UK MNOs suck compared to MVNOs – Which

Bad Customer experience

Consumer publication Which asked its members to rate UK mobile operators and found the small ones tend to do better across the board.

Vodafone sucked the most, according to Which, managing only a one-star rating for each of customer service, value for money and technical support. 19% of Vodafone customers surveyed said it was poor value for money, while 18% said its customer service was poor and 13% thought the same about its technical support.

There are various other unflattering datapoints attributed to EE and O2 too, but you get the general point. It turns out that market leaders can be a bit complacent, while challenger brands try harder. Who knew? Thee UK, accordingly, scored higher than the other three MNOs, but MNVOs such as Giffgaff did better than the lot of them.

“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.”

Great advice Natalie, thanks. Some other people said things that amounted to much the same. In response Vodafone sounded contrite but EE defiant. Which also had a look at average contract prices and found that the bigger operators have the nerve to charge more for their substandard service. Here’s a graphic that sums it all up.

Which UK MNOs


  1. Avatar Offended by foul language 24/04/2019 @ 5:19 pm

    I subscribe to your newsletter to get informed information about the telecoms industry. Thus I expect professional news and views. The word “suck” has no place in a professional newsletter. If you cannot come up with a good English expression as an alternative (“offers low quality service” and such), then you should not write professionally.

    • Scott Bicheno Scott Bicheno 25/04/2019 @ 9:25 am

      Dear Offended, thank you very much for your feedback. As you can see I struggle constantly to remain professional, but with your patient guidance I’m confident I will one day achieve the lofty standards you quite rightly expect of me.

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