Author Lauren Howells

Which? has called for all customers who aren’t satisfied with the level of broadband service they’re receiving, to look to switch, following the results of its latest broadband customer satisfaction survey, which revealed that 53% of people have had broadband problems in the last year.

Slow speeds were the biggest overall problem

The UK’s largest independent consumer body found that although slow speeds were the biggest overall problem, with 20% of people experiencing difficulties with this, other issues included frequent connection dropouts (17%) and being without any connection for hours or days at a time (8%).

Customers of broadband providers Virgin Media, Talk Talk, BT and Sky were the most likely to experience an issue.

broadband problems

Virgin customers’ top complaint was price increases

The survey of 1,709 telecoms customers, undertaken in June and July this year, also revealed that the number one complaint on broadband problems from Virgin customers was price increases (38%), whilst more than a third of Talk Talk customers and over one in five BT customers surveyed, endured “very slow” broadband speeds.

Industry regulator Ofcom has recently launched a consultation “on an updated broadband code of practice”, which Which? says should mean that consumers are provided with better information at the point of sale about the speeds they should expect and should “strengthen” consumers’ right to exit, without penalty, if their broadband speed were to fall below a “guaranteed minimum level”.

Broadband Problems: suppliers can advertise “up to” speed if just 1 in 10 people can get it

At the moment, broadband suppliers are able to advertise an “up to” speed if only 1 in 10 customers are able to obtain this speed. Which? has campaigned for this to be changed, so that the majority of customers would get the speeds promised in the ads, not just 10%. A decision on the Committee of Advertising Practice’s (CAP) consultation on new guidance to reform speed claims is due by the end of this year.

Trust in broadband industry is down three percentage points

A separate Consumer Insight Survey undertaken by Which? revealed that trust in the broadband industry is down three percentage points from last year, at only 41%.

Which? Managing Director of Home Products and Services, Alex Neill, said: “Far too many people get a poor deal from their broadband provider, with broadband 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.”

Check you’re getting the speed you signed up for

For those wanting to check their broadband speed, Which? offers a free speed checker.