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UK ISPs Slammed for Premium Rate Support Numbers
By: MarkJ - 05 March, 2009 (9:54 AM)

Consumer magazine Which? has slammed 32 UK broadband ISPs for using higher-cost telephone support numbers. The survey of 45 providers found that just six, including BT, O2, Waitrose and UK Online, had adopted freephone lines. PlusNet users also had the longest wait time of 8 minutes for support.

Tesco and Supanet were among those that came out the worst due to their use of premium rate 090 numbers. Making a single 10 minute land-line call to Tesco's broadband support line could end up costing you roughly 5! Tesco has since promised to "look at" its support charges:

Sarah Kidner, editor of Which? Computing, told The Telegraph: "It's particularly galling to see a huge company like Tesco broadband using such expensive lines. If other companies can offer a Freephone number, so can Tesco. After all, every little helps."

ISPs with premium rate numbers claimed that any call revenue would be used to cover the cost of providing technical support, although you could technically say that about anything. Sadly nearly a third of broadband users had been frustrated by their ISPs customer support.

Despite PlusNet's long wait time it's still refreshing to learn that overall wait time has improved, with just 12% being dissatisfied. The average wait was reportedly just 1 minute 33 seconds.

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