Personal Finance

Worst phone, broadband and TV companies for complaints revealed – do you use these?

Shell Energy, Virgin Media and BT Mobile sparked most complaints in their sectors, while Sky performed well.

The best and worst broadband, phone and paid-for TV providers for complaints have been named in new research.

Shell Energy sparked the most grievances with regulator Ofcom for its broadband and landline services, while BT was the pay-monthly mobile phone provider that attracted the most objections.

Virgin Media was the worst paid-for TV service for complaints in a field of four - with BT also not fairing well against TalkTalk and Sky.

Sky's broadband, landline, mobile and TV packages led the pack for the best service, coming top for the fewest complaints in all four areas across Q4 - October to December - 2022.

Shell Energy - worst for broadband and landline complaints - received 27 per 100,000 people, Ofcom statistics showed. It also received 25 complaints per 100,000 people for landline issues - more than the previous quarter when it also came bottom of the table. Complaints were mainly about faults, service and provisioning.

Virgin Media users were unhappy with how it dealt with their complaints about its television service, while BT TV customers were frustrated with faults, service and installation.

When it came to mobile services, BT Mobile, Virgin Mobile and O2 were the most complained about, although all providers had relatively few issues, with only three complaints per 100,000 people separating the best and worst performers.

Customers came to Ofcom about BT Mobile after not being satisfied with how issues had been handled as well as problems when wanting to change provider. Complaint handling was also a matter of contention for Virgin Mobile customers, while O2 users were annoyed at faults, service and getting connected.

Speaking of the results, Ofcom said: "We remain concerned about Shell Energy’s persistently high complaint volumes. We have been engaging closely with the provider on its plans to improve its customer service, and expect to see results of this in the coming months."

Across the board, the number of issues brought to Ofcom remained similar to the previous quarter, but broadband complaints had risen slightly year on year.

Landline and pay-TV complaints slightly decreased.

Anyone with problems with their providers should raise issues with their supplier first. If they are not happy, they can go to an independent ombudsman who will make a judgment on it.

Best and worst broadband, mobile phone, landline and TV providers for complaints:

ProviderComplaints per 100,000Average
NOW Broadband1011
Virgin Media1411
Shell Energy2711
NOW Broadband56
Virgin Media76
Shell Energy256
Pay-monthly mobile
Sky Mobile12
Tesco Mobile22
iD Mobile22
Virgin Media32
BT Mobile42
Virgin Media83

*Source: Ofcom Oct-Dec 2022

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Helen Barnett

Helen is a journalist, editor and copywriter with 15 years' experience writing across print and digital publications. She previously edited the Daily Express website and has won awards as a reporter. Read more here.


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