With millions of us continuing to stay and work from home, it has been a pretty difficult year for our broadband connections. Usage has skyrocketed in the past 12 months as we all try to get online via internet shopping for endless Zoom calls, Netflix streaming, and retail therapy. Unfortunately, not all Internet Service Providers (ISPs) seem to have succeeded with the latest report from Which? Uncovering the best and worst suppliers over the past year.
It might come as a surprise that none of the big four ISPs – BT, Sky, TalkTalk, and Virgin Media – did particularly well. According to the results, seven out of ten consumers surveyed said they had had a problem with their connection in the past 12 months – a significant increase from last year’s survey.
Virgin Media rated connection reliability poorly. Every third customer stated that they had a connection failure of at least one hour in the past year. To make matters worse, nearly a quarter said their connection was slow to upload or download.
Another problem for Virgin Media appears to be customer service, ease of setup and value for money. The users indicated that they were not satisfied with the offer.
Overall, Virgin received a low customer rating of just 53 percent – placing it second in Which’s satisfaction ranking.
It’s not just Virgin being criticized with TalkTalk and Sky, but bad results too. While TalkTalk achieved pretty good value for money, it had the highest percentage of customers who would not recommend their provider to others.
Sky is poor value for money – possibly because a quarter of Sky’s customers frequently dropped out despite paying more for their service than the average broadband customer.
Sky also received low scores for connection speed, connection reliability, and ease of setup, dropping three spots in this year’s poll.
The Which survey found Sky is also the worst very slow speed provider alongside Utility Warehouse, affecting three in ten (29%) customers.
BT scored the highest of the big four, but only managed eighth place overall. Apart from the poor price-performance ratio, it received consistently mediocre reviews.
So if these ISPs aren’t providing the service consumers deserve, who is doing things right?
In this report, Zen Internet is at the top of the list. The ISP was the top broadband provider for the second year in a row (84 percent in 2020). Zen scored consistently high, and while 85 percent didn’t offer the cheapest rates, they said they would recommend it to a friend.
Which? Now it is said that the broadband industry needs to improve its game. Consumers are relying much more on their internet connection during the pandemic, and broadband companies are having to work harder to meet rising customer expectations and get great value for money.
Speaking of the report, Natalie Hitchins, which one? The Head of Home Products and Services said: “With so many people at home relying on their internet during the pandemic, a good connection has never been more important – but we have noticed that some of the UK’s largest suppliers are out of date are.
“Broadband providers need to improve their game and face the challenge of providing fast, reliable connections and good customer service to millions of customers, whose needs and expectations have increased over the past year.
“Industry and government must also work together to ensure that, in the years ahead, more people have the opportunity to move to faster, more reliable gigabit-enabled broadband services – or undermine the UK’s goal of becoming a world leader in connectivity. “