Broadband News

Customer Service Awards 2010

The broadband market is saturated with different companies offering many different broadband services, countless vying to be the cheapest provider which we regularly see through special promotions aimed at attracting users based on price alone. Speed is another area which attracts a lot of attention and speed wars are taking place with BT and Virgin the key proponents striving to offer the fastest possible broadband service. Customer service might lack some of the glamour associated with being the fastest but it is arguably the most important aspect which customers will see, and can breed a very negative experience when this is bad. Our annual customer service awards aim to recognise customer service in the broadband industry, and commend those who excel at this.

TBB Awards 2010 Logo BE Unlimited O2 Broadband PlusNet
AAISP Zen Internet IDNet

We have examined nearly 200,000 ratings recorded by our users from the beginning of 2010 to the end of the year and have seen a clear indication of the quality that some ISPs show in customer service.

Gold Winner:
BE Unlimited (large ISP)
AAISP (niche ISP)
Silver Runner-up:
O2 Broadband (large ISP)
Zen Internet (niche ISP)
Bronze 2nd Runner-up:
PlusNet (large ISP)
IDNet (niche ISP)

Full Results: Large ISPs

The only change at the top of the tables this year is that BE have overtaken their sister company O2 with a 9% improvement in customer service as rated by our users when compared with last year. This boosts BE to be the winner of the large ISP category, taking gold, O2 take silver and Plusnet bronze.

ISP Customer Service Reliability
BE Unlimited 80% (4,975) 78% (5,518)
O2 Broadband 73% (12,531) 69% (13,805)
PlusNet 64% (8,348) 64% (9,205)
Sky Broadband 51% (17,256) 58% (18,638)
Virgin Media 47% (29,309) 56% (31,620)
BT Broadband 45% (32,368) 54% (35,439)
TalkTalk Business 44% (5,526) 54% (6,480)
TalkTalk 39% (35,307) 47% (38,483)
Orange 37% (8,155) 46% (8,891)

"We're incredibly pleased to have been ranked as the best large ISP in the 2011 awards because they are based on thousands of independent customer ratings. Everyone at BE works hard to make our customer service the best it can be to match our unlimited, unthrottled service so there are lots of proud smiles around the building today."

Chris Stening, (MD) BE Broadband

Full Results: Niche Providers

There have been no changes to the top three in the niche ISP category with AAISP taking gold, Zen silver and IDNet bronze. It is pleasing to see that these providers can consistently perform, with all three maintaining high levels of customer satisfaction of over 85% over several years.

ISP Customer Service Reliability
AAISP 92% (1,061) 88% (1,068)
Zen Internet 87% (4,072) 85% (4,367)
IDNet 86% (1,533) 83% (1,609)
Eclipse 69% (1,993) 70% (2,207)
Entanet 66% (1,110) 69% (1,229)
Demon 44% (2,463) 53% (2,843)

"We are pleased to have won this award a second year running, especially as we have set ourselves such high quality standards for our network this year."

Adrian Kennard, (Director) AAISP

You can take part in our customer service awards by rating your provider, each month. To do so, you either need to login on our website and use the rate your broadband provider page or you can first perform a speed test and then provide ratings after this has completed.


Be getting an award as a large ISP ? Some mistake, surely.

Zen and Talk Talk business achieved similar number of responses and yet are classified as "niche". If anyone's "niche" it has to be Be - the fastest ISP you've never heard of.

  • herdwick
  • over 10 years ago

@herdwick: We had to put the cut-off somewhere and we were guided by our split last year as well as the numbers this year. BE did get more ratings, but I agree they are closer to Zen now. It may need to change next year.

TalkTalk business should indeed be in the large group--I'll fix that in a minute. This was caused by the way in which results were logged against individual IP blocks which were merged at the end of the analysis.. individually they were in the small block.

  • seb
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • over 10 years ago

Just another load of waffle as far as I am concerned. It is strange how the big names have pushed their way to the top again, when all of them were nowhere to be seen on the which customer satisfaction survey.

  • m0aur
  • over 10 years ago

Looks like you have to BE sure to get on the right survey list - Or not!

  • m0aur
  • over 10 years ago

Well done, Be. Anyone who actually uses Be will know they have great customer service and reliability.

@m0aur... you've posted some survey results from 2008, before Be were even a big ISP? They don't do badly in them, they're simply not on the list..... and Be/O2 were on the Which? survey, they came 2nd/3rd on it, behind Zen who are top of the niche on this one.

  • tommy5dollar
  • over 10 years ago

Well I am only human. But my point was, that like politics, every broadband result is different, and particularly why BE rate so well here, when O2 are top of the pile elsewhere - 2010 of course.

  • m0aur
  • over 10 years ago

Another **** list.'s Top50 is still king of hill.

  • otester
  • over 10 years ago

See this is interesting because BE technical support is offshore as far as i'm aware.

I'd like to think this is an example of where good training goes to show that good support can be had no matter where your call centres are. Some bigger telcos should take note. UK or offshore, it shouldn't matter! Quality is key.

  • forsaken
  • over 9 years ago

@m0aur unless you're suggesting all of the lists are rigged then there is no politics to it, simply demographics, it's a case of different audiences voting, and sometimes a question of who is eligible.

  • tommy5dollar
  • over 9 years ago

I was not suggesting at all that results are rigged, but now that you come to mention it, would it be so surprising in a world where everything else up to and including elections are rigged, if we found that they were.
I think the biggest factor influencing results is user bias, probably influenced by the good old Beeb.

  • m0aur
  • over 9 years ago

Why the split between Large and Niche? Do some users *have* to use a large ISP? The top 3 Niche ISPs out-perform the large ISPs. Unless the readership of this website has a large number of users who can only go large, this division is surely misleading?

  • dsf58
  • over 9 years ago

Personally I think customer service ratings are only a representation of how good the customer service is when there is a problem with the isp. After all if you have an isp that is consistently good you wouldn't have need of the customer services and therefore not in a position to vote on it.

  • ploddo
  • over 9 years ago

Absolutely agree with <ploddo>! I've been with Plusnet for years, the ISP is good. I have only needed to use customer service a couple of times (about payment details actually - good response). I think there should be an extra option on the monthly ratings to indicate "no problems" for that month so you don't have to rate the customer service (which you haven't used).

  • Kemlo
  • over 9 years ago

It's a pity, particularly given its influential position, that thinkbroadband covers such a small proportion of the 200+ ISPs in the country. If you look at the reviews on the much more comprehensive you will find plenty of providers that come out much better than many of the award winners here: indeed, none of the large ISPs listed here are anywhere near the top ten.

  • carennydd
  • over 9 years ago

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