How to Get the Best Service From Your Next Broadband Provider

Broadband services are relatively new but old rules apply in many cases. The old rule that I’m referring to is plain and simple service standards.

In general, nothing frustrates customers more than poor service standards. This is especially true for broadband services here in the UK.

Each and every day, customers publicly complain about what they perceive to be poor service standards from the big high speed Internet providers. There are 2 main areas that irritate customers enough to send them running for the hills (or at least to a new service provider).

  • Slow and unreliable connections
  • Poor customer service standards

In many cases, customers become so frustrated that they are happy to swallow hefty early cancellation fees just to switch to a provider that offers better service standards.

What poor service standards can mean for you

Essentially it can mean lots of wasted time. If your broadband connection is slow or perhaps disconnects at frequent intervals, it’s up to you to resolve the issue with your Internet Service Provider (ISP).

This means picking up the phone and calling. Inevitably, you will spend time following through your problem to a satisfactory conclusion. The amount of time that you spend depends on:

  • The available resources to deal with your issue – it could be several minutes before your are connected to a representative
  • The knowledge of the representative – many representatives are trained only in basic first line support such as asking you to try turning your router on and off
  • The fluency in English of the representative – many complaints are made from customers who are simply not able to understand the dialect of off-shore support staff
  • The company processes and procedures that are in place to deal with your issue
  • Last and most importantly, does the company and representative really care about solving your issue or is it more interested in fobbing you off with excuses such as “it must be your computer”?

In many cases, customers can spend weeks or even months calling their ISP in an effort to resolve technical problems. Where these issues are not resolved, is it any wonder that frustration prevails?

Before you sign up

Choosing an ISP that ultimately delivers poor service standards can cost you time and hassle. Once you’ve signed up, it’s not easy to cancel and move to another provider during the initial contract period which is usually a minimum of 12 months. This is why it’s important to do some research to help make the right decision before your sign up.

Broadband reviews

One of the best ways of researching your next broadband provider is to read what other customers are saying about it.

Look on-line for the numerous review sites and take a look at what people are saying. Look for common themes in comments such as

  • Slow connection speed
  • Frequent disconnection
  • Long wait times on hold when calling for assistance
  • Incorrect billing and overcharging
  • Representatives hanging up the phone prematurely

Consistent mention of these points are potential warning signs that can alert you to an ISP that both could waste your valuable time and provide unwelcome stress.

Look instead, for providers that have generally good reviews. Remember that it’s human nature to complain so don’t be put off by the occasional bad user review. Look instead at the average review rating for a provider.

Nowadays, reliable and fast broadband connections are essential to our everyday living both at work and at home. Unreliable, slow broadband is not just an inconvenience it can have dramatic consequences in our work and home life. It’s simply not acceptable to be stuck with poor broadband connection and service standards from our ISP.

Sadly, there are still ISPs in the UK that attract consistently poor customer reviews and deliver unacceptable standards of connection and service to their customers.

Are they losing customers due to low service standards?

Inevitably, yes.

Do they care?

Ultimately, probably not. A common solution to high levels of customer attrition seems is to be to engage in more aggressive marketing techniques to attract new customers to replace those that quit. Such techniques include practices such as sneakily disguised opt-in clauses in on-line availability checkers. Anyone using these checkers can expect a follow up sales phone call from the ISP.

To my mind, this is a business model that is not sustainable. Surely it has to be more expensive to attract new customers than it is to keep existing customers happy?

Conclusion

There’s an old saying: “Good things aren’t cheap, cheap things aren’t good”. Based on the the reviews posted on numerous review websites, it definitely appears that it’s the “cheap” providers that consistently attract the highest proportion of customer complaints.

Do yourself a favour before switching provider. Take some time to read the on-line reviews before taking the plunge.

Mobile Broadband – Futuristic Technology is Already Here

Read this – The first quarter of 2010 saw Virgin Media add 70,000 broadband subscribers to its ever growing list of customer base. The rollout of BTs 21s means a number of towns in Lancashire is going to benefit by way of very fast broadband services.

Vodafone gives along with its 30 day mobile broadband contract deal free USB, and other attractions. And most of them are increasing and adding new incentives with each passing day. For instance, now free streaming movies are very much a part of the mobile contract deal. This was not the case earlier.

Broadly speaking, Mobile broadband refers to various types of wireless high speed internet access gained through a modem, phone or other such device.

By the end of 2009, starting with Luxembourg many countries had already, or were in active process of shifting from analogous communication to digital services. Here, besides, mobile phone communication, and internet usage, we are including television also. In the case of television, the term used to describe the technology is Digital TV. Digital Television provides you the combined advantages of access to internet and web content and to the various regular channels aired by different electronic media, including the BBC.

It will not be far-fetched here to state that mobile broadband is the backbone of the convergence technology evolving and developing all around us.

The Apple iPhones and other superphones are good examples where a mobile phone device is based on broadband connections and utilities for offering its web content and Wi-Fi activation.

Practically all the major UK networks – Orange, O2, Virgin Media, Vodafone, 3 Mobile, T-Mobile – offer broadband services including connections. Most of them charge what can safely be termed as very reasonable and value for money deals.

For instance, for a mere 15 pounds a month you obtain broadband connection from 3 Mobile and other networks also offer similar deals with slight variations.

How Can My Business Get Faster Broadband Speeds?

Fast broadband internet access is no longer an accessory, but can be a vital part of business strategy for companies looking to stay ahead and meet the demands of their workloads, as well as their customers.

With the government’s plans for universal high speed internet access still being some distance from becoming reality, especially in more secluded and rural areas of the country, it is a mandatory consideration for businesses to ensure high speed connectivity for themselves when setting up offices in a new location.

While moving to business parks with existing broadband connections can be a useful starting point, it is often down to the individual business to find the most practical broadband speed for its purposes.

With faster internet access, workers can take advantage of all the latest developments shaking their particular industry, such as video conferencing and social media interaction, without running into barriers through slower speeds or poor connections. As technologies such as cloud computing are adopted by ever more companies, faster broadband speeds also enable real-time collaboration on documents that can revolutionise the way businesses operate, and these technologies can be dependent on a reliable and high speed connection.

However, it should be remembered that different sized businesses can have vastly different requirements, and for smaller businesses – particularly those operating out of a home office or on a single computer – standard broadband speeds of around 2MB are often more than sufficient. Larger businesses operating multiple computers in a location may find they require speeds in excess of 8 to 10MB, though in some cases even this may not be enough to meet their ever-changing needs.

Fortunately, it is usually a simple process for businesses to upgrade their connections and boost their broadband speeds, whether that means upgrading their existing account or switching to a new provider for their business broadband needs. This can even include optional features such as access to wireless internet, and there may also be benefits to switching your other telecommunications services such as phones to the same provider as your broadband, to enjoy extra financial and operational benefits.

So, while speed is an important factor to take into account, it should not be the only consideration for businesses looking to get the best service out of their broadband provider. The strength of the connection can also mean the difference between smooth running around the clock or your internet service cutting out during a vital sales conference. By choosing a reputable company for their business broadband operations, companies can enjoy fast and responsive service at all times.