The UK's best and worst broadband providers

lovemoney staff
by Lovemoney Staff lovemoney staff on 27 March 2014  |  Comments 98 comments

Which broadband providers should you avoid, according to the latest customer satisfaction surveys?

The UK's best and worst broadband providers

The last five words anyone would want, or expect, to hear come out of the mouth of a broadband customer service assistant: “No, I don’t understand either.”

Yet a couple of years ago, that’s exactly what one of our writers was told. And what made it worse was that this particular broadband operator had spent the last 30 minutes attempting to explain to them something that – it now emerged – she was also clueless about.

We're not the only people with such horror stories though...

Ofcom complaint figures

Telecoms regulator Ofcom has just released its complaints data, highlighting the companies guilty of the most complaints between July and September this year.

The report only looks at providers with a market share of 4% or more, so you won’t see smaller broadband networks mentioned.

Let’s take a look at the results:

Provider

Complaints per 1,000 customers (Q1 Jan-Mar 2013)

Complaints per 1,000 customers (Q2 Apr-Jun 2013)

Complaints per 1,000 customers (Q3 Jul-Sep 2013)

Complaints per 1,000 customers (Q4 Oct-Dec 2013)

EE

0.57

0.32

0.45

0.29

BT

0.33

0.28

0.41

0.32

TalkTalk

0.36

0.29

0.27

0.21

Sky

0.10

0.09

0.09

0.08

Virgin Media

0.08

0.06

0.08

0.07

BT have generated the most complaints for broadband (as a proportion of its customer base) for the first time. Complaints mostly stemmed from faulty services and issues with the way BT handled complaints. EE have seen a significant drop from 0.45 complaints per 1000 customers to 0.29 - but that's still above the industry average of 0.27. 

Virgin and Sky once again had the fewest complaints, with numbers dropping slightly from the previous quarter.

Compare broadband deals in your area with broadbandchoices.co.uk

Which? research

This year consumer champion Which? surveyed thousands of internet users to compare experiences with various different broadband providers. Here are the results for both broadband and phone providers and broadband-only providers.

Broadband and phone:

Provider

Ease of set-up

Value for money

Customer service

Technical support

Reliability of connection

Connection speed

Score

BT

3/5

2/5

3/5

3/5

3/5

3/5

50%

AOL

3/5

3/5

3/5

3/5

3/5

3/5

53%

TalkTalk

3/5

3/5

3/5

3/5

3/5

3/5

55%

Tesco Broadband

3/5

3/5

3/5

3/5

2/5

3/5

55%

Sky

3/5

3/5

3/5

3/5

3/5

4/5

56%

EE

3/5

3/5

3/5

3/5

3/5

3/5

57%

Post Office

3/5

3/5

3/5

3/5

3/5

3/5

60%

Virgin Media

3/5

2/5

3/5

3/5

3/5

4/5

63%

Plusnet

4/5

4/5

4/5

4/5

4/5

4/5

76%

Utility Warehouse

4/5

4/5

5/5

4/5

3/5

4/5

76%

Broadband only:

Provider

Ease of set-up

Value for money

Customer service

Technical support

Reliability of connection

Connection speed

Score

AOL

3/5

2/5

1/5

2/5

2/5

1/5

38%

BT

4/5

3/5

3/5

3/5

3/5

3/5

54%

Virgin Media

4/5

3/5

3/5

3/5

4/5

4/5

63%

Plusnet

4/5

4/5

4/5

4/5

4/5

3/5

73%

So one again EE, TalkTalk and BT fail to impress. Indeed, only Plusnet and Utility Warehouse achieve a decent score, earning themselves the distinction of being recommended suppliers.

If you’re suffering from poor service from your broadband provider, don’t just stand for it – switch! You can use broadbandchoices.co.uk to compare the deals available in your area.

Which broadband network do you use? Which have been the best and worst in your experience? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below.

This is a lovemoney.com classic article which is regularly updated

The best broadband dongle

Switching broadband: Is it worth the effort?

How to find the best deal on your broadband, TV and phone package

The UK's worst home phone provider

Enjoyed this? Show it some love

Twitter
General

Comments (98)

  • Alan Gallon
    Love rating 5
    Alan Gallon said

    I'm not surprised to read onymee's comments, TalkTalk has a policy of treating all customers as crooks or fraudsters. Even when you receive a sales phone-call from TT, you are expected to prove who you are. It really is a pity that TalkTalk customer service lets down what is essentially a keenly priced and relatively reliable service.

    Report on 31 March 2014  |  Love thisLove  0 loves
  • Oxygenate
    Love rating 7
    Oxygenate said

    A chum, admittedly after a couple of G&Ts, suggested TalkTalk. I asked him to produce a sharp knife so I could cut his wrists before he did damage to anyone else. So few broadband suppliers of integrity - technical excellence and in line with assessment - understandable bills - fair prices - good/excellent technical support - good non-technical support - easily obtainable list of directors and senior officers (no, Companies House is always out of date) - main office address, telephone numbers and e-mails.

    TalkTalk has NONE of these. Not one - extraordinary!

    Report on 31 March 2014  |  Love thisLove  0 loves

Post a comment

Sign in or register to post a reply.

Our top deals

Credit card
company
Balance transfers rate and period Representative
APR
Apply
now

Barclaycard 31Mth Platinum Visa

0% for 31 months (2.99% fee) Representative 18.9% APR (variable) Apply
Representative example: Assumed borrowing of £1,200 for 1 year, at a Purchase Rate of 18.9% (variable), representative 18.9% APR (variable). Credit available subject to status. A Balance Transfer fee of 3.5% will be applied, then reduced to 2.99% by a refund (terms and conditions apply). Plus an additional £20 fee refund on balance transfers over £2000.

Barclaycard 30Mth Platinum Visa

0% for 30 months (2.89% fee) Representative 18.9% APR (variable) Apply
Representative example: Assumed borrowing of £1,200 for 1 year, at a Purchase Rate of 18.9% (variable), representative 18.9% APR (variable). Credit available subject to status. A Balance Transfer fee of 3.5% will be applied, then reduced to 2.89% by a refund (terms and conditions apply). Plus an additional £20 fee refund on balance transfers over £2000.

MBNA 30Mth Platinum Credit Card Visa

0% for 30 months (2.89% fee) Representative 18.9% APR (variable) Apply
Representative example: Assumed borrowing of £1,200 for 1 year, at a Purchase Rate of 18.9% (variable), representative 18.9% APR (variable). Credit available subject to status.
W3C  Thank you for using The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse