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Satisfaction with many UK services is probably at an all-time low, but more than a third of people (38.5%) believe the UK’s broadband providers offer the worst customer service of any industry, and more than a quarter of people are left furious, upset or confused after speaking to their broadband provider’s customer services, according to research by leading alternative broadband provider Hyperoptic.
For the study, Hyperoptic, which claims to be the UK’s largest exclusively full-fibre internet service provider, commissioned Attest to survey 1,000 UK broadband bill payers between 25 and 29 August 2023.
The bad news for the UK’s broadband industry was that as many as 30% of the sample said they believed their broadband provider simply did not care about them. It also found that the thought of speaking to their broadband provider left nearly a third of people (29.9%) feeling either “dread” or “frustration” at how difficult it is to get in touch with a real person.
And despite three-fifths (60%) of respondents saying bad customer service would make them change their broadband provider, almost a quarter (23%) had never switched, 30% said they wanted to but it was too time consuming or too much hassle, and 22% said they would switch but knew their current provider would make it hard for them to leave.
More than a third (39.5%) of those unhappy with the service from their current provider said it was difficult to get through to a real person, while 39.3% said they were passed around to different people. However, just 5% of those customers are in the process of making a switch and 23% have never switched.
The findings come as Hyperoptic aims to renew its focus on its customer commitments, seeking to address the apathy that customers feel towards the sector by demonstrating how broadband should be done, setting a new standard for the industry by demanding more for customers. It is offering customers 24/7 access to the customer service team, 365 days a year, allowing customers to leave with no charges if they don’t love their service within 30 days, and simplifying the switching journey with a dedicated Hypercare rep to manage their switch.
“The customer experience offered by most broadband providers is mediocre at best and extremely poor at worst, and people are just putting up with it,” said Hyperoptic founder and CEO Dana Tobak. “Nearly a third of the people we spoke to said their broadband provider doesn’t care about them, yet they continue to put up with it. They don’t know that there is a better option available. As the original broadband market disruptor, and the first to deliver gigabit broadband to the UK, we’re now setting out to disrupt the customer experience status quo, showing people how broadband should be done.”
Dana Tobak, Hyperoptic
Hyperoptic has been growing rapidly over the past year or two, and in July 2022 it announced it had hit a triple-figure milestone by connecting more than 100,000 new-build homes to its full-fibre network. The company has positioned itself as the connectivity partner of choice for new-build developers, enabling them to meet the obligations outlined in planned changes to Building Regulations 2010, which will require that all new homes have gigabit broadband as standard. It now has partnerships with more than 250 developers across the UK and is working with 17 of the top 20 housebuilders.
To ensure it has the technical capability to support its rapid customer growth and deliver on its commitment to give industry-leading customer experience through a focus on emerging technology for both network and systems, Hyperoptic recently appointed Duncan Macdonald as chief technology innovation officer (CTIO). Macdonald will also be responsible for evolving Hyperoptic’s digital capabilities to ensure the best customer experience within the broadband industry, along with maximising the stability and efficiency of services as Hyperoptic continues to grow its network reach and customer base.
“This is a great opportunity for me to apply learnings from international operations to a focused, agile, fast-moving business that’s setting new standards in our sector,” he said. “With a heightened focus on customer experience, we are pushing ourselves to match and exceed our customers’ expectations in a digital world.”
Read more about UK broadband
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- UK altnets hit fibre accelerator: Fast-growing broadband infrastructure provider passes more than 500,000 homes and businesses as part of XGS-PON full-fibre network roll-out.
- CityFibre passes three million UK premises with full-fibre network: Independent provider’s nationwide full-fibre network has more than 2.6 million premises passed as ready for service to ISPs, with penetration on target across locations.
- Community Fibre tops UK gigabit broadband league table: Survey of UK gigabit broadband suppliers reveals rise and rise of independent sector despite recent financial struggles as increased reach and availability means users are no longer limited to majors for services.