Ranked: The worst mobile networks in the UK

Tom Belger
Finance and policy reporter

Which? ranked phone firms in Britain. Photo: Alex Milan Tracy/SIPA USA/PA Images Alex Milan Tracy/SIPA USA/PA Images

Britain’s three biggest mobile phone companies are “failing to offer their customers a satisfactory level of service,” according to the leading consumer group Which?.

A survey of more than 6,000 Which? members confirmed Vodafone as Britain’s worst-ranked provider for an eighth year in a row, with EE and O2 also in the bottom three.

Smaller networks tended to come out on top for happy customers, with Giffgaff ranked as the best network, followed by Utility Warehouse and Plusnet Mobile.

Both contracts and sim-only deals for the iPhone XS and Samsung Galaxy S10 tended to be more expensive on the bigger networks, according to analysis by the consumer group.

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Giffgaff offers sim-only deals from £5 a month for 500GB of data, whereas a Vodafone deal for the same amount of data costs £11 a month.

A two-year contract for the iPhone XS costs £41 a month on Sky Mobile, but will set a customer back at least £62 a month on the three biggest networks.

Which? asked customers to rank their phone companies on their levels of customer service, value for money, whether they would recommend the networks and other factors.

Vodafone secured just a one-star rating for customer service, technical support and value for money. One in five customers complained about “poor” handling of queries and complaints.

A Vodafone spokesperson said it was “sorry” to see customers were dissatisfied, telling the BBC: “We are working hard to understand the issue and what more we can do.”

Ranked: 5 ‘worst’ mobile networks

  1. Vodafone
  2. EE
  3. O2
  4. Virgin Mobile
  5. BT Mobile

Ranked: 5 ‘best’ mobile networks

  1. Giffgaff
  2. Utility Warehouse
  3. Plusnet Mobile
  4. Tesco Mobile
  5. Asda Mobile