The UK’s biggest broadband providers are still disappointing on customer service, tech support and reliability, according to the results of a Which? customer satisfaction survey.
In December 2017 and January 2018, Which? surveyed more than 1,900 broadband customers across 12 different providers, in order to find out their opinions on topics such as customer service, value for money, speed and reliability.
In our previous survey last year, TalkTalk’s score of 40% rooted the company to the bottom of the table, as customers reported their disapproval with the customer service and tech support they received. In comparison, lesser-known providers Zen Internet and Utility Warehouse got customer scores of 85% and 76% respectively, becoming Which? Recommended Providers. These companies show that size is not everything when it comes to providing a quality broadband service.
For this year’s best and worst providers, read our broadband providers overview.
Problems with broadband providers
Our survey also sought to find out what issues customers face with their broadband service.
Which? found that almost three in five households had reported a problem with their provider in the past year. These included price hikes, poor speeds, connection dropouts and router issues.
Virgin Media customers were the most likely to have experienced an issue, typically on price, with almost three quarters telling Which? they’d had some kind of difficulty in the past year. Virgin was followed by Sky and BT as the most complained-about providers, while Zen Internet got the fewest complaints, with a quarter of customers saying they had experienced a problem.
Generally, the biggest complaint was around recent price increases, affecting one in five of the people Which? surveyed. Virgin Media customers were twice as likely to have had a problem with price hikes compared to other providers. Price increases were also the top complaint reported by BT customers.
Slow speeds were the second biggest problem, affecting one in five of the broadband customers we surveyed. TalkTalk customers were more likely to experience very slow speeds than those of any other provider included in the Which? survey, with three in ten being affected.
Alex Neill, Which? managing director of home products and services, said:
‘It’s clear that too many households are still suffering from substandard broadband, and our research shows that providers have a long way to go before they meet their customers’ expectations.
‘Customers who suffer from a shoddy broadband service will welcome new measures for automatic compensation. However, providers should do more to stop these problems from happening in the first place. Anyone not happy with the service they are getting should look to switch.’
We’re campaigning for better broadband
At Which?, we regularly survey broadband customers to find the best and worst providers in the UK, revealing whether you’re getting the service you deserve. We believe that providers have a responsibility to deliver a satisfactory broadband service to their consumers. That means fair pricing, satisfactory speed and reliability, and providers fixing issues quickly when they arise.
We’ve made significant progress over the last year, but we’re not finished yet. That’s why we also think it’s important to give users the tools to try to help themselves.
It’s also important to know where to turn when things go wrong, and that can be difficult if your broadband is down and you don’t have contacts to hand. Bookmark our guide to how to contact your provider on your mobile phone, and you can be sure you’ll be able to get in touch, or find out more about a bad connection, with a minimum of fuss.
Read our in-depth broadband provider reviews for all the data from our latest survey.