Which is why receiving good customer service from your mobile operator is now more important than ever.
Ofcom complaint figures
Ofcom publishes data on the number of complaints it receives about each of the big telecoms providers, including mobile phone networks, each quarter.
It's now reporting complaints separately for Pay Monthly and Pay As You Go providers.
These are its results for Pay Monthly mobile phone providers from the most recent report, covering January to March this year.
As you can see, T-Mobile has reclaimed its spot as the as the most complained-about pay monthly provider.
Its customers mainly complained about billing and complaints handling.
Orange, T-Mobile and Three all generated above-average complaint numbers over the past three months.
By contrast, O2 and Virgin Mobile have consistently enjoyed lower numbers of complaints over the past three months and for the last year.
As Ofcom receives very few complaints about Pay As You Go providers (which, by their nature, are far easier to switch), it doesn't provide a company-by-company breakdown. It says it receives fewer than 30 complaints per month per provider, which means the statistics are subject to small fluctuations and, as such, could be rendered meaningless.
Last year the consumer group Which? carried out its own research into mobile phone operators by speaking to 8,000 customers. These stats not only took into account the handsets, costs and clarity of bills offered by providers, but also included a wider range of operators.
Here are the results for contract and SIM-only phones:
Here are the results for Pay As You Go:
The survey also shows that pay as you go operators emerged slightly better than their contract counterparts when it comes to customer service.
But customer service and price aren't the only factors you should keep in mind when shopping around for a new mobile phone.
Practically speaking, the most important thing to keep in mind when buying any mobile phone is the coverage and reception of the handset and operator. However, when it comes to comparing the best networks for this, the answer gets a little tricky as so much of signal strength depends on location.
The links below take you to each network's coverage map or coverage checker so you can get a decent idea of what coverage you can expect.
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