EE and Vodafone have been rated as the two worst mobile phone providers in Which?’s annual mobile phone customer satisfaction survey.
The survey, now in its sixth year and based on customers’ experience, saw both EE and Vodafone awarded customer scores of 50%, occupying bottom of the table.
Despite strong mobile coverage and fast 4G download speeds, only one in five customers would definitely recommend EE (22%) to a friend or family member. Only a quarter (24%) would recommend Vodafone.
Those companies who received the lowest scores also had poor ratings for value for money, incentives and customer service. Both providers have committed to making improvements after suffering from high profile billing issues and receiving fines from Ofcom.
The performance of the poorest mobile phone providers is in stark contrast to those who sit at the top of the table – such as Giffgaff and Utility Warehouse with scores of 81% and 76% respectively. Seven in ten (70%) of Giffgaff’s customers for example said they’d definitely recommend the mobile provider to friends or family.
And while the likes of Giffgaff and other smaller companies use the networks of the big four (EE, Vodafone, O2 and Three), those surveyed praised their great value for money contracts and bundles as well as ease in contacting when in need of advice and support.
In addition to the comparison of mobile phone companies, the survey also revealed that only a quarter of mobile customers (26%) had switched provider in the last two years.
As part of its ‘Consumer Agenda for Government’ Which? is calling on the next government to ensure Ofcom continues to deliver critical consumer focused reforms to the mobile market, such as introducing gaining provider led switching, which would make it easier for consumers to change provider.
Last week Ofcom announced plans to introduce simpler mobile provider switching by text messaging but Which? believes consumers would still need to do a lot of the work when looking to exit their existing contract.
Alex Neill, Which? Managing Director of Home Products and Services, said:
“Year after year we see the smaller providers giving great service and some of the biggest providers struggling to meet their customers expectations. Those who are fed up of receiving a poor service from their provider should look to switch.
“It is critical that the next government and Ofcom listen to the concerns of mobile phone customers so that there is increased competition in the industry which will lead to a better experience for customers.”
Notes to Editors
- Full table below. Customer score based on our survey of 4,026 members of the public in February 2017. The overall score is a combination of satisfaction and likelihood of recommending it to a friend. It doesn’t factor in individual star ratings. n/a means we didn’t have enough responses to produce a rating. Those who took part in the survey weren’t asked to rate the speed and coverage from their mobile provider.
- Which?’s ‘Consumer Agenda for Government’ was published on Saturday 29th April and is available here: www.which.co.uk/consumeragenda
- For more information on the best phone networks, visit http://www.which.co.uk/reviews/mobile-phone-providers/article/which-phone-network-offers-the-best-signal
- Independent mobile analyst OpenSignal ‘State of Mobile Networks: UK (April 2017)’ report showed that EE had the fastest and most accessible 4G network in the UK
- EE’s response to the Which? survey: “Which?’s own report shows that only EE customers get the fastest 4G connection in the UK, and are on 4G more of the time than any other network – one of the most important factors in choosing a mobile network. The latest data from Ofcom shows that EE has risen to become third best for complaints in the mobile industry, and we’re working incredibly hard to be number one and provide the best mobile experience in the UK – by rolling out 4G to more places in the UK than any other and becoming the first network operator to answer all customer service calls in the UK & Ireland.”
- Vodafone didn’t provide a response to the report