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.
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?
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?
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.