This is according to a report from consumer group Which?, which surveyed 4,026 members of the public on their mobile provider experiences. The population sample awarded both EE and Vodafone customer scores of 50% – the lowest of the providers on offer – while Giffgaff, which runs off O2’s network and offers low-cost, no contract deals, received a customer rating of 81%.
Giffgaff was followed by Utility Warehouse (76%), Tesco Mobile (74%), Asda Mobile (72%) and Talkmobile (69%) in the top five. Coming in just one place above Vodafone and EE at the bottom of the pile were O2, TalkTalk Mobile and Virgin Mobile, all at 62%.
Which? also reported that only 22% of customers would recommend EE to a friend or family member, while only 24% would advocate using Vodafone.
Which? is calling on the next government to ensure Ofcom delivers consumer focused reforms to the mobile market. Its research additionally revealed that only 26% of mobile customers had switched provider in the last two years.
Alex Neill, managing director of home products and service at Which?, said: “Year after year we see the smaller providers giving great service and some of the biggest providers struggling to meet their customers expectations. Those who are fed up of receiving a poor service from their provider should look to switch.
“It is critical that the next government and Ofcom listen to the concerns of mobile phone customers so that there is increased competition in the industry which will lead to a better experience for customers.”
In a statement, EE responded: "Getting a good 4G connection is one of the most important factors for consumers, so it’s disappointing that these ratings don’t take network performance into account. Which’s own report shows that only EE customers get the fastest 4G connection in the UK, and are on 4G more of the time than any other network. The latest data from Ofcom shows that EE has improved customer service and receives the third fewest complaints in the mobile industry.
"We’re continuing to work incredibly hard to provide the best mobile experience in the UK by rolling out 4G to more places in the UK than any other network, and becoming the first operator to answer all customer service calls in the UK & Ireland earlier this year."
Vodafone, which only yesterday launched a new creative campaign starring Martin Freeman, contended: “After a difficult year in 2016, many of the improvements we have made are becoming real to our customers. We are determined to become the UK’s best mobile service provider for customer service.”