BT vs Virgin Media vs Sky: Most complained-about UK broadband provider REVEALED — 'It’s unacceptable'

a woman holds head in her hands while a broadband router with ethernet cables connected in pictured in the background

Ofcom has analysed data from complaints across all major broadband, paid-TV and landline firms in the UK to reveal the least- and most complained-about providers

Aaron Brown

By Aaron Brown

Published: 19/04/2024

- 05:01

Updated: 19/04/2024

- 08:01

Virgin Media has topped the charts again

  • Ofcom has published its latest quarterly report on customer complaints
  • Virgin Media remains the most complained-about brand
  • Sky received the fewest complaints during the period studied
  • But Sky-owned NOW Broadband is the second worst offender

Britain's biggest broadband brands have been ranked by the number of complaints from disgruntled customers in the latest damning report published by Ofcom. The quarterly ranking reveals the most- and least-complained about providers across home internet, landline, mobile phone, and paid-TV services.

If you rely on Sky TV for your home broadband and landline services can breathe a sigh of relief. The company received the fewest complaints in both broadband and landline categories over the last three months.

a table of the ofcom data around the most complained about broadband companies in the uk

To guarantee a fair comparison, Ofcom standardises its data per 100,000 customers every quarter


Virgin Media has once again topped the rankings as the most complained-about broadband, landline and pay-TV providers, the latest quarterly figures show. The industry regulator confirmed Virgin Media received the most complaints between October — December 2023.

Most of the complaints escalated to Ofcom were due to the handling of customer issues by Virgin Media. The UK watchdog did see a sizeable decrease in complaints across all areas from the previous quarterly results.

Ofcom publishes complaints data every three months to help people compare providers when they look to shop around, as well as push providers into improving their services.

It’s also worth noting that Ofcom’s report only analyses complaints that were submitted to the industry regulator itself, since it’s unable to track complaints handled directly by the internet supplier themselves.

Virgin Media received 20 complaints per 100,000 broadband customers between October and December, an improvement on the 32 per 100,000 recorded in the previous quarter. It was slightly ahead of NOW Broadband, formerly NOW TV, which received 18 complaints but lagged behind the industry average of 12.

Sky came in with the fewest complaints at five per 100,000 customers, while Plusnet and EE both received nine.

Complaints handling was the cause of 43% of customer complaints against Virgin Media, compared with an industry average of 32%. Some 22% of these complaints were around faults, service, and provisioning — falling well below the industry average of 37%.

Complaints for landlines came in at 13 per 100,000, just ahead of Shell Energy and NOW Broadband which had 12 and 10, respectively. It marks a reduction from the previous quarter, which saw 19 complaints per 100,000.

a table of the ofcom data around the reasons behind the complaints for broadband

The broadband regulator has revealed some of the key drivers behind the complaints in the final quarter of last year


Complaints handling was again the chief gripe among customers, with 43% of complaints compared to an average of 31%.

O2 also came top of the list for mobile complaints, receiving seven complaints per 100,000, compared to the second-highest, Three, with four and an industry average of three.

Virgin Media also received 13 complaints per 100,000 for pay-TV, almost double that of BT, which received seven and Sky and TalkTalk which both received two. Complaints handling once again remained the biggest concern among customers for both.

Fergal Farragher, Ofcom’s policy director, said: “We can see from these latest figures that customer dissatisfaction remains at a similar level to the previous quarter. While there has been an improvement in Virgin Media’s performance, its position at the bottom of our tables shows there is further room for improvement.”

a table that compares complaints against the biggest paid tv companies in the uk

Ofcom only compares the biggest providers in the UK, which makes for a small list when it comes to paid TV providers


Acknowledging the latest findings from Ofcom, a spokesperson for Virgin Media O2 said: “We’re committed to providing an excellent service to our customers, and while overall these complaints represent a very small proportion of our customer base, we acknowledge there is a need for improvement, which is under way, and we’re focused on getting this right.

“We are investing heavily and making changes across our business to deliver tangible improvements, for example through multi-skilling our teams and rolling out new IT platforms that will make it easier for customers to get support when they need it, and empowering our people to resolve any issues quickly and effectively first time.”

Rocio Concha, Which? director of policy and advocacy, said: “At a time when many telecoms firms have implemented mid-contract price hikes of almost 9%, it’s unacceptable that poor customer service from some of the biggest telecoms firms has led thousands of their customers to complain to the regulator.


“Virgin Media is the most complained-about broadband firm and also performed particularly poorly for customer service in Which?’s most recent broadband customer satisfaction survey.

“While many consumers will rightly consider switching, firms that are falling short must urgently make improvements so all customers are getting the standard of service and support they need and deserve.”

Additional Reporting By Josie Clarke, PA Consumer Affairs Correspondent

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