The UK's worst mobile phone providers

Virgin Mobile is sharing the unwanted crown for the UK’s worst mobile phone provider with Vodafone, according to the latest official complaints figures.

Virgin Mobile and Vodafone are the joint-most complained about mobile phone companies in the UK, new figures from Ofcom have revealed.

Unfortunately for Virgin, it is now the worst mobile phone provider for the fifth quarter in a row.

The telecoms watchdog said Virgin Mobile received six complaints per 100,000 customers between January and March this year.

Vodafone also received six complaints per 100,000 over the same period.

Looking at the overall amount of complaints for the worst providers, the numbers have dipped slightly compared to the prior quarter.

If you're fed up with your provider, or simply need a new phone, why not compare deals with Carphone Warehouse?

Why customers are unhappy

Customers’ main complaints about Virgin and Vodafone related to how their grievances were handled as well as issues with billing pricing and charges.

BT Mobile is still among the most complained about mobile phone providers with five complaints per 100,000 although this is lower than the previous quarter.

The number of complaints about Three has declined from four per 100,000 in the last quarter of 2018 to three between January and March 2019.

At the other end, Tesco Mobile retained top spot, having generated the fewest complaints per 100,000 – one – for the eighth straight quarter.

O2, iD Mobile and EE – all with two complaints per 100,000 – were also among the providers to come in under the industry average of three complaints.

Full details are available in the graphic below.

Complaints against UK mobile phone providers. (Image: Ofcom)

If you're fed up with your provider, here are the easiest ways to cancel your contract and search for new mobile phone deals on Carphone Warehouse.

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.

To give you a clearer picture of how the mobile network giants treat their customers, we've listed the complaints figures for the last four quarters in the table below.

Provider

Complaints per 100,000 customers (Q2 2018)

Complaints per 100,000 customers (Q3 2018)

Complaints per 100,000 customers (Q4 2018)

 

Complaints per 100,000 customers (Q1 2019)

Virgin Mobile

11

11

7

6

Vodafone

9

8

7

6

iD Mobile

5

N/A

2

2

BT

5

8

7

5

Three

3

4

4

3

O2

3

3

3

2

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

2

3

2

2

Sky Mobile

-

-

1

3

Tesco Mobile

1

1

1

1

Industry average

4

4

4

3

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.

Yet when it comes to comparing the best networks for this, it gets a little tricky as so much of the 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 which gives you up to 3% in cashback a month and the NatWest Reward Account, which pays 2% every month on certain bills.

Find out which other providers 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 broadband providers.

This article is regularly updated

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.

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