Merseyside’s biggest internet providers are failing their customers, according to the results of a recent Which? customer satisfaction survey. The survey of 1,800 UK broadband users revealed a big difference in expectation and reality, regarding services, value for money, speed and reliability. The results followed the campaign launched by Which? titled the Fix Bad Broadband Campaign.
The initiative offered people the chance to check their broadband speeds, ensuring people were aware of what they are paying for.
What did customers say
The four biggest providers of internet in the UK are Talk Talk, BT, Sky and EE. Collectively they hold a 72% market share yet only one in 10 described TalkTalk and BT’s customer service as ‘excellent.’ At the bottom of the 12 company table, lay British Communications (BT) and TalkTalk.
The two members of the so-called ‘big four’ have a respective 45% and 38% customer score- the lowest of the ratings. For BT the main issues seemed to be the quality of their customer service matched with their company’s poor value for money.
Meanwhile TalkTalk customers found it difficult to contact services when facing issues and also found it difficult to resolve complaints. BT didn’t score higher than two stars in any of the categories and for Sky, their middle of the ground results saw that just 24% of customers would recommend it.
Similar to Sky, EE also scored an uninspiring three stars across the board, yet their problems could be found in price hikes throughout the year.
Top two surprise
Surprisingly, where the big companies are languishing at at the bottom of the table, there were a few unknown providers that head the satisfaction ratings. The rarely heard Zen Internet and Utility Warehouse are the only companies to break the 80% barrier, with the former heading the table with a 86% customer score. Clientele refer to the ‘great service and technical support provided.’ Yet, big factor was the one-month contract that was readily available to take out.
Contrasting this against the bundles Sky has to offer, which has a minimum of 12 months, the shorter less fixed contacts seemed to be appealing and less daunting to consumers. For Utility Warehouse, their five star value for money rating see them as one of two companies to achieve this feat, the other being SSE. The pair were the only companies to earn five stars for customer service, with customers finding them quick and easy to contact, whilst praising their technical support.
Alex Neil, 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.” “It is clear to see that the frequent price hikes paired with connection drop outs, unreliable speeds and along with the levels of service when trying to contact providers all contributed to the low scores.
“For the price and lengthy contracts consumers are expected to take out, vast improvements have to be made to ensure service is of better quality.”
To check your bradband service Use the comparison engine at https://broadbandtest.which.co.uk/ For more information about Which?
Fix Bad Broadband campaign, visit www.which.co.uk/fixbadbroadband and for advice on how to speed up your broadband, visit > https:// www.which.co.uk/reviews/broadband-deals/article/speed-up-slow-broadband .
- ^ www.which.co.uk/fixbadbroadband (www.which.co.uk)
- ^ www.which.co.uk/reviews/broadband-deals/article/speed-up-slow-broadband (www.which.co.uk)
The fraud involved the funding of Merseyside company H2O Networks, which entered administration almost six years ago. Stephen Dartnell and George Alexander of Warrington-based lender Total Asset Finance, Carl Cumiskey of H2O Networks and Simon Mundy who worked for Belgian Banking Group KBC were found guilty at Southwark Crown Court for conspiracy to make corrupt payments and conspiracy to commit fraud against Barclays Bank and KBC The jury were told by counsel for the Serious Fraud Office that there was no dispute that fraud on a massive scale had occurred, but the defendants denied involvement and, in the main, blamed each other.
Dartnell, Alexander and Cumiskey had conspired to create, sign and sell falsely inflated or entirely false contracts from the company H2O to business lenders, Barclays Bank and KBC.
H2O supplied fibre-optic internet cable connections and their unique selling point was to use sewers as channels for these internet cables. H2O targeted public institutions such as local authorities, universities, colleges and the NHS with long-term payment contracts. Mundy was paid nearly ?900,000 as an “inside man” at KBC by Dartnell to approve the funding provided by KBC to TAF.
Between 2007 and 2010 this fraud amounted to almost ?160m. Director of the SFO, David Green CB QC said: “This was a carefully planned, complex and lucrative fraud which ran over three years. It took a determined investigation to ensure that those responsible for it were brought to justice.
We will now turn our attention to securing confiscation of criminal assets from those convicted”.
The men will be sentenced on Friday.
Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal on the touchline
Manchester United coach Louis van Gaal is hoping to make it a record breaking five in five against Liverpool when the two English sides clash in their Europa League showdown on Thursday. The two most successful clubs in English domestic football meet for the first time in European competition this week, with Van Gaal eager to keep up his win-streak against the Reds, having never lost in the four games against the Merseyside club since taking over at United in 2014. A win on Thursday will make it five wins in five games against his bitter rivals, the first time the Red Devils would have ever achieved this feat, and something their Dutch coach has his eye on.
It s curious we have beaten Liverpool so many times under me, but it s good for me as the appreciation is higher from the fans when I beat teams like Liverpool, Van Gaal told reporters.
I hope we shall beat them for the fifth time and the sixth time but more for the fans than myself.
If we win for a fifth time then I am also in the books with a positive record.
Van Gaal knows the importance of his side s European tie, and feels the English presence in continental competition is an indication of the strength of the local league.
You have to win there is no difference with it being a cup competition, he said.
United against Liverpool is always a big game. It s historical and even bigger now because both teams are fighting for a Champions League place.
When you play in the Europa League, you are more likely to play clubs from other countries. But now we play against the same teams we normally play in the Premier League.
It shows the Premier League is strong.
Kick-off at Anfield on Thursday is set for 22:05 South African time. BBC