Which? Have recently surveyed nearly 4000 broadband customers from differing Internet Service Providers to find out what issues customers are facing when it comes to staying connected.
Internet issues like slow speeds and connections that dropped out were rather commonplcae over the past year, with 53% of respondents saying they had experienced some kind of connection issue.
And the worst ISP on the list? Sky Broadband.
Which ISP’s Are the Worst?
Of the 12 ISP’s listed in the survey, Sky Broadband (32%), Virgin Media (35%) and EE (37%) had the lowest percentage of customers reporting ‘no issues.’
Out of the most well known Internet Service Providers, BT came off the best, with nearly half (49%) of survey customers not experiencing a single connection issue in the past year.
Similarly, Hyperoptic, Shell Energy and Utility Warehouse also did well with at least half of their customers (if not more) also reporting 12 whole months (January 2022 to January 2023) without a single performance issue.
However, of the rest of the customer’s, at least 4 in 10 did experience at least one issue in the survey period.
What are the Most Common Broadband Issues?
The most commonly reported connection problem in the survey was ‘frequent drop outs’ which affected 19% of the respondents.
Almost as prevalent amongst the reported internet issues was ‘a very slow speed’ and a connection that was ‘slow to download or upload files’ (17% and 15% respectively).
How Does This Survey Compare to Ofcom Stats?
Data from Ofcom actually paint quite a different picture when it comes to the service of internet providers.
Official complaints to Ofcom about ISP’s have Sky as one of the providers that have the least issues from customers. According to Ofcom data, Shell Energy were the worst offender.
It’s important to remember that Ofcom data is based on actual complaints from disgruntled customers. The survey by Which? surveyed just under 4000 customers of various ISP’s and was somewhat more anecdotal.
We also need to bear in mind that not all of the issues reported in the survey could purely be down to bad broadband. Home networks can be affected by poor configuration (placing your router somewhere silly, for example), local network congestion, poor Wi-Fi (the transmission of the signal from the router to the device). There are scenarios where it wouldn’t be the ISP’s fault, so the survey would need to take a bit of a closer look.
What do the ISP’s Have to Say in Response to the Which? Survey?
Here’s what the ISP’s have to say on the topic.
A spokesperson for Sky said:
“We are committed to providing the best service to our customers. We do not believe this is a representative survey – Ofcom’s quarterly complaints data shows we are consistently one of the least complained about broadband providers and, in Ofcom’s latest report, we received the fewest complaints out of all broadband providers.”
A spokesperson for Virgin Media said:
“While these findings are only taken from a small sample of customers, the latest, fuller data from Ofcom shows that our customers benefit from the fastest download speeds, and customer complaints on our broadband services fell by 22% in the first quarter of this year. Only last month we were rated the ‘Best in Test’ in Umlaut’s broadband benchmarking survey, ahead of other major providers.
With demand for connectivity higher than ever, we’re investing billions of pounds each year to upgrade and improve our networks to ensure we’re providing our customers with fast and reliable broadband services they can rely on. Customers are receiving more value than ever from their telecoms services, and we continue to invest in every area of our business to ensure we continue to improve and deliver an excellent customer experience.”
A spokesperson for EE said:
“Ofcom’s latest complaints report shows that we remain one of the least complained about broadband providers, with complaints remaining well below the industry average throughout recent years.
We remain committed to providing the best customer service across the industry and ensuring our customers get value for money as the UK’s best network. Our teams across the UK and Ireland already provide the most personal and local service in contact centres and retail stores across the country.
We have proudly led the way with social tariffs since 2008, with around 80% of the total market being supported on BT social tariffs. Customers who are struggling financially and are eligible for our social tariffs can move penalty-free at any point in their contract, this also includes EE and Plusnet customers.”
CEO of Zen Internet, said:
“Our industry unfortunately has a poor reputation for managing customer expectations and being transparent with communications, and introducing price rises mid-contract at a time when everyone is struggling with household bills does nothing to improve this. With price rises based on a 10.1% CPI rate, and the above inflation addition of typically 3.9%, that amounts to a substantial additional burden to household budgets.
We are not immune to the inflationary forces impacting supply chains and wages, but we all recognise that customers need as fair a deal as we can offer. Zen’s response to this challenge for residential customers is the Contract Price Promise – a promise not to increase prices for the length of the contract period.
When it comes to customer service, Zen was the only provider to score four stars in all seven categories in the Which? survey – connection speed and reliability, customer service, value for money, technical support, ease/speed of contact and ease of set up. We have topped the table for eight years and are the only Which? Recommended Provider for Broadband. It’s not always easy, but we will always work to ensure we provide an industry leading service and support our customers when they need it most, rather than prioritising profit-driven price hikes that only benefit shareholders.”
CEO and Co-Founder of Lit Fibre, said:
“The findings from the Which? report published yesterday are not surprising. Broadband providers have become complacent regarding poor customer service. Taking time to explain how customers can get the best experience ‘in home’ from their wifi setup is also top of our agenda as we know most customers need our expertise with this.
At Lit Fibre we put customer service and reliable internet first from the outset, it’s the bare minimum we think customers should be expecting. We’ve earnt our 5 stars on Trustpilot by providing customers with a consistently high quality and personal service, an average call pick-up time of 20 seconds, no bots and no mid-contract price hikes, so we know it’s possible for the industry to do so much better.”
How’s Your Broadband?
Which side of the fence would you be sat on – No internet issues, or frustratingly slow speeds and drop outs?
If you’re experiencing Wi-Fi woes and your broadband just isn’t cutting it, get in touch with one of our Wi-Fi engineers today.
Whether your home and business are in a rural area and you’re struggling for a broadband connection, or your office broadband is buffering and inhibiting your business productivity – We can help.
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