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Big broadband providers fail on basic customer service

Written by: Paloma Kubiak
The UK’s biggest internet service providers are still failing on basic customer service, speed and reliability, according to a satisfaction survey.

The survey reveals there are big variations in the level of service, value for money, speed and reliability of broadband providers.

Despite the four biggest providers – BT, EE, Sky and TalkTalk – having a 72% market share, they all scored poorly, according to campaign group Which?.

It polled 1,800 broadband users and found that TalkTalk and BT achieved the worst customer scores (45% and 38% respectively) with just one in 10 describing the customer service as ‘excellent’.

BT failed to score higher than two stars in any of the categories such as ease of contact, tech support, reliability, value for money or customer service.

Only Zen Internet, Utility Warehouse, Virgin Media and Vodafone scored more than three stars for broadband speeds, but Virgin Media faltered in the value for money stakes with just two out of five stars.

Zen Internet and Utility Warehouse were the only companies to earn five stars for customer service, with customers finding them quick and easy to contact as well as praising their technical support.

Which? said that frequent price hikes, connection drop outs, unreliable speeds and woeful levels of service when trying to contact providers all contributed to the low scores.

Alex Neill, Which? managing director of home services, said: “Broadband is essential and people rightly get frustrated with poor service. Our latest results show that the big players still have a long way to go to satisfy their customers, so if you’re unhappy with your broadband, complain and look to switch if your service doesn’t improve.”

A BT spokesperson said it is disappointed with the result and apologised to any customers who have been let down.

“We believe we have put in place the right investments to transform the service we offer customers and we are seeing signs of improvements across our business.

“Generally, our broadband performs extremely well for customers and offers very reliable speeds at peak times, according to the latest Ofcom Broadband Speeds report.”

The spokesperson added that it’s introduced faster line fault repairs and it’s taken on more than 1,500 new recruits since April 2016.

A TalkTalk spokesperson, said: “We always strive to give customers the best possible experience. Our extensive improvement programme has already led to fewer faults, faster average speeds, shorter times to resolve issues and customers reporting higher satisfaction levels. We are committed to investing further, as we continually improve our customer experience.”

Lastly, if you need a tool to measure the loyalty of customers to a company, then you need NPS, a metric used in customer experience programmes

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