UK vents spleen at broadband frustrations

Poor connection speed and customer service are among the major gripes of UK broadband users, according to a survey

Firing up fat pipes is inducing anger in many UK broadband customers, according to a survey commissioned by O2 Broadband.

More than half (56 percent) of Britons polled admitted broadband issues have made them lose their temper with their hardware.

Broadband consumers in Cardiff are the most likely to become angered, according to the survey, while users in Bristol are the most dissatisfied with their service. Nearly a quarter of users there said they plan to switch broadband providers in the next three to six months.

Speed tops the list of fat-pipe frustrations, with nearly a quarter of respondents saying sluggish connections are the most annoying thing about their broadband service.

This is in line with a report last year by price-comparison website, which found nearly four million broadband users are unhappy with the speed of their connection and that the average customer pays £213 per year to receive a speed of 5Mbps but, in reality, receives only 3Mbps.

But the UK's fat pipe-related frustrations don't stop at speed, according to the latest survey. Customer service is also an annoyance for many broadband users — with 20 percent of respondents saying they have difficulty getting through to their provider, and the majority describing being put on hold as one of the most stressful situations of daily life.

Meanwhile, more than one million Britons are spending at least six hours setting up or troubleshooting their service, with 20 percent having to contact their provider at least three times to resolve problems.

The survey also found the most technology-savvy broadband consumers live in Brighton, while Sheffield dwellers are statistically most likely to need help setting up or managing their service.

The survey was based on the responses of 1,500 broadband users across the UK.