Business

Vodafone and EE failing on customer service, says Which?

Vodafone shop Image copyright Getty Images

The mobile operators Vodafone and EE are failing on the basics of customer service, according to the consumer group Which?

Of the big firms, Vodafone and EE scored the lowest in a survey which compared all the UK's mobile suppliers.

They scored particularly poorly when it came to ease of contact, and value for money.

Vodafone promised improvements over the coming months. EE said it was transforming its customer service.

"Our latest survey once again shows that the major mobile providers are still failing on the basics of customer service," said Alex Neill, director of campaigns and communications.

"Telecoms are an essential part of modern life and so providers need to start delivering for their customers," she said.

Both companies came bottom in a similar survey a year ago.

The regulator Ofcom revealed last month that Vodafone had also been the subject of a big rise in customer complaints.

Mobile Providers rated
Provider Network used Customer score
Giffgaff O2 79%
Asda Mobile EE 72%
Tesco Mobile O2 70%
ID (Carphone Warehouse) Three 64%
Virgin Mobile EE 62%
Three Three 61%
O2 O2 60%
Talkmobile Vodafone 56%
TalkTalkmobile Vodafone 54%
EE EE 49%
Vodafone Vodafone 49%
Lebara (international) Vodafone 46%
source: Which? survey of 4,000 people

For the second year in a row, the online provider Giffgaff, which does not have any shops or call centres, came top of the table.

Vodafone apologised, and said it was working hard to improve the customer experience.

"Due to new processes we have put into place, helped by significant additional call centre resources, we believe that customers will see improvements over the coming months," a spokesperson told the BBC.

Image copyright Getty Images

EE said it was committed to providing a better customer experience.

"We've returned over a thousand service jobs to the UK, and have cut our customer complaints in half over the last year to outperform the industry average," an EE spokesperson said.

The UK's mobile phone industry is in the middle of big corporate changes. EE is in the process of being taken over by BT.

Three is also bidding to merge with O2 - a deal which is subject to approval by the European Commission.

Earlier this week the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said the merger could cause "serious damage" to UK consumers, as it would leave only three mobile networks.

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites