/ Technology

How does your mobile provider rate for customer service?

Woman on mobile phone

When you think about great customer service, Asda and Tesco might not be the first names on your lips, but when it comes to mobile phones they seem to be leading the way. How does your mobile provider rate?

Our latest and greatest (involving over 8,000 respondents) mobile phone customer satisfaction survey has found that it’s these two supermarket brands that are delivering the best customer service – and highest satisfaction.

And it just goes to show that when you’re choosing the right provider you don’t have to compromise on customer service just for the sake of price.

Supermarkets are ahead of the mobile game

In the full results Tesco Mobile was the only network to be awarded Which? Recommended Provider status for its contract and Sim-only service. Only Asda, Tesco and O2 managed it for pay-as-you-go offering.

So what can explain these results? I do think that some of the supermarket brands benefit from lower expectations when it comes to how well their networks perform, although this is no excuse for the big brands performing poorly.

Orange and Vodafone, despite being two of the more expensive networks, had some pretty disappointing customer service scores. They were also the only two operators who appeared in the bottom half for both contract and pay-as-you-go (PAYG) customers.

As mobile giants, they need to tackle some the issues that are repeatedly springing up. If Tesco can manage it, why can’t they?

Low cost comes at a price

The survey also shows that a company can’t hide behind its low prices as an excuse for not treating its customers well. Some operators – like 3 – always seem to be panned for bad service, and this year’s results are no exception, although at least it looks like they are starting to get things right with their PAYG customers.

While 3 is still seen as one of the cheaper options for contract and Sim-only, Tesco is not only a rival on cost, it comes with much a better customer service score, as well as a better range of handsets and clearer bills.

It’s great to see some of the newer entrants, like the supermarkets, picking up good scores. I just hope it will kick some of the bigger names into action and provide us all with a better service.


Tesco PAYG Mobile for Me had ok customer services by e-mail,

So e-maile Tesco CEO & was refunded the £37.00p they took from My PAYG Credit, After I was lead to believe that My mobile internet on Tesco PAYG Mobile for £2.00p a week, Until opited out,

Yet it was never UNLIMITED & I got no warning it would be £4.00p Per Mega Bite & This cost Me all My remaining Tesco Mobile PAYG Credit 🙁

This All happended in August 2010, After I left Orange Contract of over 5 years, I thought I was on to a winner with Tesco PAYG Mobile & From My research I thought the too good to be true UNLIMITED Package wasn’t too hard to believe & Really thought it was UNLIMITED for £2.00p a week,

As said a both this wasn’t the case,

So I started looking for another opition form PAYG only sim cards & Did extra & more detailed research & I later found GiffGaff.Com who really were known from 2009 for offering 100% True UNLIMITED mobile internet, text messages, data/gps charges, & umlimited mobile & landline calls,

So I joined GiffGaff.Com later in August 2010 & Left Tesco PAYG Mobile,

I soon managed to successfult transfer to GiffGaff.Com & Its AMAZING & Id never leave 🙂

Sadly due some people in the uk using the mobile & landline UNLIMITED Packages as call centres/businesses,

This meant GiffGaff.Com only offer 100% True UNLIMITED Mobile Internet, Text Messages, & Data/GPS Charges,

But They Promise & Have Shown Mobile Internet On 30 Day Goody Bags Will ALWAYS OFFER 100% UNLIMITED MOBILE INTERNET 🙂

Sadly GiffGaff.Com hasn’t been big enough to take part in Which.Co.Uk studies,tests, or surverys 🙁 :/

Mike Tuplin says:
16 August 2013

I tried Giffgaff for 10 days but there is no designated customer service-relying on other members to help out. I couldn`t even get my number transferred and went back to Tesco to get my number back and my phone working properly again. A complete waste of time and money.


I agree that Orange Mobile customer services for contract & Orange PAYG mobiles,

Had Very Poor Customer Services & I Had to complain through Orange’s CEO E-Mail address many times over My 5 + years with them.

Orange still have not informed the credit report agentcies that My accounts SETTLED & Closed Since August 2010, Its still appearing as open & Incorrect date of birth & They’ve still not fixed this.

So Yes Orange Mobile Customer Services BAD, Even at the highest levels 🙁 :/

I’d say the close second to GiffGaff.Com would be Asda PAYG Mobile, & Then 3rd Talk Mobile.

I must say I am very surprised Tesco PAYG Mobile Or Even there contracts got an award from Which.Co.Uk, As there were some bad exprincies on BBC Watchdog & From My own Exprincies from Tesco PAYG Mobile.

Mikhail says:
28 April 2011

Tesco Mobile = O2 = bad services, hidden costs, unfair charges and overloaded network! I have serious concerns regarding the authenticity of the research – “Which? Mobile Recommended Provider status” particularly “Cost of use abroad”, sorry to say but I could not find any information about Tesco Mobile roaming (already bad) but O2 roaming charges are one of the worst! Ironically, Tesco Mobile has 4 stars in this category and my beloved Vodafone only 3, but Vodafone only charges me 0.70 Pence for 60 minutes of incoming calls anywhere in EU and NZ and Australia. Haven’t seen any one who could beat that!


I have amazing bad luck with my providers – I use 3 for my mobile broadband and T-Mobile for my phone – the top 2 offenders apparently!

I’ve been having non-stop problems with both of them over the last 2 months after being away. I waited 6 weeks for delivery of a new dongle from 3 until I gave up and just bought one from a 3 shop – but since then have been having huge problems claiming back the money I paid and for the time that I was without the service.

T-Mobile have been just as bad for not including credits and leaving out parts of my allowance on my bill – enough that my bill went from £21 to £59.

Both of these operators have apalling customer service – although I have to say 3 is slightly better due to their operators having a better understanding of English. Which brings into focua the main reason I think their customer service is so bad – they’re based in India and very often don’t understand what I’m trying to say. I had to explain what I meant by ‘payment under protest’ and when I queried a charge, was put on hold for 5 minutes before the advisor came back and confirmed that I had been charged… I was put on hold again when I said I knew I’d been charged but wanted to know why! My average call to these companies has been 45 minutes of soul-destroying frustration.

However, I have heard good things about Vodaphone from most of my colleagues who have them – although they are slilghtly more expensive.


re calls to helplines – i agree these are DREADFUL.

most are to REVENUE SHARING premium lines where they get part of the call cost at our expense.

you are almost always put ON HOLD and often the DISCONNECTED.

they are laughing all the way to the bank.

i dont make calls if i cant find a freephone number on SAYNOTO0870 website.

Geoff says:
7 May 2011

I feel like a lone voice….but we switched to 3 about 5 years ago and the service, including tech support, has been excellent. Recently had a problem with e-mail on an iPhone which was essentially a BT issue but 3 came up with a workaround. I would also say that the bundles we have are great value.

Andrew says:
8 May 2011

Geoff, I, too, have had excellent service from 3 – especially at their shop in Cambridge. By far and away the most knowledgeable and helpful staff, never in the least bit pushy, either. I’ve moved the whole family onto 3 – and just gone onto their One-plan with my superb HTC Desire HD.
O2 really annoyed me by charging the earth until I asked for a PAC code, then suddenly making offer after improved offer to try and keep me. I feel with Three I am getting their best price, rather than being exploited as I clearly was with O2.