Far too many people 'getting poor deal' from broadband provider, says Which?

The majority of households have experienced problems with their broadband over the last year, with slow speeds the most common complaint, a survey reveals. Which? found that among the 53% of households who had difficulties with their broadband, customers of Virgin Media, TalkTalk, Sky and BT were most likely to experience an issue. Virgin customers’ top complaint was price increases (38%), while 33% of Talk Talk customers and 22% of BT customers suffered “very slow” broadband speeds.

One in five broadband customers overall had had problems with speed, but 17% suffered frequent connection dropouts, 12% had a fault with the wireless router and 8% had no connection at all for hours or days at a time. Separately, the results of Which?’s latest Consumer Insight survey also found that trust in the broadband industry stood at 41%, down three percentage points since last year. Alex Neill, Which? managing director of home products and services, said: “Far too many people get a poor deal from their broadband provider, with problems ranging from very slow speeds to going days without any connection at all, which just isn’t good enough.

“The regulator must now deliver on its plans to improve the information that customers get about speeds when they sign up to a provider and allow them to easily exit a contract if they’re not getting what they’ve been promised. “Customers who aren’t satisfied with the level of service they’re receiving should look to switch.” :: Which? surveyed 1,709 telecoms customers between June and July.

Lord Adonis, chairman of the National Infrastructure Commission, said: “The findings demonstrate the scale of the problems customers are having with the current level of broadband service, but also the challenge we face if we are to have the best possible connections in future. “We recently highlighted how the UK risks falling behind our international competitors if we don’t invest in the latest ultrafast and fibre technology – but for us to do that successfully, broadband providers must also step up to the plate and improve the services they currently deliver to our homes and businesses.” A TalkTalk spokesman: “We strive to give customers the best possible experience.

Our extensive investment programme has already led to fewer faults and quicker repair times. Whilst we are disappointed by the results of the Which survey we will continue investing to improve the services we deliver.” An Ofcom spokesman said: “We completely agree that broadband providers must up their game.

We’re protecting customers by ensuring more accurate speed estimates, faster repairs and installations, and compensation when things go wrong.”

A Sky spokesman said: “We always work hard to give our customers the best possible experience and Ofcom’s latest quality of service report shows that Sky leads the way on customer satisfaction, securing the highest combined scores across Broadband and Talk services.”

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