Personal issues for the UK's Big Internet Hosts
Article date: Wed, 02 Feb 2005 00:00 GMTCustomer service is being overlooked by the big players. Research carried out by Harper James revealed that companies made decisions about their IT solutions based on customer care rather than cost. Many Companies hosting with large, often multinational ISP's were dissatisfied with the service they received. 35% of Pipex customers interviewed were unhappy with the way problems were handled. Too many staff presented themselves as unaccountable and the right person was very difficult to find. Managing Director of UKFast, Lawrence Jones empathises. “Too many companies forget that competitive prices and quality hardware are only the beginning of a relationship.” This month UKFast are head to head with their multinational peers as they await the results of the ISPA UK Awards. Shortlisted for Best Hosting Provider, the Manchester based ISP is aware of the competition, but cites the personal level of service they provide as their advantage. Lawrence Jones has giant size confidence despite being the nipper in the group. “We're the only totally independent player in the category. Three of the other four were also placed in the shortlist last year and so it is a testament to our growth throughout 2004 that we sit in the top 5 in the UK.” Last years Best Host was described as remaining ‘customer focussed whilst expanding hugely.' Steve Bryson, Director of Halogen thinks UKFast's approach is refreshing. “In our experience, the word Fast in their name doesn't just refer to their servers but to the whole service. Any technical queries are always responded to immediately. But perhaps the main reason we prefer to use UKFast is that they speak plain English to us — a rare and highly valuable benefit in an industry plagued by techno-jargon and assumed knowledge!” The ISPA UK Awards will be held in London on February 24th and Jones is philosophical about the outcome. “We provide a Rolls Royce service for our customers and it is fantastic to be recognized by the industry. Purple Sun have done such extensive testing on our systems, it has left no doubt that these aspects are first class. But for us superb feedback on our customer service really is the best accolade. Extra notes on the ISPA UK Awards 2005. The 7th Annual UK Internet Industry Awards are in association with Purple Sun and Webuser Magazine. This years awards received over 180 entries across 17 categories – the largest ever. They celebrate innovation and best practice in the Internet sector. The Times described The 2004 ISPAs as "The awards that could have the most direct bearing on your life." Part of the awards scheme's strength is its independence and objectivity, reinforced for the second year by ISPA's research partner Purple Sun. Purple Sun was commissioned by ISPA to conduct tests and monitor the Internet services of entrants in the ISP Division over three months. Following analysis of the data, an independent data approval group - with representatives from ADSL Guide, Net4Nowt and Point Topic - approved the data and selected the shortlists for the coveted awards in the ISP Division. The finalists in each category are available at www.ispaawards.org.uk. Extra notes on Harper James research. Research conducted between 6th Dec - 17th Dec 2004 - Indepth Telephone Interviews. Total Base - 77 respondents - within the IT sector and Professional Services sector. Questions were asked on all aspects of each companies IT solutions to discover exactly how important an online presesnce is and what expectations are placed on an ISP to deliver.
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