Smaller - and cheaper - networks have come out on top in MoneySavingExpert's mobile provider poll.

Giffgaff takes the crown - proving a firm favourite for both customer service and network coverage.

Four providers topped both the service and coverage lists, with Giffgaff, Tesco Mobile, Sky Mobile and Plusnet all scoring highly with almost 8,000 mobile customers who responded to our latest survey.

Interestingly, despite the top three all piggybacking on the O2 network, the telecoms giant itself came in way behind them for perceived coverage.

Turning to customer service, those with O2 could also benefit by switching to any of the top three while staying on effectively the same network. Overall, Three was voted as the best of the traditional networks while Vodafone came bottom of the pile.

Smaller providers often tend to be cheaper than the biggies too. Switching to Giffgaff from O2 could save 132/yr on a 3GB plan with no contract.

If you're unhappy with your mobile provider, take action and switch. See our Best Sim only and Pay-as-you-go guides for the best deals and more information.

Martin Lewis
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The results in full

Here are the results from our July mobile poll. There were 7,916 votes. Ranked based on two points for each 'great' %, one for each 'OK' % and zero for 'poor'. We've excluded providers with fewer than 100 votes.

This is the top-rated providers for customer service.

Mobile networks customer service rating
Rank Provider (Network it uses) 'Great' 'OK' 'Poor'
1 GiffGaff (O2)
70%
26%
4%
2 Tesco Mobile (O2)
67%
29%
3%
3 Sky Mobile (O2)
63%
35%
2%
4 Plusnet (EE)
61%
33%
6%
5 Three
38%
52%
10%
6 iD Mobile (Three)
36%
53%
10%
7 BT Mobile (EE)
35%
53%
12%
8 EE
33%
55%
12%
9 O2
32%
57%
11%
10 Talk Mobile (Vodafone)
34%
43%
23%
11 Virgin Mobile (EE)
30%
50%
20%
12 Vodafone
24%
49%
27%

This is the ranked list of networks for mobile coverage, as voted by MoneySavingExpert users.

Mobile networks coverage rating
Rank Provider (Network it uses) 'Great' 'OK' 'Poor'
1 GiffGaff (O2)
53%
33%
14%
2 Tesco Mobile (O2)
49%
33%
18%
3 Sky Mobile (O2)
48%
28%
24%
4 Plusnet (EE)
39%
34%
27%
5 Talk Mobile (Vodafone)
36%
40%
24%
6 Vodafone
39%
31%
29%
7 EE
35%
31%
34%
8 O2
33%
34%
33%
9 Three
29%
40%
31%
10 BT Mobile (EE)
34%
29%
37%
11 Virgin Mobile (EE)
23%
40%
37%
12 iD Mobile (Three)
19%
40%
41%

'Pay less for the same network, with better service'

Helen Saxon, Chief Product Analyst at MoneySavingExpert, said: "These results reveal an opportunity for those loyal to the big networks to ditch and save, plus receive better levels of customer service.

"Why pay more for worse customer service? In fact, the poll suggests those with O2, Vodafone and EE could pay less with a smaller provider using the same network, yet receive better customer care.

"The savings can run into hundreds of pounds a year, so it could cost you to stick with a name you know."

What do the worst scorers say?

Vodafone told us: "We want our customers to be happy and would encourage anyone to get in touch with us if they have any problems so we can put things right. Great customer service is a top priority for us and we seek the views of many thousands of customers every month.

"We are the only provider to have introduced a 30-Day Service Guarantee to give customers the option to love us or leave us, a home broadband speed guarantee and a mobile coverage guarantee."

ID Mobile said: "iD Mobile runs off the Three network which covers 99% of the UKs population with 4G.

"In addition to this iD Mobile were the first Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) in the UK to introduce Wi-Fi calling, allowing iD Mobile customers to stay connected even if they encounter in-door black spots.

"We take all customer feedback seriously, be it positive or negative, and aim to improve wherever we can."

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