The UK's worst mobile phone provider


Updated on 03 April 2017 | 21 Comments

Telecoms watchdog Ofcom reveals that Vodafone customers made the most complaints, while Tesco Mobile customers made the least.

Vodafone was once again the most complained-about mobile phone company in the UK, new figures from Ofcom have revealed.

The watchdog said Vodafone received 24 complaints per 100,000 customers between October and December 2016 – more than double that of any other mobile phone provider.

The company has been blighted by ongoing billing issues and has topped the complaints list for the last nine quarters in a row.

But Ofcom also pointed to issues with pricing and charges, complaints handling and fault, service and provision issues.

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Ofcom complaint figures

Ofcom publishes data on the number of complaints it receives about each of the big telecoms providers, including mobile phone networks, each quarter.

These are its results for pay monthly mobile phone providers from the most recent report from the last quarter of 2016.

Provider

Complaints per 100,000 customers Q4 2015 

Complaints per 100,000 customers Q1 2016 

Complaints per 100,000 customers Q2 2016 

Complaints per 100,000 customers Q3 2016 

Complaints per 100,000 customers Q4 2016 

Vodafone

32

29

23

18

24

Talk Mobile

9

8

8

8

9

Talk Talk

-

-

-

6

8

Virgin Mobile 

5

5

4

8

8

EE (aggregate of T-Mobile, Orange & 4GEE)

7

6

4

5

4

Three

3

3

3

3

4

O2

3

3

2

3

3

Tesco Mobile

1

1

1

1

<0.5

Industry average

10

9

7

6

7

Talk Mobile, TalkTalk and Virgin Mobile all had above average complaints levels.

At the other end of the scale, EE, Three, O2 and Tesco Mobile received below average complaints.

Mobile coverage

Practically speaking, the most important thing to keep in mind when buying any mobile phone is the coverage and reception of the handset and operator.

However, when it comes to comparing the best networks for this, the answer gets a little tricky as so much of signal strength depends on location.

The links below take you to each network’s coverage map or coverage checker so you can get a decent idea of what coverage you can expect.

Get paid cashback on your mobile bills​

Some current accounts now pay cashback on a range of household bills, like your mobile phone contract.

You could save with the Santander 123 Current Account and the NatWest Reward Account, which both pay 3% every month.

For more read our guide to the best current accounts for cashback.

This article is regularly updated

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