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Tiscali Tops J.D. Power Study For User Satisfaction
By: MarkJ - 06 December, 2007 (9:27 AM)

UPDATE: Added results from more ISP's under the quote.

The J.D. Power and Associates 2007 UK Broadband Internet Service Provider Satisfaction Study, which is based on responses from 1,683 broadband ISP customers, has ranked Tiscali highest in overall customer satisfaction among eight of the largest ISPs in the UK.

Suffice to say that we're a little surprised, given the complaints and moans about Tiscali on various consumer sites including ours. However over the past couple of months the number of complaints to us has dropped off slightly, could Tiscali finally be getting their act together? Time will tell.

Unfortunately it's not all good news because despite lower costs and quicker broadband services being offered, the study reveals a continued downturn in satisfaction levels. Satisfaction has fallen by 9 points to an average of 645 as many providers perform below average in customer service/technical support, performance and reliability:

The 2007 study finds that call waiting times continue to increase when customers contact their ISP, with customers now waiting an average of 17 minutes before initially speaking with a representative,” said Caspar Tearle, director of service industries research at J.D. Power and Associates. “Complaints to customer service departments have risen again in 2007, and now outnumber customer service-related questions for the first time (52% vs. 48%). With customers of most suppliers paying from their own pocket for these calls, these high levels of complaints come as no surprise.

The study also finds that, on average, broadband customers are now spending less for service—£21.10 per month, down from £25.91 in 2006. In addition, the average broadband speed has increased nearly 40 percent to 4.87Mbps (up from 3.50 Mbps in 2006), with service disruptions increasing slightly (from 5.62 in 2006 to 5.91 in 2007).

The study examines seven factors that drive overall satisfaction with broadband Internet service providers. The importance weights reflect what is most relevant to ISP customers. The factors are: performance and reliability (24%), customer service/technical support (17%); cost (13%); image (12%); billing (12%); e-mail services (12%); and offerings and promotions (9%).

So what of the other ISPs'? VirginMedia (660) follows Tiscali in the rankings with Sky (657) trailing close behind, then AOL (646), Orange (636), Pipex (634), TalkTalk (630) and finally BT. We also learn that over two-thirds of respondents reported subscribing to services other than Internet access from their ISP, including home telephone, cable or satellite TV, or mobile phone.

Nearly one-half of all users (49%) now have wireless networks at home (up from 35% in 2006). Despite this increase, the incidence of customers having a firewall on their computers is down from 89% in 2006 to 85% in 2007.

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