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UPD PlusNet UK Win Fifth Which? Recommended Broadband Provider Award

Thursday, September 19th, 2013 (1:14 pm) - Score 1,562

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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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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