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British Broadband ISPs Drew Majority of Consumer Complaints in 2009

Posted: 21st Jan, 2010 By: MarkJ
consumer opinionAccording to a recent survey by ORC International, a market research consultancy, more than two thirds of us filed complaints with companies supplying our energy, telecoms and digital TV last year. However it was UK broadband ISPs that drew most of the flak, with 35% of us complaining about their services during the past 12 months.

Energy companies came a close second with 23% of us complaining about our electricity suppliers last year, and the same number to gas suppliers. The 2009 Switching Survey asked 1000 respondents from across the UK about the service they receive from utility companies – and what they do when things go wrong.

Word of mouth and Internet buzz also have a strong impact; 70% of people who complained went on to tell others about it, either in person or online. The survey found that 30% of us take personal recommendations when looking for TV or broadband, while 40% rely on the recommendations of others when choosing a mobile phone company.

Angela Richmond, Head of ORC International’s Customer Strategy and Technology Division, said:

"Underlying these survey results is a real frustration about the pricing structures and customer service offered by utilities companies. We often hear about how, as a nation, we are reluctant to complain, but our survey shows that increasingly we won’t put up with poor service or uncompetitive prices.

And we are keen to let others know about our experiences. Given that many people choose their broadband supplier through personal recommendation, that should ring alarm bells with suppliers."

The most common reasons for changing supplier are irritation at high prices, poor service, unexpected price hikes and inaccurate billing. That certainly fits in with our experience too and is one of the reasons why broadband ISPs will do anything to avoid raising their prices in such a competitive market; even if ends up being to the detriment of service quality.
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