Vodafone’s UK fixed line efforts off to a shaky start

Ofcom has started including Vodafone’s broadband and landline services among its complaints data and they top both categories.

The good news for Vodafone is that, while its nascent fixed line efforts are the most complained about (to Ofcom, at least) the lead isn’t that great. TalkTalk isn’t far behind in each case and there isn’t much of a gap to the chasing pack. Ofcom didn’t have anything to say about Vodafone specifically, contenting itself with the standard, generic fare.

“With so much competition in telecoms and TV services, companies that are falling short need to make service quality and complaints handling their priority,” said Jane Rumble, Ofcom’s Director of Consumer Policy. “Customers who aren’t happy with their provider can shop around and vote with their feet.”

Ernest Doku of uSwitch.com had a bit more to say. “Vodafone will especially be feeling the heat here as, for the first time, the provider has topped the table for receiving the highest number of complaints for its broadband and landline services,” he said. “However, this is the first time the provider has had enough customers – proportionally – to justify its inclusion in these figures.”

It’s not too surprising that a relatively new set of services should have some teething problems and therefore an elevated level of complaints, so we shouldn’t read too much into Vodafone’s performance for now. But if that level remains high for the next few quarters then that could indicate some more profound issues with Vodafone’s UK diversification.

Here are the tables.


Ofcom Q3 2018 complaints broadband


Ofcom Q3 2018 complaints landline


Ofcom Q3 2018 complaints mobile

Pay TV

Ofcom Q3 2018 complaints TV

BT Mobile joins Vodafone as most complained about UK mobile provider

Ofcom has published its latest moaning charts and they reveal Vodafone finally has company at the top of this list of shame.

The last time we checked in on the list Vodafone was still top but had been steadily getting its act together and was only just ahead of BT Mobile. Three months later Vodafone has managed to keep the complaints to a manageable level but BT has had a bit of an uptick and Vodafone has been relegated to second place for the first time in living memory.

This seems to be part of a general pattern or poor customer satisfaction from BT, which has long been the most complained-about pay TV provider, has long been among the most complained-about broadband providers and is consistently above average when it comes to landline complaints.

“These figures give people the information they need to shop around and compare providers’ performance,” said Jane Rumble, Ofcom’s Director of Consumer Policy, as ever. “The scorecards also motivate companies to improve their performance, and we want to see them follow through on their promises to give customers better service.”

Here are all the charts.


Ofcom Q1 18 complaints mobile

Pay TV

Ofcom Q1 18 complaints TV


Ofcom Q1 18 complaints broadband


Ofcom Q1 18 complaints landline

BT scrapes bottom of Ofcom rankings (again)

It’s that time again. Ofcom has released data on who are the best and worst for customer service in the UK. And BT has struggled for another quarter.

Three months ago, the watchdog released the figures for Q1, and while there has been a slight improvement across the board, BT is still struggling. When you compare the figures for this quarter against those from 2011, there certainly is a notable improvement, but perhaps we as consumers are just getting more demanding; it doesn’t really seem things are getting better.

In terms of the top-line figures, fixed broadband got 18 complaints per 100,000 customers (compared to 35 in Q2 2011), while landline complaints stood at 12 per 100,000 (38 in 2011). Postpaid contracts has also been in decline only registering 5 complaints per 100,000 customers (13 in 2011), while pay-TV has remained steady at 4 complaints per 100,000 customers across the quarter (5 in 2011).

“Complaints about telecoms and pay-TV may be falling this year, but some providers are falling a long way short on customer service,” said Jane Rumble, Ofcom’s Director of Consumer Policy.

“There can be no room for complacency. We expect providers, particularly those who have been consistently under-performing, to make service quality and complaints handling their number one priority.”

The problem seems to be the general attitude towards customer service in the industry, it just simply isn’t prioritised. And part of the reason might be the reliance on the digital economy; telcos know that you aren’t going to give up on the digital economy, therefore your choice is to maintain the status quo, or move to another provider which equally doesn’t take it seriously either.

In all fairness, there are a few bright spots on the horizon. Sky, for instance, has proven to be one of the few examples of positivity. In the pay TV game, it registered one complaint per 100,000 customers and only seven in broadband per 100,000 across the quarter. In both examples, Sky was the best performer. Data isn’t available for its MVNO proposition yet, but the signs are looking promising for an attractive multi-play proposition.

Now onto BT. In Landline, broadband, postpaid mobile and pay TV, it registered 15, 28, 11 and 13 complaints per 100,000 customers respectively. In every area the telco was above the industry average. Not great reading.