Generally we all love our broadband service providers when our connections are working well and despise them if they break. This makes choosing a provider with good customer support important for a stress-free broadband experience. This is where the many customer satisfaction surveys carried out by bodies like Point-Topic.com and our own monthly ratings can help people to decide between a shortlist of providers.
We last published a round-up in April 2007 and it is interesting to see the changes that have taken place since. After reporting what seemed to be a growth in discontent with certain providers, there appears to be signs of a recovery in the area of customer service, although on balance there is still much room for improvement.
Talk Talk has now recovered to the same rating as it had in February 2006 before its rapid expansion into the unbundled telephone/broadband market. Sky is also showing a decent improvement suggesting the large unbundled broadband providers are getting to grips with things and maybe that Openreach is also performing better.
uSwitch.com has published the information that 19 million calls are made each year to broadband technical support lines, with the providers making £34 million a year from these calls (more detail over at Web User). At £1.79 per call on average, users obviously want to avoid calling their service provider's support service, or perhaps look more closely at areas like the cost of support calls before signing up to a service. These hidden costs are often missed in the comparisons made at time of purchase but can come back to hit those who suffer problems later. Of course online forums like our own can be very useful for users who have problems and are free to use.