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Vodafone still the most complained about mobile operator

Paul Withers
July 8, 2016

Network received 29 complaints per 100,000 customers in Q1 – more than its six rivals put together  

Vodafone has retained its title as the most complained about mobile operator for the sixth successive quarter.

Ofcom released its ‘Telecoms and Pay TV Complaints’ report today for the January to March period, which revealed it received 29 complaints about Vodafone per 100,000 customers.

This was down from 32 complaints in the previous quarter but was still more than treble second ranked Talk Mobile, which also runs off the Vodafone network, with eight, and more than the rest of the operators/MVNOs out together.

Ofcom said the high level of complaints were mainly due to its well-documented billing issues over recent months, as well as pricing and charges; complaints handling; and fault, service or provision issues.

Vodafone’s £15m investment

Last month, Vodafone exclusively revealed to Mobile News that it was spending an additional £15 million this year on improving its back office customer service issues. 

The operator has added 600 new customer service advisors in its consumer call centres, taking numbers to above 1,400, established a 400-strong team to focus on resolving complex issues or complaints, supported by 40 new managers.

An extra 72,000 hours of customer service training has also been given to staff during the period and it has opened a new dedicated call centre in Glasgow to serve customers using its home fixed broadband service. This adds to its call centres in Newark, Leeds, Manchester and Stoke.

Following a string of customer service issues around incidents including difficulty in importing numbers and incorrect billing charges, it is facing a potential fine of up to 10 per cent of its annual turnover (although this is extremely unlikely) from Ofcom due to its poor handling of complaints.

MVNO tops rankings

Tesco Mobile continued to be the least complained about with one complaint per 100,000 customers – a title it has held for eight successive quarter.

O2 and Three (both three complaints), Virgin Mobile (five complaints) and EE (six complaints) completed the list.

EE broadband struggles continue

EE was the most complained about broadband provider for the eight successive quarter, with 34 complaints per 100,000 customers. This was unchanged from the previous quarter.

Ofcom said the operator’s main complaint drivers were related to faults, service and provision issues; complaints handling; and issues with billing, pricing and charges.

BT overtook TalkTalk as the second most complained about broadband company recording 31 and 30 complaints per 100,000 customers respectively.

The list was completed by Plusnet (27 complaints), Virgin Media (eight complaints) and Sky (six complaints).


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