Carphone Warehouse stems the tide of gloomy consumers

Some ISPs at least are listening to their customers. Collectively broadband providers have managed to halt the slide to unhappy subscribers. Chief among them is the Carphone Warehouse group, originator of the controversial ‘free’ broadband offer. This is revealed by Point Topic’s latest consumer broadband survey.

Overall internet user satisfaction levels have remained static in the 6 months to June 2007, with 77% ‘very’ or ‘fairly’ satisfied, after a sharp fall in 2006. But some ISPs have managed to improve their customer experience.

The Carphone Warehouse group, made up of the AOL and TalkTalk brands, seems to have done best. In December 2006 TalkTalk and AOL averaged 13.6% very or fairly dissatisfied customers. In June 2007 this had dropped markedly, almost alone amongst the top 10 ISPs, to just 9% of customers with a serious gripe.

“This reflects the efforts that Carphone Warehouse have put into their customer service,” says Dr Katja Mueller, Research Director at Point Topic. “Mr Dunstone [Founder and Chief Executive of the group] has repeatedly claimed that the company was addressing the issues and the research bears him out.”

TalkTalk is also the lead ISP in terms of customers who are happy where they are. With more than 73% of its customer base saying they are going to stay it tops the table by some distance. At the other end of the scale is Orange with less than 45% of its customers committing their online future to the company.