The latest moneysupermarket.com research has revealed that many broadband customers still experience average delays of roughly two weeks when attempting to change ISP, though this is still an improvement over previous years.
Sadly two weeks may actually seem short to some people, especially if you're a TalkTalk customer. The study showed that users of The Carphone Warehouses offspring had to wait an average of nearly five weeks to swap! But there is, again, some good news to be found too:
AOL and Virgin are two of the most improved providers from the previous year, shaving over a week off their connection times.
The research also shows 39 per cent of Virgin customers and 33 per cent of Orange customers had their broadband installed in less than a week compared to just 11 per cent of Sky customers. Over one in 10 (13 per cent) Talk Talk customers had to wait between seven to 10 weeks to get their service completely up and running.
We shouldn't need to point out the irony of AOL's improvement, which is also owned by The Carphone Warehouse. Though we suspect AOL's BT based customers accounted for much of the faster pace:
Jason Lloyd, head of broadband at moneysupermarket.com, said: “It is great to see that in most cases providers are working hard to connect their customers in an acceptable time frame. It seems logical that Virgin Media and BT are good at connecting their customers quickly because they have their own infrastructure and engineers in place. However, there is still a room for improvement, especially amongst those providers that take over three weeks to connect people.
To help cut down on delays, you should get written confirmation from the provider you’re moving to stating when you will get connected and hold them to that date. It’s a little known part of the MAC code regulation that providers should tell you when they intend to connect you to their service. If you have a dispute with them over this and you have the promised connection date in writing the matter can be easily resolved, especially if you want to cancel the contract as it proves the provider has breached their terms of service to you.”
We should also mention that customers of Sky's new broadband service typically had to wait 3 weeks, which came second highest behind TalkTalk. Sadly the research only appears to factor in the largest of providers, which is a shame because we suspect smaller ISP’s would fair a lot better.
In addition Ofcom has yet to fully iron out their migration code rules for situations where customers need to move between fully unbundled and BT based ISP's. These situations often end up taking a little longer.
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