Broadband's 'big three' fail to impressAll fall short in customers' view

03 August 2006

A man working on a laptop

The new broadband deal is cheaper

Britain’s ‘big three’ broadband providers fall short when it comes to customer service, says a new Which? survey.

Our survey of nearly 15,700 Which? members found that only 34 per cent of BT’s, 25 per cent of AOL’s and 20 per cent of NTL’s customers said they were very satisfied with the service they received.

However, Zen Internet gets top ratings for its customer service, online and phone support, speed, reliability and for being easy to set up.  Seventy-seven per cent of users told us they were very satisfied with the overall service. The other two Best Buys are Global and Waitrose, with 72 per cent of customers saying they were very satisfied.

Global scores top marks for customer service, and it provides free line activation and a free router that allows PCs to be networked together.

Waitrose is a Best Buy

Waitrose, a Best Buy for the second year in a row. It scored fairly well for the reliability of the connection, and for value for money, but got top marks in everything else, even offering a free helpline.

None of the cheapest providers appear in the list of top providers because their service didn't measure up.  

The ‘free’ broadband services Which? reviewed – Sky, Carphone Warehouse and Orange - require you to subscribe to another, paid-for service as well as tying you in for a lengthy period.

In the survey, only 30 per cent for customers were very satisfied with Wanadoo – now rebranded as Orange - while just 39 per cent were very happy with Carphone Warehouse’s Talk Talk service.  The new Sky service was launched after our survey.

Strings attached

Which? Online Editor Malcolm Coles said: ‘With broadband speeds getting quicker and prices getting lower all the time, there’s never been a better time to find a good deal. None of the biggest providers made it into our list of the best broadband packages, though, and people should check to see what strings are attached to so-called ‘free’ packages.’

We have details of more than 100 packages on our site, and they're updated monthly.