Are Bigger ISPs always Better?

Posted by Karen on Mar 24, 2015 12:00:00 AM
Most people would be forgiven for thinking that large Internet Service Providers (ISPs) provide the best service in terms of consumer products as they have spent years in the market, growing at a rapid pace. However, a recent survey conducted by the consumer rights body Which? has revealed that some of the most well-known ISPs in the UK are actually faring the worst.

Over the past few months Fluidata has reported numerous times on the telecommunications giant BT and how their customers are not receiving optimal products or service. This is why it is not surprising to find that they ranked worst in Which?’s survey, scoring only 45 out of 100 for their consumer products. BT has already replied to Which?’s findings, with a spokesperson saying: "BT is surprised by this report especially as Ofcom’s comprehensive broadband report showed us to be unbeatable for reliability and speed against comparable products.

"BT is investing in customer service and has introduced several new initiatives to resolve problems for customers the first time they contact us." Sky and TalkTalk, two other big names in the connectivity industry, also received poor results in the survey with both only gaining 48 out of 100 for their consumer products. A Sky spokesperson said: "We take customer satisfaction very seriously. We continuously invest in improving the service and broadband experience for our customers and this has been reflected in the latest report from Ofcom.

"Bundling broadband and TV services together offers great value for money and plays an important role in people's satisfaction. Unfortunately the views of the vast majority of our customers who choose to do this are not reflected in this report." Meanwhile a spokesperson from TalkTalk said: "We're pleased customers rated us better than BT and are proud to be the only supplier to offer totally unlimited broadband as standard with no caps or hidden charges for features such as caller ID or voicemail.

"Our network is faster and more resilient than ever before but we recognise that we can do more, which is why we are working hard to continually improve our customers’ experience." Some of the best performing ISPs in Which?’s survey were smaller, lesser known providers such as John Lewis Broadband and Zen Internet who topped the chart with 76 out of 100 and 75 out of 100 respectively.

Discussing the survey’s findings, Which? executive director Richard Lloyd said: "Smaller suppliers are leaving larger rivals in their wake when it comes to the service they provide so we need to see the big players up their game. Ofcom is also currently reviewing this market and we now need it to identify how it plans to ensure broadband customers get a better deal.

"We've told the advertising watchdogs that companies need to be much clearer with their customers about the speeds they can expect. However, three months on, we’re still waiting for them to announce how they’ll ensure adverts only show the speeds most customers actually receive."

Those who took part in Which?’s survey were asked to rate each provider’s consumer products on clarity of bills, ease of setup, speed, reliability, value for money, ease of contacting, customer service and technical support, showing that consumers are starting to expect more from their broadband providers. Small companies know that in order to lure customers away from large providers such as BT, Sky and TalkTalk they therefore need to not only offer high-speed Internet connections but also excellent customer service.

At Fluidata we believe that connectivity solutions are not one-size-fits-all; this is why we offer our customers a range of products and services that deliver value for money and industry-leading results. Which?’s survey has highlighted the fact that reliability and customer service are becoming increasingly important when it comes to consumer facing products, however Fluidata believes this should also apply to client-facing services. Over the next few years we may start to see a shift in the connectivity market as small, dedicated providers offer more products with reliability and value for money at their core.
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