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Which? Rank UK Broadband ISPs by the Top Four Complaints

Monday, April 2nd, 2018 (2:07 pm) - Score 4,768

A new survey of more than 1,900 broadband customers across 12 different ISPs has revealed how each are ranked when ordered by the top four most common service complaints (price hikes, slow speeds, connection problems and router faults).

The study, which was conducted by Which? between December 2017 and January 2018, found that Virgin Media customers were the most likely to have experienced a problem with their broadband service, with 73% saying they had some kind of difficulty in the last year, typically due to price.

Virgin was followed by Sky Broadband (62%) and BT (61%), while Zen Internet achieved the lowest proportion of complaints, with only a quarter (25%) of customers saying they had experienced a problem.

We won’t be doing our usual analysis since Which? has chosen to put this out on a Bank Holiday Monday and the ISPreview crew are on a break, but you can read the usual press release here and see the table below. As usual we always recommending taking the results of such studies with a pinch of salt.


It’s worth pointing out that Ofcom’s own study of consumer complaints found (here) that Sky Broadband and Virgin Media received some of the lowest complaint volumes of all the major ISPs. As usual we always recommending taking the results of such studies with a pinch of salt.

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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.
Leave a Comment
15 Responses
  1. TheFacts says:

    Problems with router, like having to switch it off and on.

    1. Name says:

      Slow speeds like utilizing whole upstream bandwidth.

  2. VaerGreyloc says:

    You get what you pay for… Though it would seem plus.net has the best overall rating despite lower speeds

    1. CarlT says:

      Zen seem way better overall.

  3. CarlT says:

    John Lewis are white label Plusnet. Same network and support staff.

    There are various issues with this stuff that I won’t go in to.

    Another survey from Which? that’s worthless in the grand scheme and should be ignored much as all their others should be. Evidence is far more important than perception.

    1. New_Londoner says:

      Agreed. I tend to treat Which surveys on tech in much the same way as those published by uSwitch, which is not a compliment!

  4. TheFacts says:

    All results +/- 10%?

  5. Churms says:

    Very happy with sky always get good customer service

  6. Churms says:

    Sometimes you pay more and get less with other providers

  7. Neil Kean says:

    I’m with SSE and rarely have an issue. Download speeds, when I’ve checked using different check sites, never fall below 50mbps upload 19/20mbps. Never had reason to phone so can’t comment on customer service and all for £21:50 per month including calls and line rental.

    Only concern is what offers will be available once contract expires!!

  8. Tim says:

    I’ve been with Sky broadband since the service first started, firstly ADSL and now Fibre Max for the past 16 months. Problems have been rare and support has always been thorough.

    Most recently (Feb/March this year) I had line speed problems, with my usual 74Mbps downloads dropping as low as 50. The solution needed Openreach to replace the supply cable into the property – hardly a fault that could be blamed on Sky’s service – but an engineer was booked quickly and everything is working perfectly once more.

    Maybe it helps that I do have some clue when it comes to diagnosing and reporting issues as it streamlines the whole conversation with support staff. I also understand that distance from exchange or cabinet matters, which is a concept lost on many individuals and consumer organisations.

    It is not the fault of the ISP if you live nowhere near the key infrastructure components and switching ISP won’t magically shorten the distance or upgrade your prehistoric cabling. Nor will it sort out the mess of internal cabling and extensions within the home. And then you get customers who can’t grasp the significance of Wi-Fi speed drops when on the far side of the house from the router, or the difference between 2.4 Ghz and 5 Ghz bands, or picking the best Wi-Fi channel, not burying the router within the TV cabinet etc. etc..

    ISPs might have their faults, but they can’t defy the laws of physics or overcome inflated customer expectations, stupidity and ignorance.

    1. Gadget says:

      So another qualitative survey asking people for opinions rather than facts – would be one way of describing the Which “study”.

      At least I know that any results from my line with be measured by the “Samknows” monitoring router, with reports on speed, wifi speed and other factors each month.

      Which used to pride themselves on rigorous scientific and measurement based testing – I just wish in this area where they are trying to establish themselves as “experts” they would do the same.

    2. chrisp says:


      can you elaborate on how the Samknows monitor monitors your wifi?

    3. Gadget says:

      @chrisp – https://www.samknows.com/products/internet-performance – it does some tests using the whitebox wifi as well as the wired connection AFAIK, so enables me to see if there are problems with the set-up. Agreed not exhaustive but better than ‘phoning up a customer and asking “are you happy with your wifi”?

  9. Mickyg says:

    It should be pretty obvious to anyone that those with the most customers would have the most recorded problems and Zen had less problems simply because they have less customers it’s no Rocket Science it’s common sense so this report is pointless really.

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