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Plusnet Most Complained About ISP, While Mobile Customers Most Upset with Vodafone


Consumers were most dissatisfied with Plusnet’s fixed line broadband and landline phone services during the first quarter of 2019—at least based on the number of complaints filed to Ofcom.

That’s the second quarter in a row the budget broadband provider has raised the ire of its customers. Its billing, pricing and charging; complaints handling; and service issues proved the most controversial.

Meanwhile, Sky Broadband and EE, each with a sixth the number of complaints that Plusnet received, performed the best among the ISPs.

Vodafone, also controversial for its home broadband service, attracted the highest volume of complaints of the major mobile providers, followed by Virgin Mobile.

Vodafone’s customers were most irked with its handling of complaints, billing and pricing issues, and problems switching provider.

Mobile customers were most satisfied with the service they received from Tesco Mobile, with just 1 complaint per 100,000 customers recorded by Ofcom.

Overall, Ofcom found that complaints levels were higher in the broadband than mobile phone sector, as well as in the pay TV and landline phone markets. That correlates with survey data that found 83% of customers were satisfied with their home broadband service, while 93% were pleased with their mobile phone provider.

Ofcom’s quarterly report into consumer satisfaction collates complaints submitted the regulator itself, but not those filed with the provider or the two ombudsman services acting in the telecoms market, Ombudsman Services or CISAS.

While Ofcom itself doesn’t act on individual complaints, it monitors them and can intervene, including with fines and sanctions, if it hears enough gripes about a provider.

Its complaints league tables, showing the number of complaints they receive about major providers, per 100,000 customers, serves as proxy survey of customer satisfaction in the telecoms industry. Consumers may want to avoid the most-moaned about providers.

Only the largest providers, with above a 1.5% share of their respective markets, are included in the rankings.

Fixed Line Home Broadband Complaints

  1. Plusnet: 31 per 100,000 customers.
  2. Vodafone: 30
  3. TalkTalk: 24
  4. BT: 15

Industry average: 13

5. Virgin Media: 10

6. Post Office: 8

7. Sky: 5

8. EE: 5

Mobile Complaints

  1. Vodafone: 6 per 100,000 customers
  2. Virgin Mobile: 6
  3. BT: 5

Industry average: 3

4. Sky Mobile: 3

5. Three: 3

6. O2: 2

7. iD Mobile: 2

8. EE: 2

9. Tesco Mobile: 1

Lauren Smith
Lauren Smith

Lauren Smith has worked as a journalist and copywriter for most of the last decade, covering technology, energy, and consumer rights, in the US and UK.

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