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Survey reveals woeful service from broadband big boys

By Barry Collins

Posted on 18 Mar 2009 at 16:35

Eight out of 11 of the country's biggest ISPs scored 50% or less for customer satisfaction in a survey conducted by

O2 topped the rankings of large ISPs, scoring 79% for customer satisfaction and 72% for reliability.

Orange came bottom of the big boys' pile, with a customer satisfaction score of only 33%. Tiscali, Pipex, AOL and TalkTalk all failed to score above 40%.

"The large companies down at the bottom are mostly the cheap ones," editor, Andrew Ferguson, told PC Pro. "If it leaves you banging your head against the desk, what's the point of saving five pounds a month?"

Ferguson blames the call-centre culture for the appalling customer service scores. "The big call centres have to wait for stuff to trickle up [to technicians] and trickle down again," he said. "It means it can be a week or more before the solution trickles down to the person on the phone."

Ferguson also claims that they "stick to the script without fail", leaving customers frustrated when help desks fail to provide practical solutions to problems.

Small and medium-sized ISPs clocked up, on average, far higher customer service rankings than their larger counterparts, with average customer service scores of more than 60%, compared to 44% for the major ISPs.

IDNet and Zen Internet scored highest among the "niche" ISPs.

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