The $6bn (£3.4bn) union between NTL and Telewest could prove that opposites attract. According to research into customer satisfaction among ISPs' customers, Telewest is the most loved service provider and NTL is the most loathed.
Customer satisfaction rankings from research company JD Power found Telewest ranked top of the providers, AOL second, followed by Wanadoo. NTL is at the bottom of the list, just behind BT. In all, results for seven major providers were revealed.
While some managed to score highly in certain areas of customer satisfaction, such as billing, image or special offers, both NTL's and Telewest's scores were far more consistent.
"Telewest does very well in most categories, NTL, which came last, does not do very well in most things," noted Ian Giles, MD of research projects at JD Power.
Of the seven factors JD Power used to rate the ISPs, reliability was found to be the most important, followed by technical support. The cost of the service is the fifth most important factor in determining customer satisfaction.
The report found that of those who had contacted their ISPs' support desk in the past 12 months, 40 percent had rung with a complaint.
Giles told ZDNet UK's sister site, silicon.com, that broadband customers, compared to other industries such as electricity, rate customer service particularly highly in their choice of providers.
"[ISPs] really need to get that right. People who ring up their ISP want to be served quickly, they want to get through to a person — they don't like automated systems — and they want to get their problem resolved by the first person they speak to," he said