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Revealed: Ofcom's most complained-about broadband providers

We take a look at the latest rankings that show the least (and most) complained about broadband providers.
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woman looking annoyed at her laptop complaining about her broadband provider

Ofcom has revealed its latest complaints rankings for broadband and TV providers.

It shows that, once again, Shell Energy, TalkTalk and Virgin Media are the most complained-about telecoms providers in the UK. And the least complained-about brands continue to be Sky, EE and NOW.

If you’re searching for a new broadband deal or TV bundle, Ofcom complaints data can be a useful tool. It can give you a clear idea of which providers can resolve issues faster and which ones are considered more reliable.

Ofcom complaints aren’t just standard complaints submitted by a customer to their provider. They are cases when a customer has reached out to the UK’s telecoms regulator because they haven’t found a solution directly with their provider. So they carry a lot of weight when it comes to judging a provider’s service.

Learn all about the latest Ofcom complaints rankings and what you can do if your contract is coming to an end soon.

Shell, TalkTalk and Virgin Media are the most complained-about

ofcom broadband complaints january 2023

The latest rankings look at complaints made between July-September 2022. Ofcom said that the number of complaints it processed in that time stayed roughly the same as previous months, with connection faults and complaints handling being the most common reasons why customers got in touch.

For broadband, landline and TV services, the three providers that received the most Ofcom complaints were Shell Energy Broadband, TalkTalk and Virgin Media. However, Shell received far more complaints per 100,000 customers than any other provider.

The energy company, which also offers low-cost broadband services, received 27 complaints per 100,000 customers. This is nine more than TalkTalk and Virgin Media, who finished in joint-second place at 18 complaints.

Virgin Media’s ultrafast broadband is more widely available than any other provider, so you may not find another provider in your area that offers faster speeds. However, if you don’t think you need the fastest broadband out there, you might prefer to choose a provider that is considered more reliable, like Sky or BT.

Similarly, TalkTalk and Shell both offer good-value broadband packages at low prices. But if you’d rather a provider that receives fewer complaints for a similar price, NOW Broadband might be your best bet.

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Virgin Media tops TV complaints

tv ofcom complaints january 2023

Of the four main broadband and TV providers in the UK, Virgin Media received the most Ofcom complaints about its TV service. The complaints processed by Ofcom were mainly about complaints handling itself, but billing and pricing was also a common reason given.

Virgin received nine complaints per 100,000 customers. That’s slightly more than BT, which saw seven. Both providers received more complaints than the industry average of four.

Both BT and Virgin Media offer very high-quality TV packages, with lots of exclusive channels and interactive features to choose from. But they have both shown themselves to be falling behind their competitors when it comes to handling customer grievances.

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Sky, EE and NOW Broadband get the least complaints

As has been the case for nearly two years, Sky, EE and NOW Broadband performed the best in the Ofcom complaints rankings, receiving the fewest complaints per 100,000 customers.

Four broadband providers received under eleven complaints, which was the industry average for summer 2022:

These providers perform consistently well in complaints rankings, which goes to show how reliable and hassle-free they are considered to be when compared to other broadband providers. And, while this isn’t the only thing to keep in mind when choosing a broadband provider, it’s a good indication of the service you’ll receive from them.

Browse fibre broadband deals from these providers and more with Uswitch.

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Sky had the least TV complaints 

Winning in every telecoms category, Sky also had fewer complaints for its TV service than anyone else, with just one Ofcom complaint per 100,000 customers.

Meanwhile, despite its poor showing in broadband, TalkTalk received the second-fewest Ofcom complaints out of the four main TV providers in the UK. It received just three per 100,000 customers as opposed to BT’s seven and Virgin’s nine.

Find a new broadband & TV provider with Uswitch

If you’re not happy with your broadband service or your contract is ending soon and you’re looking for a cheaper deal, you should consider switching broadband.

There are hundreds of deals to choose from, which means that there are bound to be options that will suit what you need. For example, if your current speed isn’t handling your household’s demand, like if more than one person wants to stream Netflix or work from home at the same time, a faster deal might be what you need.

There are many different providers out there and they’re all known for different things. Some offer super cheap packages, some supply ultrafast internet speeds, some include great TV bundles and others have excellent reliability.

If you’re not sure which provider is best for you, take a look at our in-depth broadband provider reviews. They’ll help to highlight what each provider is best-known for, plus what they could be doing better. They’ll help you make a much more confident decision on your next deal.

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