A survey published this week shows that the telecoms giants BT and Talk Talk have the worst customer satisfaction ratings out of all the major broadband providers.
They scored 38% and 45% respectively with their customers, while Sky (48%) and EE (49%) came close behind them in the survey of 1,800 people.
According to the consumer group ‘Which’, frequent price rises, connections that drop, unreliable speeds and "woeful customer service” all contributed to the poor scores,
These four companies account for almost three-quarters of the UK broadband market. And BT alone accounts for almost a third of the country's broadband connections
Who came top in the survey?
Zen Internet had the highest customer rating at 86%, followed by Utility Warehouse (81%), John Lewis Broadband (68%), SSE (66%), Plusnet (65%), Virgin Media (52%), Vodafone (50%) and the Post Office (48%).
The customer score is based on satisfaction levels with their provider and whether they would recommend them to others. Those surveyed were also asked to evaluate aspects of the service, with five stars being the highest rating in seven categories, including speed, reliability and customer service.
Just four of the 12 providers in the survey scored more than three stars for speed: Zen Internet, Utility Warehouse, Virgin Media and Vodafone.
According to Alex Neill from ‘Which?’, "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."
A TalkTalk spokesperson said: "Our extensive improvement programme has already led to fewer faults, faster average speeds, shorter times to resolve issues and customers reporting higher satisfaction levels."
A BT spokesperson said it was disappointed with the survey result and apologised to any customers who had been let down. "Generally, our broadband performs extremely well for customers and offers very reliable speeds at peak times, according to the latest Ofcom broadband speeds report."
Ofcom, the telecoms regulator, said last month that broadband customers who suffered poor service may get automatic refunds under new plans (see our blog article dated 24.03.17).
In Ofcom’s own survey, 51% of broadband customers said they were "very satisfied" with their provider, with 36% fairly satisfied. This means that a significant minority (13%) experienced poor service, mostly due to slow speeds or loss of connection.
BT had the lowest score for "very satisfied" of the four providers in the Ofcom survey at 45%, followed by TalkTalk on 49%, Sky on 52% and Virgin Media on 55%.
Last month BT agreed to Ofcom demands to legally separate Openreach, which runs the UK's broadband network, in a bid to give better service to both consumers and broadband providers.
Digital Minister Matt Hancock said: "Too many people are suffering from poor customer service when things go wrong with their broadband. Getting a better deal for consumers is at the heart of our Digital Economy Bill, which strengthens Ofcom's power to make sure providers pay automatic compensation when service falls short."