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UPD PlusNet UK Win Fifth Which? Recommended Broadband Provider Award

Thursday, September 19th, 2013 (1:14 pm) - Score 1,488
best isp gold award

Consumer magazine Which? has granted Recommended Provider status for the fifth consecutive time to PlusNet’s Home Broadband service in their latest biannual survey of ISP reliability, value, performance and general customer satisfaction. Apparently this time around they were the only ISP to achieve the gong.

The achievement is awarded by Which?’s own members whom rate providers based on several categories. An ISP needs an overall score of 70% in order to achieve the ‘Recommended‘ status.

PlusNet claims that they gained a five star rating for accuracy of bills, with four stars for technical support, customer service, ease of contacting, ease of set-up, connection reliability, clarity of bills and value for money. In addition their home phone and broadband bundle gained four stars across all categories.

In short, PlusNet’s broadband service gained an overall score of 73%, while their home phone and broadband bundle packages achieved 76%. It’s interesting to note that the same study performed earlier this year rated the ISP as 76% for broadband and 78% for broadband and phone (here), which suggests a slight decline.

Jamie Ford, PlusNets CEO, said:

We have made many improvements to our products and services over the last 12 months including the launch of unlimited broadband. To get this recommendation for the fifth time running, based on genuine customer feedback, is very rewarding after all this hard work.”

Unfortunately we don’t have a copy of the full results and so it’s difficult to confirm PlusNet’s claim that their “home broadband is the only internet services provider to gain a Which? recommended icon“. This is important because in previous years PlusNet has usually been sharply beaten by Zen Internet and sometimes other ISPs like BE Broadband too.

If PlusNet’s claim is correct then this would suggest that Zen Internet has been dramatically pushed from its prior top score of 85% for broadband and reduced to below 70%, which would be quite unexpected given that we haven’t heard anything terribly negative about Zen recently.

UPDATE 5:13pm

According to Zen Internet, the reason they’re not included is because Which? has changed its methodology and opened up their survey to the general public. As a result smaller ISPs have been given the boot. The good news is the Zen has been allowed to retain their “Recommended” status.. at least for another 6 months.

A spokesperson for Zen Internet told ISPreview.co.uk:

We were very disappointed to find out that we were no longer a Which? Recommended Provider, this has unfortunately occurred due to changes in how Which? survey the market. Which? has changed its methodology, opening up the survey to the general public and not just Which? readership. As a result smaller ISPs have been inadvertently eliminated from the survey. We have expressed our disappointment to Which? on this matter as we feel that the results do not reflect the previous 15 accolades we have received.

Peter Vicary-Smith the CEO of Which? stated this was not intentional and upon reviewing the responses Zen had received from the survey has agreed Zen can retain its Recommended Provider status for a further 6 months in acknowledgement of its excellent feedback, a matter we are extremely pleased with. Which? now hope to review the methodology for the next survey in a bid to provide a whole market view to its readers, including representation of the niche quality providers in the market.”

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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10 Responses
  1. Avatar Charles Helmsley

    I get the feeling that somebody at Plusnet may end up with egg on ones face.

    • Why’s that Charles? I’ve seen the article and the translation of the results in our blog is fairly accurate from what I can tell.

      Best regards,

      Bob Pullen
      Plusnet Digital Care.

  2. Avatar four_eyes

    HMMMM i think these awards are farce tbh some company has to win haha but saying that its all a crock of poop 😀

  3. Avatar dragoneast

    I think any survey is subjective and influenced by how the respondents “feel” about their Provider. Loyalty if you like. SamKnows and Ofcom, I think, try to remove this with the White Box scheme, but I think again it’s a self-selecting sample of those with “something to prove”, usually how good is their connection, I suspect.

    Damned if you do and damned if you don’t, but doubtless it’s all grist to th’mill.

  4. Avatar Captain Cretin

    “As a result smaller ISPs have been given the boot. ”

    Suggesting it is a stitch up by the big ISPs pressuring “Which” to stop making them look so bad.

    Next year only ISPs with more than 10 million customers will be allowed – I wonder how the winner will be.

  5. Avatar FibreFred

    Can’t bear it if anything associated with BT wins an award?

  6. I’m always a bit cautious of this. All the metrics are in the eye of the beholder.

    For instances, Last time I checked, Utility Warehouse was riding off the back of Tiscali Business / TalkTalk Business and thus you would assume nearly identical levels or performance and reliability (allowing fro appropriate variations). I get the feeling that with their distributed sales force they tend to do a lot better as maybe some of them are filling out the surveys..

    So a lot of this is perceived…. Obviously you have to be doing something right to get the positive feedback so there is some amount of validity in this but I wish the would make the cravats or their recommendations more clear to the general public. There is other data to look that they should be making people aware of such as Ofcom reports etc.

  7. Avatar Roberto

    …”The achievement is awarded by Which?’s own members whom rate providers based on several categories. An ISP needs an overall score of 70% in order to achieve the ‘Recommended‘ status.”

    So in other words Which magazine has a lot of happy Plusnet users and nothing more. In fact they could only have one Plusnet reader/user who marked them highly and thus they score 100% satisfaction.

    I wonder how many votes/surveys were cast per ISP?

    Pointless survey from what i can see unless the sample size was equal across all the ISPs involved.

  8. Avatar Bob2002

    There’s a bit of a reality distortion field around Zen’s customers opinion of Zen. They were my first DSL ISP, and I’ve had quite a few since who cost less and also provided good customer service(I include Plusnet in that number).

  9. Avatar Captain Cretin

    I dont know how anyone could risk subscribing to Which in the first place.

    I looked at one of their Direct Debit forms a few years ago and in the small print it roughly said –

    {I agree to Which taking unspecified amounts from my account on dates to be determined by them}

    In other words you could sign up on Monday and they could drain your account dry on Tuesday and you couldnt make a claim through the DD guarantee.

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