Big four broadband firms beaten by smaller rivals in latest Which? survey

28 March 2024, 00:04

A broadband router
Broadband and mobile price rise. Picture: PA

Virgin Media, Sky, BT and TalkTalk were all placed lower in the latest customer rankings than firms such as Zen Internet and Community Fibre.

The UK’s four biggest broadband providers have been beaten by smaller rivals in the latest customer survey carried out by consumer champion Which?.

The group’s latest broadband rankings placed Virgin Media, Sky, BT and TalkTalk below smaller rivals – including Zen Internet, Hyperoptic and Community Fibre, which topped the table based on a survey of 4,471 people with a home broadband contract.

Virgin Media finished bottom in the rankings, according to the survey, receiving the lowest scores in the areas of customer service and communication.

Sky was second bottom, receiving the lowest rank for connection speed, while BT scored poorly on value for money, and TalkTalk received low ratings for customer service and communication.

Community Fibre was the top-scoring broadband provider; however, Which? said it is not eligible for its Recommended Provider status because it implements mid-contract price rises, and has not signed up to regulator Ofcom’s broadband speeds code of practice and automatic compensation scheme.

Which? said it is calling on Ofcom to ban inflation-linked price rises, and added that it is concerned about consumer feedback in its survey relate to poor customer service.

It said it will continue to call out the worst providers in key customer service areas in broadband and other sectors, and demand urgent improvements.

Natalie Hitchins, Which? head of home products and services, said: “Our latest broadband provider rankings show that consumers could be better off choosing a smaller company which prioritises customer service over a giant that also stings them with unfair mid-contract price rises.

“Customers with contracts that are ending soon should look at their switching options as our research found that consumers that did that saved almost £100 on average.

“Providers planning to cash in one last time in April with unfair mid-contract price hikes must do the right thing and adopt Ofcom’s proposals as soon as possible, while firms falling short on customer service must up their game.”

A spokesperson for Virgin Media said: “We always work hard to provide our millions of customers with excellent service and we’re continuing to make changes across our business to deliver a better experience.

“Which?’s own analysis shows we continue to offer excellent value, with customers paying an average of just 10p more per day for services they use constantly.

“The amount we receive from price increases is greatly outweighed by the £5 million we invest every single day to upgrade our networks and services, and meet ever rising demand.”

By Press Association

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