Vodafone has once again been rated as the worst mobile network in the UK in an annual survey by consumer watchdog Which?
It is the eighth year in a row that Vodafone has been rated as the least popular mobile network in the country, with the firm coming bottom of the table in all of Which?’s annual surveys since they started in 2012. EE and O2 made up the bottom three in the list, while giffgaff was rated as the best mobile network.
The survey took data from 6,135 Which? members in February, asking consumers to rate their mobile providers on criteria such as customer service and value for money. Vodafone, bottom of the list, received just one star for both customer service and value for money, as well as technical support. 19% of respondents said Vodafone offered poor value for money, 18% complained about poor customer service, while 13% said the company’s technical support was inadequate.
A spokesperson for 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.”
Of the 13 mobile networks rated in the survey, the smaller ‘virtual networks’, who lease spectrum from the major mobile operators, rated higher than the more-established ‘Big Four’ mobile networks – Vodafone, EE, O2 and Three UK.
EE, the largest mobile network in the UK with nearly 30 million customers, was rated as the second worst mobile firm in the country. Just 27% of its customers said they provided good or excellent technical support, and 13% said the firm offered poor value for money. However, EE were still adamant that its customer service was better than its closest rivals.
“We’re ranked top by OpenSignal for mobile experience in the UK, which is supported by other independent reports from Ofcom and RootMetrics,” said a spokesperson for EE. “Ofcom’s latest figures also show that EE received among the fewest complaints in the mobile industry, as we’ve continued to invest in the UK’s best customer service.”
Of the major mobile providers, Three was rated the highest with 80% of its customers saying the company was good or excellent value for money. However, the firm received average scores in most other categories.
“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,” said Natalie Hitchins, head of home products and services at Which?. “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.”
Giffgaff, who came top of the rankings, had 95% of their customers rating them as good or excellent value for money. Utility Warehouse and Plusnet Mobile came second and third in the rankings respectively.