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Vodafone Broadband (2021) review: Cheap prices and high speeds meet below-par customer support

Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
23
inc VAT

Some tempting low-cost, high-speed services but this many unhappy customers can’t be a good sign

Pros 
Lower than average prices
Range of high-speed options
Decent speed test results
Cons 
Too many dissatisfied customers
Excessive numbers of Ofcom complaints
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Vodafone re-entered the home broadband market back in 2015, focusing on high-speed fibre broadband packages at temptingly low prices. It’s been hard to fault on the value for money front, with Vodafone scoring a Highly Commended in last year’s Expert Reviews Best Broadband Awards, but it hasn’t always measured up in other areas, such as speed or customer service. 

If this year’s Best Broadband Awards survey changes the Vodafone story, it’s not in an entirely positive direction. While nearly 40% of its customers still feel very satisfied with the value of their service, Vodafone also has a lot of Dissatisfied and Very Dissatisfied customers on this count.

And where around half of Vodafone’s users are happy with its customer support, more than a third say they’re Dissatisfied or Very Dissatisfied. A quarter of Vodafone’s customers feel Very Dissatisfied with the speeds they’re getting and fewer than two-thirds would recommend the service to someone else. While it isn’t the worst performing ISP in our survey, it’s getting a little too close for comfort.

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Vodafone Broadband review: Superfast 1 and Superfast 1 Extra

Vodafone has pulled out of the ADSL broadband market to concentrate entirely on fast fibre services. These start with its Superfast 1 fibre package, which gives you average download speeds of 35Mbits/sec and upload speeds of 10Mbits/sec for a very reasonable £23 a month. If you’re a Vodafone Pay Monthly mobile user, this slips down further to £21 a month. There are no upfront costs for new users, either way, but you do have to sign up for a 24 month minimum term.

For an extra £8 a month you can sign up to Vodafone’s Superfast 1 Extra package, which throws into the mix unlimited anytime calls to UK landlines and mobiles plus Apple TV. This includes an Apple TV 4K box and a 1 year Apple TV+ subscription, which isn’t on a par with some of Sky or Virgin’s proper triple-play broadband/phone/TV packages but isn’t bad for the price at all. Just be aware that if you’re not bothered about the free phone calls, an Apple TV+ subscription is just £5 direct from Apple.

Vodafone supplies its own WiFi Hub router with its fibre services, with support for dual-band 802.11ac WiFi with 4x4 MIMO and beamforming plus four Gigabit Ethernet ports. It can also act as a DECT hub for your home phone. Throw in an excellent app for managing your network and connection, and Vodafone has one of the better ISP-provided routers out there.

READ NEXT: Here are the best broadband suppliers around

Vodafone Broadband review: Superfast 2 and Superfast 2 Extra

Vodafone’s fastest current fibre service takes the average speed up to 63Mbits/sec and – at the time of writing – it’s the same price as the standard Superfast 1. This means it’s an even better deal than normal as, at regular prices, it’s still one of the cheaper 60 to 70Mbits/sec superfast packages around.

What’s more, Vodafone Pay Monthly mobile users still get the same £2 discount, while £8 more will get you Superfast 2 Extra, with the same benefits as the Superfast 1 Extra package (an Apple TV+ subscription and a free Apple TV 4K box).

READ NEXT: The best wireless extenders to buy

Vodafone Gigafast Broadband

Want to go even faster? Vodafone now offers a range of ultrafast broadband services, starting at 100Mbits/sec and going all the way up to 900Mbits/sec. Some might say that labelling these “Gigafast” could be misleading but they’re certainly a whole lot faster than your average fibre connection. Based on full-fibre FTTP, the services are now live across fifteen UK towns and cities, with more to come as Openreach extends its FTTP network.

The most basic Gigafast 100 option comes in at £25 a month, while for an extra £10 a month you can double your speeds to 200Mbits/sec. The 500Mbits/sec service is currently available for the same £35 price, while the premier Gigafast 900 is another £10 on top of that. All come with no upfront payment on a 24 month contract and are some of the cheapest ultrafast packages around.

Vodafone Broadband review: Plans and pricing

 Superfast 1Superfast 2Gigafast 100Gigafast 200Gigafast 500Gigafast 900
Price per month (inc line rental)£23£23£25£35£35£45
Upfront cost£0£0£0£0£0£0
Average speed35Mbits/sec63Mbits/sec100Mbits/sec200Mbits/sec500Mbits/sec900Mbits/sec
Usage allowanceUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
Contract length24 months24 months24 months24 months24 months24 months

Vodafone Broadband review: Coverage

Vodafone runs its services over Openreach’s UK network, so if you can get a BT fibre connection, you should be able to get one of the equivalent speed from Vodafone. Of course, the high-end Gigafast services are dependent on having Openreach’s FTTP network in place, or in you being resident in one of the 12 towns and cities where Vodafone’s second partner, CityFibre, has rolled out full-fibre. If you’re interested, check Vodafone’s Coverage Checker to see what’s available to you. 

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Vodafone Broadband review: Performance and customer satisfaction

If our Best Broadband Awards survey data indicates anything, it’s that Vodafone isn’t doing all it could on customer support. Users either seem to get excellent support – 31% say they’re Very Satisfied – or rather poor support. Some 23.8% of users told us they were Very Dissatisfied. Compare these results with those of Zen Internet or Plusnet, and they make pretty grim reading for Vodafone.

There are also issues with reliability, with 30% of users either dissatisfied or very dissatisfied, and speed, where 60% of Vodafone customers are Very Satisfied or Satisfied, but some 38% are either Dissatisfied or Very Dissatisfied. Meanwhile, more than 35% of Vodafone’s broadband customers wouldn’t recommend it to someone else. Only TalkTalk achieved a worse result.

Ofcom’s most recent survey data picks out similar areas of concern. While it didn’t publish scores for overall satisfaction or handling of complaints, Vodafone had more complaints per 100,000 users – 115 – than any other ISP.

That’s a shame as Vodafone’s speed results in Ofcom’s latest report are perfectly respectable, with FTTC services on a similar level to Plusnet, EE and BT. 

Ofcom now releases annual scorecards for broadband providers as part of its alliance with the water, energy and banking sector regulators. These are designed to help customers choose the best providers based on metrics from the Institute of Customer Services and Net Promoter Scores. Sadly, Vodafone’s scorecard doesn’t list its Satisfaction or NPS scores, as the data available didn’t meet Ofcom’s criteria. Vodafone might have wished the same for its figures on complaints.

 Overall averageVodafone
Satisfaction85%N/A
NPS12N/A
Complaints to Ofcom per 1,000 subscribers52115

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Vodafone Broadband review: Verdict

It’s important to remember that Vodafone does have some very satisfied broadband customers and that it can deliver high-speed services at impressively low prices. All the same, it’s hard to avoid thinking that this might come at the cost of reliability, customer service and support – all areas where Vodafone is falling behind most other big name ISPs. Much as we’d like to recommend Vodafone, the survey figures really speak for themselves.

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