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UK ISPs TalkTalk and BT Suffer Most Negative Feedback from Consumers

Thursday, March 6th, 2014 (1:57 pm) - Score 1,155
telephone-support-rage-and-complaints

A new TalkTrack report from marketing research firm Keller Fay has revealed that an estimated 3 million negative opinions are exchanged about one or other of five major broadband ISPs providers each day, with BT and TalkTalk suffering the most from Negative Word of Mouth (NWOM). But the news is better for the rest.

According to the firm, the United Kingdom’s all-category average for NWOM is 10% and this is the same result as PlusNet received in Keller Fay’s study (i.e. lowest amount of NWOM among all of the major providers), which has tracked related comments across the Internet during the past 12 months to January 2014.

The Negative Word of Mouth Table (Highest = BAD)
1. TalkTalk 29%
2. BT 26%
3. Sky Broadband 18%
4. Virgin Media 17%
5. Plusnet 10%

Curiously Keller Fay appears to consider PlusNet a major ISP, even though they’re owned by BT and we don’t actually know how many subscribers they have, but not EE which is home to 726,000 customers. Still Plusnet does best overall, recording the lowest criticism and achieving the highest level of positive sentiment (58%); although this is still below the UK all-category average of 62%.

Never the less nobody will be surprised to find TalkTalk and BT are at the top of the bad-boys table, which leaving aside EE has also been reflected by Ofcom’s most recent complaints summary (here). It should similarly be noted from our Top 10 page that Sky Broadband has around 600k more customers than Virgin Media and BT has 2 million more than Sky (i.e. proportionally TalkTalk have fewer customers than those three but still receive the most NWOM.. ouch).

Steve Thomson, MD of Keller Fay UK, said:

Providers in this sector are struggling to achieve positive buzz for their services in the current environment. But consumers will give praise where it is due, and the best performers in the sector attract significantly more brand advocacy than their competitors.”

The study claims that people involved in negative conversations cite “having a bad experience with a supplier” as the main trigger for their negative discussions, with related conversations tending to focus on expensive prices, bad service and – in consequence – advice on switching providers.

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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.
Leave a Comment
4 Responses
  1. Avatar Raindrops says:

    This comes as no shock at all BT and Talk Talk have been the worst providers in the UK for years when it comes to supporting users.

  2. Avatar JNeuhoff says:

    Agreed, BT customer service is horrible.

  3. Avatar Richard says:

    Issues with TalkTalk billing but all being well now sorted.

    Just signed up with TT mobile and its fine

  4. Avatar George says:

    BT really are a useless organisation, i have once again had a phone fault, the second inside of a year. I will have to wait in for an engineer again this coming week even though this same recurring fault is external and down to their rubbish connections being impacted by water as they have been multiple times in the past 3 years.

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