Vodafone is one of the cheapest fibre broadband providers around, but customer service suffers
- Cheap tariffs, especially for Vodafone mobile customers
- Good range of tariffs, including gigabit speeds
- Customer service is found wanting
- Reliability could be better
Much like rival EE, Vodafone made its name in the mobile business before spreading its wings into fixed-line broadband. And, like EE, the company offers discounts to mobile customers who take their broadband with Vodafone too.
But aside from those discounts, is there anything else to tempt broadband switchers to Vodafone? The company recorded a middling performance in our recent customer survey conducted in partnership with YouGov. It didn’t stand out enough in any category to win an award, but it didn’t stink the place out, either.
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Just over two thirds (68%) of Vodafone customers we surveyed said they were likely to recommend the company, which isn’t too shabby when compared to rivals such as Virgin Media and TalkTalk, although it’s a solid ten percentage points behind award-winning Plusnet.
Customer service is the main area Vodafone must address if it wants to put itself into awards contention. Only just over half (58%) said they were satisfied with Vodafone’s customer service. The company is below par in the number of complaints received by telecoms regulator Ofcom, too.
Vodafone Broadband review: Fibre 1 and 2
As one of the many broadband providers that are reliant on the Openreach network, Vodafone’s fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) packages follow the familiar formula. There are two speed tiers, one with almost double the download bandwidth of the other, but there’s only a 50p/mth differential between the two.
If your house isn’t too far from the local fibre cabinet and is capable of receiving the faster speeds, there’s little incentive to save that paltry £6/yr by going for the slower Fibre 1.
Vodafone’s Fibre packages are keenly priced. Only Now Broadband offers those speeds for less among the eight major broadband providers being compared here, and there’s a further £3/mth discount for those who have mobile phone contracts with Vodafone.
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Vodafone Broadband review: Full fibre 100, 200, 500 and 900
Vodafone has no fewer than four full-fibre tariffs for those lucky enough to be within reach of the network, and again they’re at the cheaper end of the scale, especially if you qualify for those mobile customer discounts.
Why anyone would plump for Fibre 200 when Fibre 500 is identically priced is beyond us, although be wary of Vodafone hooking you on the faster speeds, only to increase prices when that initial two-year contract comes to an end. Still, there’s nothing to stop you downgrading or haggling another discount come contract renewal time.
All of Vodafone’s fibre packages come with its Wi-Fi Hub router, which is an older Wi-Fi 5 model that’s not ideal for those on the very fastest connections. It’s worth noting that all of Vodafone’s tariffs have a ‘Pro’ equivalent, aimed at home business users, which come with an Ultra Hub that uses the cutting-edge Wi-Fi 6E standard and offers 4G broadband backup. You’re looking at between £6 and £12 extra per month to go Pro, depending on which speed you opt for.
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Vodafone Broadband Packages and Prices
|Fibre 1||Fibre 2||Full Fibre 100||Full Fibre 200||Full Fibre 500||Full Fibre 900|
|Price per month (inc line rental)||£22||£22.50||£25||£30||£30||£45|
|Contract length||24 months||24 months||24 months||24 months||24 months||24 months|
Vodafone Broadband review: Coverage
As Vodafone hangs off the Openreach network, 96% of the population should be within reach of a FTTC connection, which gives you access to either of the two ‘Fibre’ tariffs in the table above.
Another 8 million folk will have access to the full-fibre tariffs, with Openreach continuing to expand the network aggressively over the next couple of years.
Vodafone Broadband review: Performance and customer satisfaction
Vodafone isn’t included in Ofcom’s study of broadband performance, but the feedback from the customers we surveyed is mixed.
Around two thirds (69%) of Vodafone customers said they were satisfied with the speed of their broadband, although only 23% described themselves as “very satisfied”, one of the lowest scores of the eight broadband providers surveyed.
It’s a similar story on reliability, with 74% declaring themselves satisfied, a score that only betters EE and Virgin Media.
Customer service remains a stickier problem for Vodafone. Only 17% of Vodafone customers described themselves as “very satisfied” with overall customer service, which is less than half of the percentage scored by award-winning Plusnet. And with only just over half of Vodafone customers saying they were left satisfied after interacting with the contact centre, it’s obvious where Vodafone has work to do.
Ofcom’s complaints figures reinforce our own survey findings. An average of 12 complaints to Ofcom per 100,000 customers is just below the industry average of 11. That said, Vodafone does deserve some credit from driving down Ofcom complaints numbers in recent quarters.
Vodafone customers do recognise that they’re on some of the cheapest deals in the market, though. 7/10 customers were satisfied with the value for money they were getting from Vodafone, a score to rival fellow bargain basement provider Now Broadband.
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Vodafone Broadband review: Verdict
Vodafone offers some of the best fibre broadband deals on the market, especially if you qualify for the monthly discount offered to the network’s mobile customers. There’s no complaints about the range of speeds on offer, either.
Vodafone does need to sharpen up its act when it comes to customer service, though. With tentative signs of improvement in this regard, Vodafone is one to watch.
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 4,664 adults, of which 224 are Vodafone users. Fieldwork was undertaken between 17 and 19 January 2023 and the survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).