£34m shelled out calling ISP tech support

Broadband blues...

Broadband blues...

UK broadband customers are increasingly dissatisfied with the service they receive - in particular the level of technical support they get.

More than a quarter (26 per cent) of users surveyed by YouGov on behalf of comparison and switching service, uSwitch, said they are dissatisfied with their overall level of broadband service.

The survey of around 11,000 broadband customers found technical support is the main bugbear, with just 49 per cent of users saying they are satisfied - down 11 per cent on March 2006.

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TalkTalk and Orange customers were the least satisfied, with 37 per cent and 40 per cent satisfied respectively.

And technical support isn't cheap either: £34m was paid on technical calls to UK ISPs in the last 12 months, at an average of 11p per minute.

The survey found 39 per cent of users - 5.1 million - called their ISP helpline in the 12 months prior to July 2007.

Steve Weller, head of communications cervices, at uSwitch.com said it is "just wrong" for ISPs to receive £34m for helping customers resolve technical hitches - noting that sales lines are free.

uSwitch is urging ISPs to waive charges for calls to technical support lines and reduce waiting times and charges for being on hold.

Despite these customer issues, uSwitch said broadband is "flourishing" with figures indicating 13 million households spend around £2.8bn per year on the service.

ISPs recently suggested the BBC should pay for the extra bandwidth broadband users will need to use the corporation's new iPlayer on-demand TV service.


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