UK Broadband ISP Email Support Quality Rated - ISPreview
UK Broadband ISP Email Support Quality Rated
By: Mark Jackson - May 26th, 2009 : Page 5 -of- 5
"The top ten positions were almost all exclusively held by smaller providers"

EXCLUDED TEST. Vispa Internet

Reply Time: n/a
Question Score: n/a
Summary: Offered direct email contacts but failed to reply and answer any questions. We sent several emails to all their addresses but after 14 days no reply had been received.

VISPA UPDATE (28/05/2009): It should be noted that due to a bug in how Vispa's email platform handles BCC mails it is likely that their system would have cast aside some of our messages. As a result Vispa's bottom rating and inclusion in this list should be disregarded.

Conclusions

The testing, though simplistic, appears to support the notion that big isn’t always better, at least when it comes to email based customer service quality. The top ten positions were almost all exclusively held by smaller providers, with the little known but often highly commended AAISP deserving an extra special mention for coming 1st, albeit only by a very small margin; Fast.co.uk, NewNet and IDNet were all close to the top.

UK ISP AAISP responded to say:We take support very seriously. Customers can talk to us on the phone, email, irc, usenet and sms and we will try and respond promptly however they communicate. We train all of our staff to be able to answer questions, or find someone who can.

Meanwhile, many of the big boys, such as AOL UK, BT, TalkTalk, Tiscali and Sky, could be found languishing in the bottom half of the table and clearly need to put more effort into their email support. AOL UK failed to even reply.

Happily most of the ISPs responded either within the first 24 hours or just outside of it, which is an encouraging sign. By comparison the least encouraging sign was the inability of so many providers to know which Ofcom approved Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) scheme they were members of, which is a critically important thing for any email support staffer to know.

It should be noted that some ISPs, such as TalkTalk, BT and Tiscali, do have strong Internet forums and or other methods for handling online support. Typically our testing was only focused on email. This test should thus not be taken as a blanket assessment of any ISPs overall support quality. We would have liked to test telephone support too, though the costly premiums charged by some providers make this too expensive.


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