CONSUMER WATCHDOG Which? has named and shamed BT and TalkTalk as the worst-rated internet service providers (ISPs) in the UK. Which? survey of 1,800 members - quite possibly one of the least surprisingly results in history.
Which?, which surveyed 1,800 members, has revealed that TalkTalk earned an approval rating from just 38 per cent of its customers, while BT pulled-in the approval of just 45 per cent. Sky, with 48 per cent, and EE, with 49 per cent, were only marginally better.
Unfortunately, these four ISPs account for 72 per cent cent of the UK broadband market, which means not only that there are a lot of dissatisfied broadband customers in the UK, but that they haven't got the common sense to migrate to an ISP with much better ratings.
Which? based its scores on whether the users it polled were happy with their ISP and whether they would recommend it. Consumers also rated their ISPs in terms of customer service, reliability, speed and technical support.
Topping the table was Zen Internet, which costs a bit more, but deserves its good reputation. It was recommended by 86 per cent of users, followed by Utility Warehouse with 81 per cent, John Lewis Broadband at 68 per cent, SSE with 66 per cent and Plusnet - which is owned by BT, but considerably cheaper - at 65 per cent.
Other recommended ISPs for permanently disgruntled broadband users include Andrews & Arnold, which like Zen will also cost quite a bit more than TalkTalk. However, A&A was too small to make the Which? survey.
In terms of customer service, reliability, speed and technical support, Zen, Utility Warehouse and John Lewis all did well, but TalkTalk only earned more than two stars out of five from its customers in one category: value for money.
Its customer service was also slammed: while more than 70 per cent of Utility Warehouse and Zen Internet customers rated their customer service as either 'excellent' or 'good', only 26 per cent of TalkTalk's found it to be either, while 18 per cent described it as ‘poor' or ‘very poor'.
Which? Managing director of home services, Alex Neill, 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."
However, the old adage, 'you get what you pay for' probably also applies. µ
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