Calling for help with broadband costs consumers up to £4 million a year according to a report by uSwitch. With over 18 million homes now with a broadband connection, the industry has seen a 25% increase in the number of calls to technical support lines this year. The survey by YouGov questioned over 7,500 customers and these saw that the average call is around 15 minutes, with 5 minutes of this time being spent waiting to get through to an operator. Whilst this call is free for some users, others can pay up to 86p per call.
Satisfaction of customers with technical support also varies. Just 58% of broadband customers were satisfied with the technical support offered, whilst 12% where not happy. Of course, this varies between providers, with O2 and PlusNet coming out top of this survey (at 74% satisfaction rating) whilst Orange came bottom with just 43% of customers satisfied. TalkTalk customers reported the longest hold time to speak to an advisor with an average wait of 7 minutes.
"It's outrageous that at a time when everyone is having to keep a very close eye on what they spend, many consumers are having to pay their broadband provider for customer support calls! Research that we conducted with YouGov last year highlighted how much of a problem this is - 9 out of 10 consumers stated that they shouldn't have to pay to get a problem fixed - and I am really disappointed that in 12 months the industry hasn't moved on.
At KC we firmly believe that it is wrong for consumers to have to pay for the privilege of reporting a problem that needs to be fixed, and we would like to assure our customers that they will never have to pay to contact our customer service lines."Nick Thompson, (Director of Consumer Affairs) KC