Broadband: 25% ready to switch supplier

The number of broadband users who are 'very' or 'fairly' dissatisfied with their service has doubled to 9 per cent in the past year

Broadband users in the UK are becoming increasingly annoyed about the level of service they get from their ISPs, according to a new report. Point Topic 's latest Broadband User Survey shows that many UK web users are dissatisfied with their broadband suppliers.

"The change since our last survey is striking. Within ten months the satisfaction levels have declined significantly," said Dr Katja Mueller, research director at Point Topic.

A year ago, 92 per cent of UK broadband users said they were 'very' or 'fairly' satisfied with the service they received; this number had dropped to 77 per cent by December 2006. Those 'very' or 'fairly' dissatisfied with their service doubled to 9 per cent.

Newer players in the broadband market receive most of complaints. Nearly 17 per cent of TalkTalk customers and 14 per cent of Sky broadband users were 'very' or 'fairly' dissatisfied with their ISP's service.


Some 5,000 UK broadband users were queried about the speed of their broadband connection, clarity of their bills and value for money. When asked about the after sales support offered by their ISP, those who said they were 'fairly' or 'very' dissatisfied with the level of service had risen to 18.3 per cent in December 2006, from seven per cent last February.

"This suggests that many ISPs are focusing on the rush to gain market share in a rapidly consolidating market at the expense of customer service. In the long run they may pay dearly for this neglect," said Mueller.

Point Topic says that many customers are likely to swap ISPs over the coming year and that this will be a major factor affecting the consumer broadband market in 2007. One in ten respondents said they had already switched ISP in the last six months.

"With 25 per cent of respondents telling us that they were ready to switch supplier, ISPs may have their work cut out trying to keep hold of their hard won customers," Mueller said.

Ofcom recently introduced new rules to make it easier to switch broadband providers . Its General Condition 22 requires all ISPs to issue a migration access code ( MAC ) to customers who wish to switch broadband providers. Previously, ISPs were not required to supply MACs, which often made changing providers a complicated and lengthy process.

The survey shows that NTL - now part of Virgin Media - is the biggest broadband firm with 24 per cent of the market, followed by BT with 21 per cent.