A staggering 15.4 million households aren’t getting the promised ‘up to’ headline speeds on their broadband packages. Join us in asking the advertising watchdogs to pull the plug on confusing broadband ads.
Which? executive director Richard Lloyd, said:
'It’s not good enough that millions of homes are so poorly served by their broadband provider with speeds that just don’t live up to what was advertised. Broadband is an essential part of life these days so people shouldn’t be persuaded to buy a package which is never going to live up to expectations.’
Despite nine in 10 people telling us they consider speed an important factor when choosing a provider, our research found that 74% of households with fixed broadband connections were paying for packages with advertised speeds they never got.
Average speeds fared even worse. We found just 17% of homes received an average speed that matched the advertised level and even fewer, 15%, managed this during the peak evening period.
Advertising guidelines say only 10% of customers need to achieve the maximum advertised speed, but we found three packages that couldn’t even meet that. Only 4% of customers on TalkTalk’s 17Mbps package, and just 1% of people on BT and Plusnet’s 76Mbps deals, were getting the top advertised speeds.
It's good news that it's going to get easier to switch broadband provider if you don't get the speed you were promised. But we want the rules to change so providers are only allowed to advertise speeds that most of their customers can receive.
Up until now, the advertising watchdogs have been reluctant to take action, so we’re calling on Ofcom to work with them to create an action plan by the end of the year to improve the way broadband speeds are advertised. Tell the advertising watchdogs what you think.
With customer voices, alongside Ofcom, we are more likely to ensure people get the speeds they are promised by providers.
Virgin Media has come out in support of our campaign to end confusing advertising of broadband speeds.
We’re calling on broadband providers to give you the speed and service you pay for as we discover around three in five people experience problems with their broadband.
Our research shows that nearly half of broadband customers have suffered slow speeds, with six in ten having to put up with these sluggish speeds frequently. And there’s more – many people just aren’t getting the speeds they were promised.
Richard Lloyd, Which? executive director, said: 'The internet is an essential part of modern life, yet millions of us are getting frustratingly slow speeds and having to wait days to get reconnected when things go wrong.'
He added: 'It’s less superfast broadband, more super slow service from companies who are expecting people to pay for speeds they may never get
Households are also suffering from poor customer service. A quarter of people who reported a loss of service and had it resolved waited two days for this, and around one in ten had no internet for a week or more.
Three in 10 people who contacted their provider with a problem didn’t get a resolution. And, for those that did, a quarter weren’t satisfied with how long it took.
We want broadband providers to give you written speed estimates at the start of your contract, and to let you exit that contract without penalty if they fail to meet those speeds. We also want them to fix any loss of connection as speedily as possible and to refund you if problems persist.
So if you’re plagued by unreliable and slow internet, sign our petition to make your broadband provider deliver the speed and service you deserve.
Ofcom has announced measures to make it easier for customers to switch their landline and broadband provider in one simple step.