Top

The UK's best and worst mobile phone providers based on complaints

The UK's best and worst mobile phone providers based on complaints

Four companies shared the title of best provider, while BT Mobile customers had to make the most complaints, official figures show.

lovemoney staff

Household money

lovemoney staff
Updated on 19 October 2022

New figures from the telecoms watchdog have revealed that EE, Tesco, Sky and iD Mobile all generated the joint-fewest official complaints among pay-monthly mobile customers.

Conversely, BT Mobile was found to have racked up the highest number of complaints.

According to Ofcom, the most common gripes among BT's pay-monthly customers related to issues when changing provider (38%), poor complaints handling (21%) and billing problems (21%).

If you're fed up with your provider, or simply need a new phone, why not compare pay-monthly deals with Carphone Warehouse? (note: we may receive a small commission for any purchase you make)

Best and worst: networks ranked

The graphic from Ofcom below highlights how all the major networks compare and covers the three months between April and June 2022, which are the latest figures available.

It's worth pointing out that, while the number of complaints appears low for all mobile providers, these are issues that customers have needed to escalate to Ofcom as they've been unable to resolve their issues directly with their provider. 

So the actual number of complaints made directly to network providers will be much higher. 

Best and worst mobile providers

Ofcome mobile complaints table (Image: Ofcom)

Tesco, Sky, EE and iD Mobile all generated just one official complaint per 100,000 customers, meaning they shared top spot.

Remarkably, no mobile provider has generated fewer complaints than Tesco since the regulator Ofcom first added the company to its complaints league table back in 2014, so it could well be worth joining them if you're looking to switch deals soon.

At the other end of the table, BT replaced Virgin Mobile as the provider with the most complaints at four per 100,000 customers, which is double the industry average.

Which providers offer consistently good service?

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

Looking at such a short period can be unreliable – any provider can have a problem that takes a few months to fix, after all.

In order to give you a clearer picture of how the mobile network giants consistently fare, we've listed the complaints figures for the last six quarters in the table below.

If you're fed up with your provider, take a look at our pain-free guide to cancelling your contract then search for a new mobile phone deal on Carphone Warehouse or another comparison site.

Complaints per 100,000 customers over the last 18 months

Provider

Q4 2020

Q1 2021

Q2 2021

Q3 2021

Q4 2021

Q1 2022

Q2 2022

Virgin Mobile

5

5

4

3

4

3

Vodafone

5

4

3

3

3

2

2

iD Mobile

6

5

2

4

2

3

1

BT mobile

4

3

1

2

2

3

4

Three

6

6

3

3

3

2

2

O2

2

2

2

2

2

3

2

EE

2

1

1

1

1

1

1

Sky Mobile

2

1

1

2

1

1

1

Tesco Mobile

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

Industry average

3

3

2

2

2

2

2

Mobile coverage

Practically speaking, the most important thing to keep in mind when signing up for any phone contract is the coverage and reception offered by the operator (you can read how about the best networks for signal and speed here).

Ultimately, an extremely helpful call centre is of little use if you can't even phone them in the first place!

To make sure you don't live in a particular network's 'blackspot', the links below will take you to each network’s coverage map or coverage checker, so you can get a decent idea of the coverage you can expect where you live.

Finally, find out which other providers you should be dodging by reading our regularly-updated roundups of The UK’s worst pay TV providersThe UK's worst home phone providers and The UK’s worst broadband providers.

Compare mobile phone deals at Carphone Warehouse

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.

Most Recent