UK ISPs Fleece Broadband Customers With High Support Line Rates

A recent survey from the consumer magazine Which? has revealed that a majority of Internet service providers (ISPs) are using higher-cost numbers for offering technical support to the users.

The survey, which included 45 ISPs across the UK, revealed that only six ISPs, including BT, O2, UK Online, and Waitrose, offer their users with free telephone lines for the customers seeking technical support.

While only a handful ISPs provide freephone numbers, most of the ISPs, including Roxio, Supanet, and Tesco, use the costly 090 numbers, on which making a simple 10-minute call could nearly cost around £5 to the customers.

Quoting the high-cost from the retailing giant as a major issue, Sarah Kidner, editor of the magazine Which? said in a statement, “It's particularly galling to see a huge company like Tesco broadband using such expensive lines. If other companies can offer a Freephone number, so can Tesco”.

However, Tesco has notified that it is planning to roll out cheaper tariffs for its users “as soon as possible”, and asserted that it will keep on providing quality technical assistance at local calling rates.

Companies using the premium numbers defended by saying that they don’t make profits from these high calling charges, instead they use the money to cover the investments in providing technical support service.

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Our Comments

Technical support is paramount for novice users who do not have any experience with broadband installation. Rather than having freephone numbers though, it would be great if ALL ISPs could provide their customers with a local rate number since these can be called using inclusive mobile minutes.

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