BT has come bottom of the eight major UK broadband providers in a customer-satisfaction survey.
In the JD Power and Associates 2007 UK Broadband Internet Service Provider Satisfaction Study, the company scored 626 points out of a possible 1,000 — 42 points behind the top-rated Tiscali, which scored 668.
Tiscali moves up from third place in 2006, scoring well on its billing process.
However, despite falling costs and rising broadband speeds, there is a continuing overall downturn in customer satisfaction this year — largely due to increasing call-waiting times.
The average satisfaction level has fallen nine points, compared with 2006, to 645, while the average call-waiting time now stands at 17 minutes.
For the first time in the survey's three-year history, customer-service complaints outnumbered service-related questions.
Behind Tiscali came Virgin Media, with a score of 660, followed by Sky (657), AOL (646), Orange (636), Pipex (634), TalkTalk (630) and, finally, BT.
The director of service industries research at JD Power, Caspar Tearle, said the high level of complaints "come as no surprise", as customers are "paying from their own pocket for these calls".
The survey — which took responses from 1,683 UK broadband customers — takes into account performance and reliability, customer service and technical support, cost, image, billing, email services and offerings and promotions.
The survey also found the average broadband subscription cost has fallen to £21.10 per month — down from £25.91 last year — and average broadband speed has risen by 40 percent to 4.87Mbps.
More than two-thirds of respondents said they receive services other than broadband from their ISP — such as home telephone, cable/satellite TV or mobile phone.
BT declined to comment on the findings.