The Ofcom complaints report is the best and clearest way to find out which providers offer a more favourable customer service than others. It’s not a catch-all ranking of which provider reigns supreme, but it’s super useful when deciding which provider you should switch to next.
And even if you’re currently in the middle of your contract and unable to switch, it’s still a great thing to keep track of so you can make the right decision when the time comes.
Ofcom’s first report of 2022 looks at complaints made between July and September 2021. It sees a further drop in overall complaints for these services, to the lowest total complaints about telecoms providers since records began.
But that doesn’t mean it’s all equal. There is still a huge gap in the number of complaints between the best-performing and worst-performing providers in the country, so it’s still very clear who broadband customers prefer right now. Take a look at the latest Ofcom rankings.
As has been the case for the last 12 months, BT, Sky and EE received the least Ofcom complaints for broadband in Q3 2021, beating out other providers with their incredibly low complaint scores.
All three fell below the industry average of ten complaints per 100,000 customers. BT received just nine, and Sky and EE did even better with only five and four complaints per 100,000, respectively.
It goes to show how consistently good these providers’ customer service is, given that they’ve regularly scored the fewest Ofcom complaints every quarter without fail. So if customer service is your number-one requirement when searching for a new broadband provider, it would definitely make sense to keep these brands in mind.
BT and EE's excellent service was recognised at this year's Uswitch Telecoms Awards, with accolades including the coveted Best Broadband Provider and Best Customer Service.
See all the broadband and TV providers that won in this year's Uswitch Telecoms Awards.
The three providers who received the most complaints between July-September last year are TalkTalk, Shell Energy and Virgin Media.
Both TalkTalk and Virgin Media have improved since Ofcom’s last report in November 2021, with a reduction of two complaints per 100,000 each — that’s from 19 to 17 for TalkTalk and 17 to 15 for Virgin.
Shell Energy Broadband was the only provider to see an increase in Ofcom complaints, jumping from 13 to 17 and joining TalkTalk at the bottom of the table.
Plusnet received 13 complaints for this period, while Vodafone had 12. Both were still above the industry average for complaints, but they did see a reduction of two and one per 100,000 respectively.
Sky continued to perform best when it comes to Ofcom complaints about pay-TV, with just one complaint per 100,000 in Q3 of last year. TalkTalk wasn’t far behind at all, scoring just two for the same period.
BT and Virgin Media, however, saw a much higher number of complaints for their pay-TV services, sitting far above the industry average with six and eight complaints respectively.
It’s worth noting that given its eight complaints, Virgin Media was still able to halve its pay-TV complaints from a staggering 17 per 100,000 at the beginning of 2021, despite still receiving the highest number in this report.
If you’re experiencing issues with your broadband or pay-TV provider, the first thing you should do is raise it with the customer service team. You need to have tried to resolve your problem with your provider first before you can take your complaint to the ombudsman, or even Ofcom.
Read our guide on how to complain to your broadband provider for more advice.
Be sure to check when you signed up for your broadband deal. If it’s been more than a year or two, you could be paying much more than you initially agreed to, and you might be eligible to switch to a new broadband service.
Ernest Doku, broadband expert at Uswitch.com, says: “With customer complaints hitting record lows, home phone, broadband, mobile and pay-TV firms deserve praise for improving their services. But with a huge disparity between providers, there’s still work to be done.
“TalkTalk and Shell Energy have had four times as many complaints about their broadband as EE, and five of the biggest eight providers are below the industry average.
“Broadband, mobile and pay TV bills are set to rise for millions of people in the coming months and it will be crucial for the providers to maintain customer satisfaction levels if they are to provide good value for money.
“Ironically, the three mobile operators with the highest amounts of complaints - iD Mobile, Vodafone and Virgin Mobile - all did poorly because of the way they handle complaints.
“More than 15 million consumers suffered a broadband outage in the last year, so it’s clear that there are still issues for broadband providers to deal with. If you’ve experienced a loss of service, make sure you raise the issue with your provider and take it to the relevant ombudsman if they can’t resolve your complaint.”