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Consumers Paying Too Much For Broadband Technical Support

Aug 23, 2007
British consumers are spending a combined total of 31 billion pounds a year just to sort out problems with their broadband services...and that doesn't mean the problems are always sorted too! According to a survey carried out by the price comparison website uSwitch we are paying more and getting less when it comes to seeking support from our broadband providers.

Many companies are using expensive 0870 and other premium rate numbers for us to call to get help when there are problems with their broadband service. Others are keeping their customers on hold for too long (on expensive rate numbers), and others just aren't sorting out our problems quickly enough.

All in all it sums up British customer service attitudes at the moment. We pay companies to provide a service and when they fail to provide their service or there is a problem with it British consumers have to fork out to get it sorted.

The uSwitch survey found that as the numbers of broadband consumers grows in the UK so do the levels with dissatisfaction. For example, whilst TalkTalk has responded to previous criticism of its poor customer service and long times spent on hold by some customers, the supposes "lucky" ones who got through, by introducing a freephone helpline, it's overall technical support isn't up to standard.

The survey revealed that UK broadband customers make 19 million calls to their broadband providers per year, which equates to a staggering 2,000 calls per hour. This number is boosted by the fact that customers are now having to ring up their broadband providers an average of three times in order to get their problem resolved, often spending an average of six minutes on hold each time!

Steve Weller, Head of Communications Services at uSwitch, said: "New advances in broadband technology appear to be having an adverse effect, with connection problems and service interruptions occurring all too frequently. Customers have found themselves having to make numerous calls to get their problems fixed so it's no wonder satisfaction is at an all time low. Broadband has become part of our lives and we now spend 34 days a year online, so when things go wrong we need assurance that our service will be back up and running again as quickly as possible and at minimum expense."

He concluded: "We call on the industry to stamp out the extortionate and inconsistent charging structures currently in operation and to focus instead on getting the service right first time. We look forward to the day that broadband works straight out of the box and we will just pay for the service we sign up to."
About the Author
Guide2Broadband discusses broadband options for residential customers, primarily for the UK market. Find out more about getting the best broadband option for your home at http://www.guide2broadband.com
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