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The UK's worst mobile phone provider

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We take a look at the worst (and best) mobile network operators.


If you are in the market for a new mobile, you need to look beyond simply the price of the tariff. What is the network like? Can you rely on them?

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, covering the first two quarters of this year:

Provider

Complaints per 100,000 customers Q4 2014

Complaints per 100,000 customers Q1 2015

Complaints per 100,000 customers Q2 2015

Complaints per 100,000 customers Q3 2015

Vodafone

15

14

14

20

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

12

10

8

9

Talk Mobile

12

11

12

6

Virgin

7

7

8

6

O2

4

3

3

4

Three

3

3

3

4

Tesco Mobile

2

1

1

1

Industry average

9

8

7

8

Vodafone was the most complained about provider by far, racking up 20 complaints per 100,000 customers, more than double the number of its nearest rival. The main drivers were problems with billing, pricing and charges (37%), complaints handling (28%) and concerns around faults, service and provision (17%).

Again, Tesco Mobile generated the fewest complaints in the pay monthly mobile market, with just one complaint per 100,000 customers, well below the industry average of eight.

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.

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This article is regularly updated

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