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Brightviews Unexpected Watchdog Rant

Posted: 24th Mar, 2007 By: MarkJ
Brightview's CEO, David Laurie, has criticised Watchdog's recent BBC TV consumer broadband survey (here) for its handling of survey information. The group owns several of the ISP's that came top in Watchdog's proportional satisfaction table (Global, Madasafish etc.).

However Brightview felt that the show in question concentrated far too much on how many votes ISP's had and not the proportional rating. Typically larger providers stood to benefit:

"Basing the programme's results on volume of voters was the supreme example of the BBC's ineptitude at managing a very important survey on broadband providers. As Britain's leading consumer affairs programme, it is Watchdog's duty to inform the consumer, but by telling viewers that the "best" provider of broadband also features as one of the worst, it only confused the issue and failed to make use of some valuable consumer data. The BBC's ridiculous handling of the survey did nothing to reflect customer opinion, and misled consumers into believing that a provider which achieved a customer satisfaction significantly below average is the best.

We're encouraged by the commitment the BBC's Watchdog programme has shown to raising awareness of unacceptable levels of customer service in the broadband industry, but the true results of the survey rate all three of Brightview's services among the best in the country - a fantastic testimony to the dedication we show our customers. This fact was completely overlooked on the programme in favour of larger suppliers. Consumers have the right to know about smaller broadband companies that are providing excellent customer service, and by simply concentrating on number of voters, the BBC has made a mockery of its own survey and denied viewers the most important information gathered.

It's an interesting and perhaps unexpected outburst given that some of Brightviews vISPs' gained a lot of good publicity and were specifically mentioned in the show.

That said and Brightview does make a valid point, although at the same time the programme itself was short and couldn’t be expected to cover everything. They provided plenty more explanation and detail on the website itself.

Ultimately consumer ratings on such a programme will play a big part in how people choose providers, although we always recommend doing more extensive research. Check consumer forums, complaints history, reader reviews, news archives and anything that helps you evolve a picture of an ISP you’re interested in adopting before doing so.
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