TalkTalk and Sky are 'failing' customers with poor broadband speeds and service

Which? notes four of the UK's major broadband providers are consistently under-performing

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Britain's biggest broadband providers aren't offering speeds to match their stature, with customers of the most popular companies "most likely" to be getting a bad deal, according to a new Which? report.

The consumer investigator's latest broadband satisfaction survey indicates that TalkTalk and Sky were the biggest offenders, offering poor speeds, bad value for money, connection dropouts and general service problems.

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TalkTalk failed to score well in any category of the survey, slammed specifically for poor customer service and value for money. More than a quarter of TalkTalk customers said they had experienced slow speeds over the past year. Two-thirds of Sky customers reported they considered switching providers, mainly due to slow speeds too.

BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media together comprise almost 90% of the nation's broadband providers and the four firms have consistently assumed positions at the bottom of Which?'s league table.

BT was singled-out for recording dismal rating for its customer service; one in five customers reported poor internet speeds, too.

"We're working hard every day to provide our customers with the UK's best customer service and while we have more work to do, we receive fewer broadband, home phone and mobile complaints than we did last year," said a BT spokesperson. "We continue to invest in our products and services as part of our commitment to provide customers with the best connections, at home and on the go".

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Virgin Media was the best of the bad bunch beating the three other major providers, however, it was the company most likely to be complained about when it comes to price increases and connection downtime. More than half of their surveyed customers had experienced a price increase in the past year and service outages were reported for hours or days at a time, in some cases.

"We are pleased to see that our customers are the most satisfied among the major broadband providers in the UK and that they recognise the benefits of our ultrafast network," said a Virgin Media spokesperson. "We are continuing to invest in our network, as well as our products and services such as the new in-home Intelligent WiFi features, and are committed to working hard to give our customers a first-class service."

Vodafone experienced the most significant drop in ratings which in years past sat in the top half of the table, plummeting to the bottom half this year. It was also the most complained about provider between July and September 2018 by Ofcom.

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Bottom of the table TalkTalk said that the results were "disappointing", adding more customers than ever are staying with the provider as is rolls-out service improvements.

The UK's telecoms regulator Ofcom has launched a new code of practice under which consumers can demand a minimum broadband speed from their provider.

If an ISP fails to deliver that minimum speed, or they are unable to address slow speeds within a month of being notified, then customers can now break any contract they are under and leave the service without suffering a penalty charge.

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