A recent study has revealed that 56% of UK households have experienced some sort of trouble with their broadband service.
A list of the most common complaints raised by the survey included various connectivity issues, such as slow speeds or router issues, and concerns over rising prices and customers service.
The survey covered customers from 12 different internet providers, including a group of the five largest providers: BT, Sky, TalkTalk, Virgin Media and Zen Internet. These five providers together account for around 90% of broadband customers in the UK.
Alex Neill, managing director of home products and services at Which?, who conducted the survey, 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.”
22% of those polled reported concerns over the rising costs of broadband, making it the most common problem. Slow speeds were second, with 21 per cent of customers reporting that they had been affected.
Slow speeds were a particular issue for TalkTalk customers, with almost a third of their customers complaining about the issue – more than any other provider. Sky and BT customers were the next most likely to experience speed and connectivity issues, with 22 and 23 per cent of their customers complaining about them respectively.
Of the internet service providers represented in the survey, Zen Internet received the lowest number of complaints. Only a quarter of their customers mentioned experiencing any sort of problem.
At the other end of the scale, Virgin Media customers were most likely to have experienced a problem. In total 73% of Virgin customers had raised a complaint, with the majority being about the cost their service rising over the past year.
In response, a spokesperson from Virgin Media said: “We do everything we can to balance keeping our prices competitive while investing to meet customers’ ever-increasing appetite for faster broadband and better content. We continue to put our customers first. This year we’re in the process of upgrading millions of our TV customers to our latest V6 box and have just increased our fastest broadband speeds to 350Mbps – both at no additional cost.”
Recently Ofcom has mandated that the five biggest providers must provide compensation to those customers who find themselves affected by various problems related to connectivity issues. Customers who face slow repairs, missed engineering appointments and delayed installations are entitled to receive £25 from early next year.
Digital Minister Margot James said: “Broadband has become a modern necessity, and we all know how frustrating it is when it doesn’t work. We’ve introduced a raft of measures with Ofcom to help protect consumers, including receiving compensation when their service falls short, and making it easier for customers to switch provider if they’re not getting what they’ve paid for and are entitled to.”