The UK's worst mobile phone providers

Updated on 23 April 2018 | 24 Comments

Telecoms watchdog Ofcom reveals that BT and Vodafone are the most complained about mobile provider in the UK.

BT and Vodafone are the most complained about mobile phone company in the UK, new figures from Ofcom have revealed.

The watchdog said that it received 11 complaints per 100,000 customers for both providers between October and December 2017.

Gripes about the firm were mainly driven by issues around billing, prices and charges followed by complaints handling and faults, 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 fourth quarter of 2017.


Complaints per 100,000 customers Q4 2016 

Complaints per 100,000 customers Q1 2017 Complaints per 100,000 customers Q2 2017 Complaints per 100,000 customers Q3 2017 Complaints per 100,000 customers Q4 2017



17 11 10 11


N/A 14 11 9 11

Virgin Mobile 


8 7 8 10



8 9 8 7

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


3 3 3 3



4 3 3 3



4 3 3 3

Tesco Mobile


<0.5 1 1 1

Industry average


6 5 5 5

Vodafone, BT, 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.

If you're fed up with your provider, here are the easiest ways to cancel your contract.

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 which gives you 3% a month and the NatWest Reward Account, which pays 2% every month.

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 provider.

This article is regularly updated

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Don't waste your time with these ropey providers!

The UK’s worst pay TV provider

The UK's worst home phone provider

The UK’s best and worst broadband provider



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