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Small broadband ISPs offer better customer satisfaction

Smaller ISPs are successfully satisfying their customers more than the large broadband service providers in the UK, according to a new study from Which.

And we’re not talking about a few percentage points difference in the survey from the consumer watchdog, either – there’s quite a gulf in terms of customer satisfaction ratings.

The Which survey found that three of the UK’s major ISPs – BT, Sky and TalkTalk – all achieved a customer score of under 50 per cent.

Top of the table were smaller providers including Zen Internet, Plusnet and John Lewis Broadband, which recorded scores of over 70 per cent.

When respondents were questioned about the speed of their ISP, many weren’t happy either, with TalkTalk only getting a two-star rating in this category – with all other providers getting an average three-stars, save for Zen Internet and Virgin Media who achieved four-stars.

That question was tied into Which’s campaign to get broadband advertising to more accurately reflect real world speeds – with ISPs currently allowed to headline advertise speeds which only 10 per cent of their customers actually achieve.

Which executive director, Richard Lloyd, commented: “Smaller suppliers are leaving larger rivals in their wake when it comes to the service they provide so we need to see the big players up their game. Ofcom is also currently reviewing this market and we now need it to identify how it plans to ensure broadband customers get a better deal.

“We’ve told the advertising watchdogs that companies need to be much clearer with their customers about the speeds they can expect. However, three months on, we’re still waiting for them to announce how they’ll ensure adverts only show the speeds most customers actually receive.”

Darren Allan

Darran has over 25 years of experience in digital and magazine publishing as a writer and editor. He's also an author, having co-written a novel published by Little, Brown (Hachette UK). He currently writes news, features and buying guides for TechRadar, and occasionally other Future websites such as T3 or Creative Bloq and he's a copy editor for TechRadar Pro. Darrran has written for a large number of tech and gaming websites/magazines in the past, including Web User and ComputerActive. He has also worked at IDG Media, having been the Editor of PC Games Solutions and the Deputy Editor of PC Home.