Sky vs BT vs Virgin Media: Ofcom names and shames Britain's most complained-about broadband supplier

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: 02/02/2024

- 04:30

Updated: 02/02/2024

- 07:42

Broadband and paid TV complaints rose across-the-board

  • Ofcom has published its latest quarterly report on customer complaints
  • Virgin Media was most complained-about brand, with 2x industry average
  • Sky received the fewest complaints during the period studied
  • BT Mobile and O2 scored poorest in Ofcom's ranking of mobile operators

The biggest broadband brands in the UK have been ranked based on the number of complaints received by Ofcom in a damning new report. The quarterly ranking reveals the most- and least-complained about brands across internet, landline, mobile phone, and paid-TV services.

Complaints about landline, broadband and paid TV subscriptions rose across-the-board during the three months studied, Ofcom data shows, with only mobile phone complaints remaining stable.

If you’re with Sky for 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.

Sky scored the fewest complaints of any provider throughout 2023, according to Ofcom.

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


If you’ve had issues with Virgin Media broadband — you’renot alone.

The company has scored the highest number of complaints of any firm for broadband, landline, and paid TV packages in the latest Ofcom report.

Virgin recorded twice as many complaints as the industry standard in the three months studied in the report, which looked at data between July and September 2023.

In total, Virgin Media — which merged with O2 as part of a £31 billion deal in 2021 — scored an eye-watering 32 complaints per 100,000 customers. Ofcom says the average is 15 per 100,000 customers.

For comparison, NOW (formerly NOW TV) scored 18 complaints per 100,000 broadband customers, TalkTalk and Vodafone both recorded 15, Shell Energy Broadband was 13, BT and Plusnet (which is owned and operated by BT) scored 11 apiece, EE was 9, and Sky had the fewest with 5 complaints about its broadband service per 100,000 users nationwide.

According to Ofcom, the surge of complaints could be related to the watchdog’s decision to launch an investigation into difficulties suffered by Virgin Media customers when cancelling contracts and lodging complaints with the brand, which could’ve caused more people to speak out.

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.

Addressing the Ofcom data, a spokesperson for Virgin Media said: “Our number one priority is to provide an excellent service to our customers, and we accept that the rise in complaints in the third quarter falls far short of our expectations.

“As Ofcom acknowledges, the rise is largely due to its investigation announcement in July, which subsequently generated a higher number of complaints than would ordinarily be expected.

“However, it should be noted that overall complaints about Virgin Media and O2 products still represent a very small proportion of our customer base. As well as engaging fully with Ofcom’s ongoing investigation, we are investing in every area of our business to give our customers the best possible experience, with a real focus on resolving any issues at the first time of getting in touch and making it easier for them to get support when they need it.”

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


Sky and TalkTalk both scored below the industry average when it comes to paid-TV packages too, with 2 and 1 complaints to Ofcom per 100,000 customers, respectively.

BT TV, which was rebooted as EE TV at the end of last year, recorded 7 complaints per 100,000 customers — the average, according to Ofcom data.

But Virgin Media is comfortably ahead of the pack again, with 20 complaints per 100,000 customers recorded in the three months. Virgin Media has two paid-TV products, the Virgin TV 360 set-top box, which relies on a fibre connection, and Stream, which uses broadband.

O2 and BT Mobile received the most complaints of any mobile operators. Like with its broadband figures, Ofcom caveats this data as O2 was also included in the investigation into how complaints were handled at Virgin Media-O2 — potentially leading to a spike in fresh complaints.

According to Ofcom, complaints to BT were primarily driven by experiences when trying to change to a new provider. Sky Mobile and EE received the fewest complaints and were the only brands to score below the industry average, as determined by Ofcom.

According to Ofcom, it received a total of 76,135 phone calls, online forms, emails, and letters from customers throughout 2021/22. That’s down from a high of 96,051 in 2020/21.

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