on phone and broadband:

The cheapest and best broadband deals

How to save money on 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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