Broadband providers told to speed up

21 March 2014

The UK's broadband providers are being urged to get in the fast lane after more than two-thirds of people (63%) revealed they had suffered problems with their internet.

Research from Which? found 45% of people have experienced slow download speeds, with 58% of those saying they regularly experience the problem.

More than a quarter of customers (27%) who reported a loss of service had to wait two days for it to be returned, while one in 10 (11%) had no internet for a week or more.

Surprisingly, 31% of people said they didn't get a resolution to their problem at all, one in five (20%) said they contacted their provider three times or more in an effort to get it resolved, while a quarter (25%) of those who did were unhappy with how long it took to do so.

In response, Which? has launched a new campaign so customers can get the speed and price they pay for. ‘Give us Broadband Speed Guaranteed' calls on providers to:

  • Give customers written speed estimates at the start of the contract
  • Allow customers to exit contracts without a penalty if they don't get that speed
  • Fix loss of connection as quickly as possible and refund people for loss of service
  • Cut out the jargon - give customers information they understand.

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Frustrating slow speeds

Which? executive director Richard Lloyd, said: "The internet is an essential part of modern life, yet millions of us are getting frustratingly slow speeds and having to wait days to get reconnected when things go wrong.

"It's less superfast broadband, more super slow service from companies who are expecting people to pay for speeds they may never get. Broadband providers need to give customers the right information and take responsibility for resolving problems."

Joe Lathan, director of broadband at Virgin Media, welcomed the campaign. He said the company had consistently delivered the broadband speeds it promises and had attracted the fewest complaints (0.08 per 1,000 customers) in Ofcom's survey of broadband and television complaints, which was published in December.

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