Slow broadband speed? Connection keeps dropping out? Router blinking back at you with red lights? You’re not alone. In a survey of 2,000 members of the public, Which? found that half of broadband customers had experienced a problem with their broadband in the last year.
But not all broadband providers are created equal. Only 32% of customers with the best performing provider reported a problem with their broadband in the last twelve months. This compares to 58% of customers with AOL Broadband – the joint-bottom provider alongside Orange.
With that score, customers of AOL Broadband and Orange have less than a fifty-fifty chance of escaping the year without a broadband problem.
You can see the full results of our survey of broadband service providers – and who came out top – in our broadband reviews. We have rated each provider based on customer service, speed and reliability of connection, as well as fifteen other measurements.
AOL Broadband problems – what can go wrong?
Across all 2,000 respondents to our survey, and across all providers, the most common broadband problem reported was poor broadband service. This includes such issues as broadband speed and connection problems.
This can mean having no connection at all, a connection that is consistently dropping out, or that dreaded circle of buffering when watching videos online.
We’ve asked Which? members about their experience with AOL Broadband, and this was some of the feedback we received:
‘If I could guarantee to keep my e-mail address, I would seriously consider changing to a cheaper provider. The price has crept up a great deal!’
‘Never, never use AOL Broadband. If I could keep my e-mail addresses I would go like a shot’
‘I’m generally satisfied, but I would not use AOL Broadband if I was starting from scratch’
Can I get my broadband problem fixed?
More bad news. Of the people in our survey who had experienced broadband problems, only 54% reported that the problem was resolved satisfactorily. That leaves a significant 44% unhappy customers. So, what can you do if you’re having problems?
- It’s useful to have specific details on the dates and times of problems, especially poor speed, when complaining to your provider. Ask about ongoing engineering works in your area and traffic management – where your provider purposefully slows the connection of heavy users at peak times.
- If you’re unhappy with the response, or they can’t solve your problem, you should lodge an official complaint. It’s best to do this in writing. All providers are required to provide you with an address to send your complaint to when requested.
- If after eight weeks you still haven’t made progress on your problem, or feel the complaint hasn’t been dealt with properly, contact an alternative resolution scheme. Your provider will either belong to the Communications and Internet Services Adjudication Scheme (CISAS) or Ombudsman Services: Communications.
Still not happy? Switch to a better provider. As our survey shows some broadband providers are better than others and you shouldn’t have to put up with repeated problems or poor service. Read our how to switch broadband providers guide for step by step instructions on switching.