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Vodafone remains most complained about operator in latest Ofcom figures

James Pearce
December 15, 2015

Operator saw complaints rise from 0.14 to 0.20 complaints per thousand customers as mobile complaints rose for first time in a year while EE tops fixed line and broadband lists

Vodafone has been named as the most complained about mobile operator for the fourth quarter in a row as Ofcom unveiled its industry complaint figures for Q3.

It saw 20 complaints for every 100,000 customers it has during the three months ending September 30, up from 14 complaints in the previous quarter.

Resolving issues

A Vodafone spokesperson said: “We apologise to any customers who have had issues with our service: we always aim to provide customers with an excellent experience and, where there have been issues, aim to resolve them as quickly and as effectively as possible.
“Many of the issues highlighted in this report relate to the major programme we have been undertaking over the last 18 months to streamline and improve our billing platform, which will allow customers to have better control of their account and take advantage of a broader range of individualised services and price plans.
“Unfortunately, there were some complications during the highly complex migration exercise which meant a number of customers’ accounts were affected, although the vast majority of customers experienced no disruption or inconvenience.
“Now that exercise is essentially complete, we expect the £1 billion pound investment in our network and services this year and the significant management focus on improving and simplifying customer services will start to deliver a step change in customer experience in the next few months.”
EE complaints grow

The only other mobile provider to see its number of complaints grow during the three months spell was EE, who received nine complaints per 100,000 customers, up from eight in Q2. It has now regained its spot as the second most complained about network, after performing better than Talk Mobile in the previous two quarters.

Talk Mobile halved its number of complaints to six per 100,000 customers, the same as Virgin Mobile who’s figure fell from eight per 100,000.

Tesco Mobile retained top spot for the seventh consecutive quarter with just one complaint per 100,00o customers, beating O2 and Three who both scored slightly worse on the previous quarter (both four per 100,000 as opposed to three in Q2).


Broadband and fixed line

EE continued to be the most complained about provider of both broadband and landline, as complaints for both remained flat at 45 and 34 per 100,000 customers respectively.

An EE spokesperson said: “We are working hard to address issues with landline and broadband. We’ve already introduced a broadband service improvement programme and, together with the creation of 500 new UK roles, we are already seeing positive results.

“While it’s too soon for these improvements to be reflected in today’s Ofcom’s figures, we hope to see a positive decline in future reports.”

image006 (2)Plusnet saw the biggest rise in landline complaints (20 to 33 per 100,000 customers) as the industry average grew from 13 to 17 per 100,000.

Virgin Media’s complaints (six per 100,000 customers) fell marginally below Sky’s total complaints volume (seven per 100,000 customers), making it the best performing provider for fixed line.

It was also the best performer in broadband with six complaints per 100,000 customers, putting it above Sky who had led for the previous two quarters.

BT and Plusnet both saw significant increases in the number of complaints about their broadband services during the third quarter. Complaints about Plusnet broadband increased to 37 per 100,000 customers (from 20 per 100,000 customers) and complaints about BT increased to 35 per 100,000 customers (from 22 per 100,000 customers).


Ofcom director of content and consumer group Claudio Pollack said: “We expect providers to make customer service and complaints handling top priorities, so it’s disappointing to see a rise in the number of complaints.

“Consumers have a right to expect good service and will rightfully complain when that standard isn’t met. Ofcom is continuing work to make switching easier and our complaints data allows consumers to make meaningful comparisons that can be useful when looking for a new provider.”


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