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Smaller broadband providers give the best customer service, says Cable.co.uk

Wednesday, November 16th 2016 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

The UK’s smaller broadband providers are ahead of BT, Sky, Virgin Media and TalkTalk when it comes to customer service, a study has found.

Cable.co.uk’s customer satisfaction study found that customers of SSE, which only entered the broadband market in 2014, were the happiest with their provider’s customer service.

SSE, best known as one of the UK’s ‘big six’ energy suppliers, achieved Cable.co.uk’s highest customer satisfaction score of 7.94 out of 10.

Plusnet and Post Office Broadband also performed well in the survey of 6,000 broadband customers.

Even the so-called ‘small providers’, grouped together in Cable.co.uk’s results table, managed a higher average score than any of the ‘big four’ ISPs.

Dan Howdle, consumer telecoms expert at Cable.co.uk, said large companies are at a disadvantage when it comes to providing customers with a personal service.

“Broadly speaking, the more customers you have the more difficult it can be to keep them happy,” he said.

“High call volumes often force larger companies to migrate to more one-size-fits-all solutions that target the most common problems, but that often means a struggle for customers whose difficulties don't fit a predetermined ‘type’.

“Customers often have different priorities. If you want the fastest speeds or the most TV channels, you may be willing to accept middling or even poor customer service and problem handling to get it, and rationalise that choice by supposing it will never happen to you. But of course, it often does.”

Sky, Virgin, BT and TalkTalk were beaten by smaller competitors in Cable.co.uk's study

Sky had more success in Ofcom’s Quality of Customer Service report earlier this year.

It came out top in the communications regulator’s look at satisfactions levels among broadband customers.

According to Ofcom, 80% of the Sky’s customers were satisfied with its customer service.

Only 53% of TalkTalk customers were satisfied with its broadband customer service while Virgin Media and BT’s scores were close to the overall average of 67%.

Sky also beat its rivals in the landline and pay TV categories, scoring 79% and 76% customer satisfaction respectively.

O2 had the highest levels of customer satisfaction in the mobile industry, with a score of 80% compared to an average of 72% among mobile networks.

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