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Support and Reliability More Important than Speed for UK ISP Customers

Tags: ISPreview UK

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The latest annual survey of Internet Service Provider (ISP) satisfaction in the United Kingdom, which was conducted with 3345 readers of the website (*), has revealed that consumers are becoming increasingly dissatisfied with the reliability and quality of customer support provided by their current broadband provider, with many expecting to switch (migrate) to another ISP in 2014.

Overall the study found that consumers were least happy with the quality of their ISPs customer support, connection reliability and service speeds. As a result the proportion of people that expected to swap ISP in the coming year has risen from 32.3% in 2012 (**) and now stands at 38%.

[Q4 - 2013] Which aspect of your ISP makes you least happy?

Support - 30.1% (7.3% in Q4 2012)
Reliability - 30% (17% in Q4 2012)
Speed - 18.9% (40.2% in Q4 2012)
Price - 9.7% (13.7% in Q4 2012)
None - 6.9% (14.5% in Q4 2012)
Service Restrictions (fup) - 4.1% (7% in Q4 2012)

Ofcom's (telecoms regulator) 2012 Consumer Experience report (***) revealed that in the end only 9% of fixed line broadband consumers actually switched provider during 2012, although this did represent an increase from 7% one year earlier.'s readers are perhaps much more likely to consider a move but in the end many still appear to hesitate when it comes to decision time.

"Broadband speeds have improved a lot, at least for some people, over the past couple of years and this is largely thanks to the new generation of 'super-fast' connectivity," said's Founder, Mark Jackson. "As a result consumers now appear to be paying more attention to other aspects of their service like support and reliability, while ISPs themselves have been busy working to improve retention by adding new TV content (e.g. BTSport, TalkTalk TV)."

The study also found that 75% of respondents still pay £20 or more per month for just the broadband part of their service, while 11% paid around £15, some 7% coughed up just £10 a month and 4% either had a free connection or paid around £5 for their Internet access.

"It's worth remembering that Ofcom's on-going review into the UK's fixed telecoms market should hopefully result in various improvements including better migration rules and higher quality standards, although some of these changes might not be introduced until 2015. In the meantime ISPs will need to be just as mindful of their connection reliability and customer support as they are today of service speeds," concluded Mark Jackson.

* Online poll conducted between 4th November 2013 and 30th December 2013 with 3345 UK internet connected readers of the website.

** [2012 Survey]

*** is a popular UK pro-consumer focused 'Internet Service Provider' information site that reports on the daily happenings in the telecoms industry, allows visitors to review their ISP and helps to resolve common problems. The website has been running since 1999 and also offers a best broadband listing and top ISP price comparison system.