How good or bad a broadband provider is at customer service is very important. No one can guarantee a problem free service, but when things go wrong we all want a competent and quick resolution to our problems. To this end we have published a round-up of the customer service ratings broadband users have voted for between February 2006 and February 2007.
The ratings seem to reflect a growth in the amount of discontent within the broadband community in the last year or so, particularly since the widespread introduction of rate adaptive up to 8Mbps products. While we are aware that any ratings system is likely to attract the disgruntled more than the happy users, a drop from 58.1% on average to 49.5% seems significant. Hopefully by sending out rating reminder emails to registered users each month we will attract a good cross section of broadband users, rather than just those having problems.
The monthly averages over this period are:
The results indicate that the sharpest drop was in the period up until August 2006, which coincides with the launch of the 'up to 8 Mbps' IPstream Max product. This rate adaptive product created an explosion of problems for users who previously had stable connections which may now run faster, but at the expense of stability. Invariably it seems broadband and wholesale providers were not ready to support users in this area and give guidance on the changes to their telephone wiring that can help to improve the stability of a connection.
The results are not all bad news. Up until February 2007, a few providers appear to have pleased their customers, namely Be, IDNET, Madasafish, Mistral and Newnet and improved their customer service experience. Some broadband service providers though do need to pay attention to how they handle customer service, the worst performers appear to be Biscit, Eclipse, Namesco, Nildram, Pipex, and Virgin's ADSL based services (formerly Virgin.net) which all showed large drops in customer service performance.
Of course any survey is a snapshot of the time the votes were cast, for up to the minute feedback talk to others who are using the service on places like our forums.