Home
 » ISP News » 
Sponsored

Ofcom UK Calls on BT and TalkTalk to Improve Broadband Speed Information

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012 (10:49 am) - Score 1,000

The UK communications regulator, Ofcom, has today released the results from its latest mystery shopping research, which was designed to assess ISP compliance with the regulators Voluntary Code of Practice on Broadband Speeds. The study found that ISPs provided a speed estimate to consumers, without prompting, in 59% of all calls (rising to 93% after prompting, which is up from 85% in 2010).

Ofcom’s code requires member ISPs (listed here) to explain to new customers the access line speed that they are likely to achieve at home, and to try to resolve any problems when speeds fall significantly below the estimate. According to the code, if the problem cannot be resolved then customers will be able to leave their ISP without penalty (within the first 3 months of a contract).

The new study found that KC (76% of cases), Sky Broadband (72%) and PlusNet (67%) were the ISPs most likely to give callers an estimated speed without prompting, while TalkTalk (47%) and BT Retail (48%) were significantly less likely to provide a speed estimate without prompting from the caller.

For example, BT said that its agents usually only provided detailed speeds estimates once the customer has agreed to proceed with an order, yet Ofcom’s code requires that this information must be provided “as early as practicable within the sales process” (i.e. well before an order is agreed).

ofcom uk broadband speed survey

The results represent an improvement on the regulators first study in 2010 (here), especially with information provided through online sales channels (websites etc.), although clearly many broadband ISP still need to improve their communication skills for phone queries.

Claudio Pollack, Ofcom’s Consumer Group Director, said:

It is vital that as the choice of broadband services expands, UK consumers get the best possible information when choosing a broadband provider. Our mystery shopping shows that, while consumer information about broadband speeds has improved in important areas, there is still more to be done.

We are working with internet providers to improve information that consumers receive when they sign up to a new service and will continue to monitor this area closely.”

As a result Ofcom has since had “discussions” with both BT and TalkTalk, both of which have agreed to address this issue by amending their staff training and sales processes. Ofcom has also taken action to further improve information for consumers by making clear to ISPs that they must provide details on speeds as early as possible in the call.

The regulator has also updated its consumer guides on choosing a broadband ISP and broadband speeds to help consumers ask the right questions before signing up to a new service or switching provider. The Speed Code itself was last updated in 2011 and Ofcom intends carry out a further review over the next year to ensure that it is “still appropriate for consumers’ needs“.

Ofcom will also conduct further mystery shopping research in 2012 to check whether improvements in compliance have been made.

Ofcom’s Broadband ISP Mystery Shopping Survey 2012
http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/research/broadband-research/mystery-shopping-2012/mystery-shopping-overview.pdf

Leave a Comment
6 Responses

Comments are closed.

Comments RSS Feed

Javascript must be enabled to post (most browsers do this automatically)

Privacy Notice: Please note that news comments are anonymous, which means that we do NOT require you to enter any real personal details to post a message. By clicking to submit a post you agree to storing your comment content, display name, IP, email and / or website details in our database, for as long as the post remains live.

Only the submitted name and comment will be displayed in public, while the rest will be kept private (we will never share this outside of ISPreview, regardless of whether the data is real or fake). This comment system uses submitted IP, email and website address data to spot abuse and spammers. All data is transferred via an encrypted (https secure) session.

NOTE 1: Sometimes your comment might not appear immediately due to site cache (this is cleared every few hours) or it may be caught by automated moderation / anti-spam.

NOTE 2: Comments that break our rules, spam, troll or post via known fake IP/proxy servers may be blocked or removed.
Cheapest Ultrafast ISPs
  • Gigaclear £17.00 (*40.00)
    Speed: 200Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Community Fibre £20.00
    Speed: 150Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Virgin Media £25.00
    Speed: 108Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Vodafone £25.00
    Speed: 100Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Hyperoptic £25.00
    Speed: 150Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
Large Availability | View All
Cheapest Superfast ISPs
  • Hyperoptic £17.99
    Speed 30Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • NOW £21.00
    Speed 36Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Shell Energy £21.99
    Speed 35Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Vodafone £22.00
    Speed 38Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Plusnet £22.99
    Speed 36Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: £60 Reward Card
Large Availability | View All
The Top 20 Category Tags
  1. FTTP (4004)
  2. BT (3128)
  3. Politics (2085)
  4. Building Digital UK (2007)
  5. Openreach (1948)
  6. FTTC (1915)
  7. Business (1801)
  8. Mobile Broadband (1584)
  9. Statistics (1483)
  10. FTTH (1369)
  11. 4G (1357)
  12. Virgin Media (1263)
  13. Ofcom Regulation (1225)
  14. Fibre Optic (1220)
  15. Wireless Internet (1218)
  16. Vodafone (917)
  17. EE (896)
  18. 5G (870)
  19. TalkTalk (812)
  20. Sky Broadband (781)
Promotion
Helpful ISP Guides and Tips
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
Sponsored

Copyright © 1999 to Present - ISPreview.co.uk - All Rights Reserved - Terms , Privacy and Cookie Policy , Links , Website Rules , Contact