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British Broadband Users Lose Trust in their ISPs

Posted: 09th Feb, 2009 By: MarkJ
The results from 526 respondents to ISPreview.co.uk's latest monthly survey reveal that just 25% of British people have a high level of trust in their ISP, while 44% have a lower level of trust now than they did a year ago. However 47% claimed that their trust had been unchanged over the past year, while just 9% had a higher trust of their provider.

Poor service performance (39%) was voted the most likely area to negatively impact consumer trust of an ISP, which was followed someway behind by customer support (19%), sudden/unexpected service changes (16.5%), dishonest advertising (10%) and sudden/unexpected price changes (8%).

Loss of trust is not something to be taken lightly. Regaining the support of a disgruntled customer is often far harder than holding on to it in the first place. Our survey also reveals that 38% of consumers currently have a low level of trust in their ISP, which must surely be a big cause for concern.

The results indicate that consumers notice when the service they’ve joined fails to match up with initial expectations, which is often fuelled by unrealistic advertisements. Unexpected and unwelcome changes to their existing packages can also cause frustration (e.g. price increases or more usage restrictions etc.), as can the inability of an ISP to offer effective customer support.

Customers with a high degree of distrust are obviously far more likely to look elsewhere for an alternative. Trust is all about reliability and predictability; it’s important for ISPs to make sure that the service they provide doesn’t fall too far short of expectations and avoids making unexpected negative changes to existing packages. If a provider really must make a change then it should give customers at least one month’s warning, preferably a lot more!

Meanwhile we’ve just uploaded our latest monthly front page survey, which asks: "How should ISPs tackle illegal P2P file sharing (if first warning letter fails)?"
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