Ofcom has released its latest broadband complaints report, revealing which providers performed best and worst according to their customers between October and December 2021.
Ranking providers based on their complaints is a very clear sign of which broadband and TV providers seem to offer the best customer service. But it also highlights those whose customers seemed to be the most unhappy.
If your broadband provider has recently raised your prices and you’re looking to switch providers, it’s worth considering one that offers a smooth and hassle-free customer experience.
Find out which providers came out on top in Ofcom’s latest complaint ranking.
Sky, EE and BT receive fewest broadband complaints (again)
The top performing providers in the ranking of broadband complaints remain Sky, EE and BT.
All three again received significantly fewer complaints than the industry average of nine per 100,000 customers, with Sky receiving just four, EE five and BT seven. Plusnet also fared much better this time around, receiving eight complaints compared to 13 in the previous report.
Not only is it reassuring to see a provider like Sky receive the fewest complaints, it’s even more impressive to see it regularly receive the lowest. This shows that Sky’s score is not unique and that the provider can be trusted to deliver excellent service from start to finish.
Broadband price increases have had a big impact on customers since the start of 2022. These four providers have raised their mid-term prices by up to 9.3% this spring, showing that even with service favorable customer, it is difficult to avoid an expensive bill rise.
But while Sky Broadband increased its costs in April, it handles price increases a little differently than other top performers. Rather than keeping its customers locked in until the end of their contract, the supplier is allowing affected customers to terminate their contract early and completely free of charge, provided they do so within 30 days of notification of a price increase.
So if you’re looking to avoid unexpected mid-term contract hikes, Sky makes it easier to lower your bills by letting you look elsewhere. Find out which other providers allow you to terminate your contract early – and which don’t – in our guide to mid-contract price increases.
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Better, but still the lowest scores of TalkTalk and Shell Energy Broadband
While Shell Energy Broadband and TalkTalk both received fewer complaints than the previous report, they continued to receive more than any other provider in Ofcom’s ranking.
Shell was the worst performer this time around, scoring 15 complaints against the industry average of nine per 100,000. And TalkTalk came close behind with 14 complaints.
Notably, Vodafone was the only provider to have its complaints increase in the latest report, dropping slightly from 12 in Q3 2021 to 13 in Q4. Virgin Media saw its complaints drop to 13, but that still puts it above average for this period.
High complaint scores in the Ofcom rankings do not necessarily mean that these providers provide poor service. The vast majority of customers probably have a great experience with them, and you should always consider subscribing to their offerings if they offer the right service for you.
But if customer service trumps everything else for you and you want as smooth and painless an experience as possible with your broadband, this data should help you decide where to look.
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Sky also receives fewest complaints from Ofcom on pay TV
Ofcom’s complaints report is not limited to broadband. It also ranks the main TV providers in the UK to see which companies are causing the least problems for customers.
Unsurprisingly, Sky TV also received the least grief in the TV industry, again receiving just one complaint per 100,000 customers. It was the only TV provider to score below the industry average of three complaints, with TalkTalk, BT and Virgin Media receiving three, four and seven complaints respectively.
That said, these three providers were able to reduce their complaints by two per 100,000 between the third and fourth quarters of 2021, so it’s promising to see a marked improvement in their performance.
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I’m unhappy with my broadband provider — what should I do?
If you’re having trouble with your broadband service, there are things you can do to improve it.
First, there are a number of simple solutions you can try with your home setup to make your broadband connection much stronger. Take a look at our guide on improving a slow internet connection to see how you can speed up your internet connection at home.
If your problem can only be solved by your supplier, contact their customer service. Our guide on how to file a complaint with your broadband provider will help you resolve your issue quickly.
Finally, you need to check the expiration date of your broadband contract. If your end date is approaching (or has already passed), you may be able to switch to another broadband provider with just one month’s notice. This way you can try out a new service that might work much better for you.
Uswitch telecommunications expert Ernest Doku says:
“Today’s figures show an overall decline in the number of complaints made to telecom providers in the last quarter of 2021, which is good news. Yet since then prices have risen significantly on services broadband, mobile and pay-TV, so it’s likely that this trend could change in the coming months, with many consumers unhappy with recent bill hikes.
“Shell Energy continues to be the worst performer in customer service, with complaints for its broadband offering well above the national average. plank to reduce their share of dissatisfied customers.
“When it comes to mobile services, it’s disappointing to see Virgin Mobile customers having the most problems, especially as Virgin Media is also above the industry average for broadband complaints. .
“With budgets tighter than ever, suppliers must not only offer value-for-money products, but prove that they are genuinely focused on customer satisfaction.”
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