Broadband not such a consumer heaven

Broadband not such a consumer heaven

Only half of the UK's households signed up to broadband Internet connections are satisfied with their service, a report from Which? magazine claims today.

Companies marketing high-speed Internet connections offer poor levels of support and make switching between providers a "headache", the report says.

Only half of respondents to the Which survey say they are satisfied with the levels of support offered by their providers, while only two thirds think their service offers value for money.

"Several readers told us switching is hard due to a lack of co-operation between ISPs," the survey says, before noting that a new agreement between ISPs - but excluding cable companies like NTL and Telewest - "should improve things".

But it adds that moving existing contracts was "fraught with difficulties" as providers didn't always seem able to move contracts to new addresses.

"Instead you may need to take out a new contract at a new address. This sometimes means signing up for another year," Which? says. "This can sometimes take a couple of weeks and you may be charged £25 to £50 for a new line to be activated."

Transferring email addresses is virtually impossible when providers are changed in the same way as mobile phone companies make it difficult to transfer telephone numbers.

In terms of overall satisfaction with the big broadband providers, Telewest's Blueyonder came out ahead of BT and NTL. Only 8% of Blueyonder customers are dissatisfied with support levels with the same number believing the service poor value for money. Meanwhile, 29% of NTL customers think the company offers unsatisfactory levels of support, while 20% of BT customers said it offers poor value for money.

Malcolm Coles, editor, Which?, said:

‘Broadband's a big hit with UK consumers, provided you've got the right ISP and the right security software. Not having security software while connected to the Internet has been compared to driving without a seat belt. But the good news is that protecting your PC can be free.’

UKFast customers can download recommended security software by using their Client login and following links to the FAQ’a section before typing in ‘Virus’ in the search box.

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