Consumer magazine Which? has released some results from their latest 2019 consumer survey of Mobile Network Operators (MNO), which ranked Vodafone as the worst overall provider. By comparison Three UK came top of the big four operators, although smaller virtual operators like giffgaff tended to fair the best.
The survey, which is based on responses gathered from 6,135 members of the magazine during February 2019, allowed people to rank each operator by categories such as customer service and value for money. Unfortunately this year we only get a very limited breakdown of the results and naturally you have to pay to get a full summary from the magazine itself.
Overall it was mostly smaller Virtual Mobile Network Operators (VMNO) that customers rated more highly and top of this pack was giffgaff, although Which? hasn’t actually provided any overall satisfaction scores and so we’re not sure where they all place in the ranking. However 95% of giffgaff customers said the operator is good or excellent when it comes to value for money and 97% would recommend them to friends or family.
The study also noted that SIM-Only deals were on average 31% (over £3 a month) more expensive with one of the biggest four operators than with one of the smaller virtual networks.
Top UK Mobile Operators by Satisfaction (Big Four) – 2019
1. Three UK
Three secured average scores in most categories and 80% of their customers felt as if they were good or excellent value for money. On top of that 43% said its “Go Roam” offering was excellent value for money.
Some 10% of O2 users rated them as poor on the value for money scale, while only 25% felt as if their incentives and rewards were either good or excellent.
EE customers felt as if the operator was poor for incentives (16%) and value for money (13%). Meanwhile only 27% said they received good or excellent service for technical support and their ratings for ease of contact (42%) and customer service (43%) were also weak.
Overall 18% rated customer service as poor, while 13% rated the quality of tech support as poor and 19% said they gave poor value for money. Some 24% also moaned about the operator’s weak incentives and rewards.
As usual we recommend that readers take such surveys with a big pinch of salt and to balance them against feedback from other reports. For example, recent network tests conducted via Opensignal (here), RootMetrics (here) and Tutela (here) appear to tell a very different story, often choosing to favour Vodafone and EE over Three UK and O2.
The overall customer satisfaction scores appear to be as follows. Thanks to several providers for helping us to fill in the blanks.