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PlusNet Tops Customer Satisfaction Survey
By: MarkJ - 18 March, 2008 (1:44 PM)

PlusNet, fresh from winning the 'Best Consumer ISP' gong at this years ISPA awards, has come top of a broadband customer satisfaction survey conducted by YouGov for price comparison site uSwitch. The ISP scored an impressive 86% satisfaction, an increase of 8% since 2007.

Based on responses from nearly 11,000 customers, the survey revealed a 21% gap between the best and the worst providers, compared with 13% last year. It's estimated that over 4 million customers are not satisfied with their ISP.

BSkyB (Sky Broadband) took second place behind PlusNet with 81% of customers satisfied, jumping ahead of arch rival Virgin Media. Curiously, PlusNets parent provider BT has continued to decline, dropping to 6th place in the survey with overall satisfaction standing at 72%.

Orange hit bottom of the list with over a third of its 1.5m customers being unsatisfied with the overall service (35%). That's a far cry from the 83% satisfaction it held during 2006 and clearly highlights why more customers have recently been leaving than joining the provider.

Sadly Pipex, which was acquired by Tiscali last year, saw the biggest single drop in satisfaction of any provider, reaching 8th place in the ranking of nine providers - a fall of 4% since 2007 and 10% since 2006.

Meanwhile TalkTalk saw a sea change from the days of its customer service problems. Over a quarter (28%) of its users are still not satisfied, but the company has pulled itself up from the bottom two position last year to come joint 6th with BT - a rise of 3%. However, TalkTalk still comes bottom in 4 out of 11 categories: Quality of Connection, Speed, Ease of Use, Set-up Support:

Customer service Despite forking out over 3 billion a year for broadband, only 1 in 2 (52%) customers are satisfied with the levels of customer service provided by their supplier. A massive 30% gap has emerged between the best (PlusNet) and worst (Orange) provider, with Pipex (down 9% to 45%) and AOL (down 6% to 59%) seeing the biggest falls.

The lowest overall scores are seen in the category "Best Deal for You", assessing whether customers feel their provider has placed them on the most appropriate plan. Just 39% of Pipex customers are satisfied that this is the case, and the average score for all suppliers is a meagre 45%.

Technical support - Customer satisfaction with the technical support offered by broadband companies remains low, with 7 of the 9 providers failing to satisfy more than half of their customers. Overall, almost 8 million customers are unhappy with the level of support on offer when they need it the most when their broadband isn't working properly. Scoring 67%, PlusNet is the best provider in this category, while TalkTalk sees the biggest improvement with 48% of customers now satisfied, compared to a disappointing 37% last year.

PlusNet will no doubt be overjoyed by the news, which marks a great improvement for an ISP that had previously been having so many problems during earlier years. Congratulations guys.

However, it's worth remembering that the uSwitch survey fails, as usual with such sites, to include all UK ISPs and instead focuses only on the nine largest providers. Small and highly respected providers, such as Entanet, Zen Internet and many others have simply been ignored.

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