Small Improvement in UK Satisfaction with Broadband and Phone Services - ISPreview UK
Ofcom has published its annual Consumer Experience Report, which shows that satisfaction with fixed line broadband ISP and phone service reliability has ever so slightly improved over the past year. But the proportion who were dissatisfied with their service remains at 9% for broadband customers, 6% of mobile users, 4% of landline callers and 4% of TV viewers.

The UK telecoms regulator’s data suggests that only satisfaction with mobile network operators remained fairly static, with all of the other sectors showing a general improvement in consumers who classified themselves as either “Very” or “Fair Satisfied“. Overall between around 1,300 to 1,700 people aged 16+ responded to questions about each sector and a summary of the outcome can be found below.

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As usual Ofcom has included another one of their famously tedious and quite lengthy 244 page reports to accompany this data, which we won’t even attempt to disassemble in its entirety for fear of losing our sanity. However we have included a few highlights from the report below.

It’s interesting to note that consumer satisfaction with the speed of fixed broadband services has increased from 75% in the last report to a cool 80% now, which is perhaps largely due to the growing uptake of superfast broadband connections that are both faster and often also more reliable. But some aspects of the service do cause more complaints than others.

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Interestingly switching levels (i.e. changing from one provider to another) have declined since the last report in almost all communications markets. The largest decline is noted in the mobile market, which sat at 7% (down from 11% in 2013). Switching in the fixed-line and fixed broadband markets each dropped by three percentage points since last year (from 9% in 2013 to 6% in 2014). The total level of switching of the main TV provider remains lower at 2%, but statistically unchanged since last year (3%).

The reasons for considering, but not actually switching, provider appears to vary by market. In the broadband market it’s the “perceived hassle” involved that was the main reason why those who ‘considered’ swapping ISP had not actually done so (28%). In the fixed-line market it was “satisfaction with the current provider” (30%) and in the mobile market it was “terms and conditions” (39% and that’s up 16 percentage points since last year).

Overall half of all switchers (when prompted) said they had experienced difficulties when switching, even though most still thought it was “easy to switch“. Ofcom are of course getting ready to implement an easier migration solution for phone and broadband ISP during June 2015.

Elsewhere it’s noted that the majority (79%) of households continue to own both a fixed-line and a mobile phone, with a further 5% taking fixed-line only and 16% going mobile-only. Just over a quarter (28%) of 16-24s are in mobile-only households, with mobile-only households more prevalent in urban (17%) than rural areas (9%).

On top of that the research found that 14% of consumers with a fixed-line said they never used it to make phone calls, and 42% of all fixed-line users said their main reason for having one was in order to get broadband.

Finally, take-up of the internet remains stable, with four in five (83%) households able to access the internet at home. Seventy-eight per cent of households use either fixed and/or mobile broadband, 5% have access only via their mobile phone and 1% use a dial-up internet connection.