GiffGaff tops UK mobile customer satisfaction survey

Consumer advice outfit Which has published the results of its annual customer satisfaction survey, which revealed UK MVNO customers are its happiest.

The four MNOs, which serve the vast majority of UK mobile customers, did relatively badly, with best-placed O2 still only managing fifth place among 15 providers surveyed. Three was the lowest of them, with value for money and network reliability among its perceived failings. EE and Vodafone didn’t do much better, charting in the bottom half and scoring poorly for value for money, with 7% of their customers complaining of unexpectedly high bills.

“Our research found that the biggest mobile providers are being outshone by their smaller rivals,” said Rocio Concha, Director of Policy and Advocacy at Which. “A provider should not only give you good network reliability but also value for money and customer support when you need it. If customers are out of contract but happy with the service they’re receiving, they should try negotiating a new deal but if all else fails it might be time to switch.”

Helpfully the Which release then provided a link to its own switching service. As you would expect from the findings, MNOs were largely outshone by MNVOs that use their own networks. GiffGaff came first, while Tesco and Sky tied for second, all of which use O2’s network. Smarty, which is owned by Three, also managed joint second, so it must really be knocking it out of the park when it comes to customer service and offers clear lessons for its parent.

  • MVNOs North America


  1. Avatar Mike Ferris 23/04/2021 @ 2:36 pm

    I always have trouble with these surveys where customers with a vast range of different expectations are asked to rate the level to which their provider meets them. It’s like asking restaurant goers to rate their experience. Those who go for haute cuisine pay a lot, but expect perfection, and those who only want pub grub, pay a lot less but are more easily impressed. It’s not a level playing field. The MVNOs consistently score better, because their demographics’ values are more easily met. GiffGaff doesn’t even have a customer service call centre. It’s not that these surveys aren’t useful, but rankings based on them are misleading.

  2. Avatar bernard szederkenyi 23/04/2021 @ 2:45 pm

    I completely support your point Mike! I’m a carrier in Canada with a couple of sub-brands with different value props. All of them are running on the same network. When I run network reliability surveys, over and over again the people that pay more (because they get more) invariably have the highest expectations and provide the lowest scores. Proving your haute cuisine vs. pub grub theory.

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