Virgin Media is UK's most-complained about mobile operator

Vodafone and Virgin Media are the UK’s most complained about telecoms providers according to the latest figures from Ofcom.

The regulator monitors complaints about providers with a market share greater than 1.5 per cent in the sectors they operate. Typical issues include quality of service, how the operators themselves handle complaints, or with billing.

The idea is that consumers can make more informed decisions when choosing a landline, broadband, mobile or Pay-TV service, giving providers an incentive to improve. These latest figures cover the period between July and September last year.

Ofcom complaints

Virgin Media is the most-complained about mobile operator in the UK, receiving 11 complaints per 100,000 customers. BT (8), Vodafone (8) and iD Mobile (5) all exceeded the industry average of 4 with Three (4), O2 (3) and EE (3) all coming under the benchmark.

Tesco Mobile continues to be the UK’s least complained about operator with just 1 complaint per 100,000 subscribers.

For the first time, Vodafone has met the 1.5 per cent threshold in the broadband and landline markets, and duly received the most complaints in both categories. The Post Office also featured for the first time in broadband and received a below-average number of grievances.

In broadband, Vodafone received 27 – well above the industry average of 15. TalkTalk (23), BT (22) and Plusnet (21) also scored above average, while Virgin Media (13) the Post Office (9) EE (8) and Sky (5) recorded lower-than average figures.

For landline services, Vodafone received 19 complaints per 100,000, ahead of TalkTalk (18), Plusnet (17), BT (13), Virgin Media (12), the Post Office (9), EE (6) and Sky (5). The industry average was 11.

Virgin Media was the UK’s most complained about Pay-TV provider with 19 complaints, more than BT (15) and TalkTalk (8). Sky (1) was the only provider to record a figure below the average of 7.

“With so much competition in telecoms and TV services, companies that are falling short need to make service quality and complaints handling their priority. Customers who aren’t happy with their provider can shop around and vote with their feet,” said Jane Rumble, Ofcom’s Director of Consumer Policy.


Steve McCaskill is TechRadar Pro's resident mobile industry expert, covering all aspects of the UK and global news, from operators to service providers and everything in between. He is a former editor of Silicon UK and journalist with over a decade's experience in the technology industry, writing about technology, in particular, telecoms, mobile and sports tech, sports, video games and media.