The big four UK mobile networks have just been rated in the latest Which? report and it’s not good news for customers.
Three, Vodafone, EE and O2 users were polled by the consumer champion with many reporting poor customer service, low value for money and bad technical support.
Coming bottom of the pile was Vodafone who only manage an embarrassing one-star rating.
According to Which?, one in five Vodafone customers, 18 per cent, reported poor customer service, including complaints handling and the way their queries were dealt with, while 13 per cent said the firm’s technical support was poor and 19 per cent rated it as poor value for money.
Not far behind Vodafone was EE with 13 per cent of its customers rating it as poor value for money, and just a quarter, 27 per cent, giving it a good or excellent rating for technical support.
Some 10 per cent of O2 customers said the company provided poor value for money.
Three achieved the highest customer score among the “big four” networks for the fourth year running, despite receiving average scores in most categories.
However, 80 per cent of Three customers rated their provider as good or excellent value for money.
Although the big networks didn’t impress some smaller service providers faired far better.
Of the 13 providers included in the survey, customers mostly rated smaller “virtual networks” – those that lease spectrum from the main operators – more highly, with Which? finding that they were usually cheaper for both sim-only and certain contract deals.
Which? singled out giffgaff as a provider popular with its customers, with 80% paying less than £10 for their sim-only contract and 95% rating the firm as good or excellent on value for money.
Speaking about the report, Natalie Hitchins, Which? head of home products and services, said: “The continuing reign of smaller networks over the big players goes to show exactly how important customer support and value for money are to mobile users.
“If you think you are paying too much or are not getting the level of service you expect from your provider you should shop around for a better deal – you might find you save yourself some money and probably a lot of grief too.”
In response to the survey, Vodafone said: “We are sorry that Which? members aren’t as happy as they could be with our service and are working hard to understand the issue and what more we can do.”
And an EE spokeswoman added: “We’re ranked top by OpenSignal for mobile experience in the UK, which is supported by other independent reports from Ofcom and RootMetrics.
“Ofcom’s latest figures also show that EE receives among the fewest complaints in the mobile industry, as we’ve continued to invest in the UK’s best customer service.”