Broadband customers using the largest providers are the most likely to be getting a bad deal, a new survey has revealed.
Despite collectively supplying almost nine in 10 customers, BT, Sky, Talktalk and Virgin Media consistently rank poorly for customer satisfaction, according to consumer group Which.
Read more: Zen named best broadband provider by Which
Talktalk and Sky came bottom of the latest satisfaction rankings, earning customer scores of just 50 per cent.
Despite its reputation for cheap tariffs, Talktalk was slammed for the quality of its customer service and tech support. Sky scored slightly higher than Talktalk in most categories, but more than two-thirds of Sky customers surveyed said they were likely to switch provider.
BT – the UK’s biggest broadband provider – only just scraped past the halfway mark, posting a customer score of 51 per cent. The most frequent customer complaint was a lack of value for money, according to the survey.
Virgin Media was the highest scoring of the Big Four providers with a score of 58 per cent. But Virgin customers were by far the most likely to complain about price increases.
Natalie Hitchins, head of home products and services at Which, said: “It’s outrageous that the biggest providers are still letting their customers down with shoddy broadband, especially when we know that long-standing customers are the most likely to be overpaying.
“Anyone who is unhappy with their current provider should take back control and switch to a better deal – you could get better service and save hundreds of pounds a year.”
The top-scoring provider was independent firm Zen, which bagged first prize for the fourth consecutive year.
Which warned customers who have been with their broadband provider for a long time are the most likely to be overpaying, and encouraged consumers to haggle for a better deal.
The findings come as regulator Ofcom carries out a review of pricing practices in the broadband market. Under new rules rolled out last month, providers will have to be more transparent about connection speeds before customers sign a new contract.
A new scheme to provide automatic compensation for customers who suffer broadband faults is also set to come into force soon. The deal came after an agreement between BT, Sky, TalkTalk, Virgin Media and Zen Internet and Openreach, which controls much of the UK's network.
Some providers have argued problems such as slow connection speeds may be due to issues with Openreach's infrastructure, rather than their own networks.
A spokesperson for BT said: “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.”
Sky declined to comment. Virgin and Talktalk have been contacted for comment.