‘More than half of UK broadband customers’ hit by connection problems

Greater than half of UK broadband prospects have skilled issues with their connections, in line with a report that claims telecoms suppliers are including “insult to harm” after forcing inflation-busting value rises on to their prospects.

Lots of the UK’s cell and telecoms corporations have been accused of “greedflation” for pushing by mid-contract value will increase of as much as 17.3%.

A report by shopper champion Which? discovered that 53% of broadband prospects skilled issues with their connection – from sluggish speeds, outages and connection dropouts – within the yr to January 2023.

Of the UK’s greatest suppliers, Sky, Virgin Media and EE had been discovered to be the worst offenders, with 68%, 65% and 63% of their respective prospects who had been surveyed reporting issues with their connections.

BT fared the perfect among the many UK’s greatest telecoms suppliers, though a majority of its prospects who had been quizzed – 51% – nonetheless mentioned that they had skilled a broadband efficiency downside within the final yr.

Even amongst smaller operators resembling Hyperoptic, Shell Vitality and Utility Warehouse, which tended to fare higher within the survey, at the very least 40% of shoppers mentioned that they had skilled at the very least one downside.

“It’s fully unacceptable that prospects who’ve confronted these eye-watering will increase are additionally experiencing so many issues with their connection,” mentioned Rocio Concha, the director of coverage and advocacy at Which?. “Earlier this yr, many broadband shoppers had been hit with mid-contract value hikes of greater than 14%, which means it’s extra essential than ever that their supplier presents a dependable connection and good customer support.”

The Which? survey of just about 4,000 broadband prospects additionally discovered that 44% had additionally skilled a customer support downside.

In Could, the telecoms regulator Ofcom launched its annual customer support report, which discovered that prospects felt that decision ready instances, getting by to the proper particular person shortly and coping with a grievance first time had been all elements that telecoms corporations may enhance.

Final week the federal government met Ofcom to debate how the telecoms trade may ease the monetary strain on shoppers fighting the price of dwelling disaster.

Potential actions raised included higher promotion, and a bigger vary, of cheaper social tariffs for essentially the most susceptible and financially strapped prospects.

In February, Ofcom launched an investigation into the widespread trade observe of utilizing mechanisms to yearly improve buyer payments by inflation, normally measured by both the buyer costs index or the retail costs index, plus an additional improve on high of between 3.4% and three.9%.

“Whereas some prospects might be able to swap away to a greater service and costs, many are trapped in contracts the place they both have to simply accept above-inflation value hikes [each] spring or pay exorbitant exit charges to go away their contracts early,” Concha mentioned. “It’s completely important that Ofcom’s overview of inflation-linked mid-contract hikes leads to adjustments that guarantee prospects are by no means trapped on this state of affairs once more.”

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