Broadband suppliers failing on customer service

Half of all broadband customers are dissatisfied with their service, according to a new report.

The survey, conducted by Uswitch, ranked nine internet service providers and found that the gap between best and worst is widening, with a difference of almost 21 per cent in customer satisfaction scores - an eight per cent increase on the year before.

Topping the list is PlusNet, which won the survey's Best Overall Provider accolade by polling 86 per cent in customer satisfaction.

Resting at the foot of the list is Orange, with the survey claiming that over a third of its customers were unhappy with the service they were receiving.

Sky continued its ascent, clambering above arch rival Virgin Media in the rankings with an 81 per cent customer satisfaction score. Virgin Media held steady with three quarters of its customers satisfied, but losing ground on value for money, customer and technical support.

Outside the big winners customer satisfaction scores slipped across the board, with the big losers being Pipex which slipped nine per cent to 45 per cent and AOL dropping six per cent to 59 per cent.

"The ISPs used to put these problems down to teething problems, but it's been seven years now," said Uswitch spokesperson, Charlotte Nunes. "The technology's bedded down and customers expect more than they did. Broadband is an essential part of people's lives now, they depend on it and so when things go wrong they expect their ISP to sort it out."

"Companies like TalkTalk have invested a lot of money in their customer service. It's better now but it's still got a way to go. But some companies like Orange are still charging premium rates for technical support and that's a big part of why people are dissatisfied," she said. "We'd certainly like to see Orange making the same sorts of promises on technical support we've seen from TalkTalk."

Orange had not returned our request for comment at the time of writing.