Phone customers may very well be paying greater than they should and receiving worse service by staying with the UK’s biggest mobile networks, shopper skilled Which? has mentioned.
O2, EE, Vodafone and Three ranked decrease on customer support and worth for money than lesser-known rivals, in keeping with a survey of phone customers.
This is regardless of digital networks utilizing the identical phone masts and different infrastructure because the so-called Big Four, quite than working their very own companies.
Three scored the bottom of the Big Four and obtained the bottom ranking out of any community for reliability whereas practically half (45 per cent) of its customers skilled issues previously year in comparison with three in 10 (29 per cent) throughout all mobile community clients surveyed.
Virtual community Smarty makes use of the identical infrastructure as Three however got here first place within the desk with 5 out of 5 stars for worth for money.
The largest UK community, EE, got here eleventh out of the 16 suppliers analysed with customers reporting mediocre customer support, technical help and worth for money. The community’s obtain speeds was the one class to realize a 4 star ranking. The Big Four suppliers at the moment service three quarters (76 per cent) of clients within the UK, in keeping with Ofcom.
But shopper champions Which? say the flexibleness supplied by digital networks retains mobile prices down and might higher help customers dealing with a family finances squeeze.
It discovered clients pay on common nearly £10 a month lower than Big Four clients throughout all contract varieties.
Natalie Hitchins at Which? mentioned: “The vast majority of mobile users are with one of the Big Four providers, but our research suggests consumers could save money during the cost-of-living crisis and get better service by switching to one of the networks challenging their dominance.
“Anyone looking for a reliable carrier that offers a flexible contract and good value for money should consider one of the virtual networks, who continue to outperform the Big Four year after year.”
Which? said customers of the Big Four experienced price hikes of up to 11 per cent but remained the most loyal, with more than half of EE, O2 and Vodafone users being with the provider for more than five years.
Experts warn these longer-staying customers are likely to be paying more than they need to for their phone contract. Which? suggests challenger providers have an edge over bigger players by focusing on rolling monthly sim deals over phones with lengthy contracts.
An EE spokesperson said: “EE customers enjoy being part of the UK’s biggest and fastest network with more 5G coverage than any other provider and EE has been named the UK’s best network for the past eight years by RootMetrics.
“We provide the best customer service across the industry reflected in the most recent Ofcom complaints data”.
Three and O2 had been contacted for remark.