AOL voted worst for broadband… again

Some broadband providers treat their customers well, offering a fast, reliable connection backed up by great customer service. If only this were true of AOL Broadband.

Our regular broadband survey found that barely any of its customers are happy with the service they receive and few of them would recommend AOL Broadband to a friend.

The company received a dismal customer score of just 38% for its broadband-only deals, leaving it languishing in last place in our broadband rankings. Amazingly this is a very slight improvement on its performance from earlier in the year, when it received a catastrophic 26% customer score, but it’s still comfortably the worst brand in our table.

Read our Which? broadband reviews to find out which provider came out top.

Which? broadband survey

We survey thousands of broadband, home phone and TV customers twice a year so that we can help you to choose the best service. In July and August 2013 we spoke to over 2,600 members of the public and asked them about their experiences.

As well as giving customer scores for each provider we’ve also rated the key aspects of their performance, from customer service and technical support to the speed and reliability of the connection.

Unreliable AOL Broadband service

Just 32% of the AOL Broadband users we surveyed would recommend it to a friend. Customers gave the company a poor value-for-money rating, as well as low scores for the speed and reliability of its service.

This was hardly surprising considering that almost half had experienced very slow speeds and a third suffered frequent connection drop outs or problems with their router. Users were also scathing about the difficulty of contacting the company and the lack of technical support it provides when you run into difficulties.

Why was AOL Broadband the worst provider?

We asked our survey’s participants to tell us more about their experiences – here’s what they had to say about AOL Broadband:

‘I have been with AOL Broadband for a number of years quite satisfactorily. But then TalkTalk took over and I have had nothing but problems ever since.’

‘It is just slow, expensive and unreliable.’

‘Not as reliable as it used to be and it’s difficult to get hold of them by phone.’

‘It is appalling and I am changing to BT soon.’

One customer succinctly described the service they receive as ‘useless’.

Not happy? Then switch

You shouldn’t have to put up with a bad connection or poor customer service from your broadband provider – and you don’t have to.

The good news is that changing providers isn’t as difficult as you might expect. Read our how to switch broadband providers guide for step by step instructions on changing ISP.

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7 replies

  1. The only reason people are still on AOL is because they signed up with those CDS back at the start of the internet and are afraid to change to a new provider. I find it incredible that this company survives.

  2. We have been with AOL a very long time and at the beginning they were ‘The Bees Knees’ so to speak they used to have ‘live help’ which was brilliant then it all stopped and you had to ring them on an 0845 or 0844 number and would be kept holding on for ages and then when you did get through it is someone in India, who you could not understand – but at least they knew what they were doing technically after you could understand what they were saying.

    It is a shame that their customer service does not contact you and ask what you think of them in a 1-10 survey and where they are going wrong – this only seems to happen that they want to keep you when you call them with a* problem.

    Today they offered us a 3 month free broadband and after that £10 per month, which we were on for 12 months and it finished and went up to* £15 pm, they are also sending us a free router which they claim is a top of the range.

    The person we spoke to first was in India and then we go transferred to someone in South Africa, whom was very helpful, so if you don’t ask you don’t get and we are happy to stay with them for another 12 months.
    Shame that nothing is in the UK anymore.

  3. I was with them for 10 years , I am amazed I put up with so much c**p . In the end I ran out of patience with their arrogant money grabbing, poor service attitude. I went to John Lewis broadband and wish I had years ago

  4. Slow speed, frequent drop outs and almost uncontactable unless you want to hang on the phone for at least half an hour. Then poor communication, offhand indian staff don’t care and occaisionally just hang up on you knowing you won’t be able to get back to them.
    Don’t go there. I only stay because I need the same e-mail address.

  5. I am only online now because I have been able to connect to BT Fon WiFi at a cost of £6 a day, jolly expensive but necessary as AOL don’t seem to be able to help me. I have been a customer of AOL for ten years and although speeds are slow had put that down to the exchange. Shopping around for a new broadband package tonight I have realised how overpriced the AOL offer is. Their customer service is appalling, I have spoken to EIGHT different people in an effort to start up my service again which was cancelled by BT last week, BT did not notify me, having sorted things out with them straight away they quickly got our landline up and running again but AOL said I would have to ring their sales department to start a new contract with them, in spite of the fact that they still have my details, phone number, security stuff and account number on their records…they refuse to simply reconnect the service which I have paid for in advance…I pay a monthly subscription which is now a massive £26,99 a month. When I eventually spoke to a sales person they said they couldn’t provide a service because our telephone exchange hadn’t been update with the latest TalkTalk equipment, when I squad this didn’t make sense since we had had a perfectly good connection before he passed me on to someone else, that person said. I needed to speak to AOL Broadband and not TalkTalk….the first person I spoke to told me that Talk Talk had taken over AOL and that was that….in fact there does seem to be a separate sub division…finally I got to speak to someone who sounded vaguely helpful, explained the problem and said I was getting really fed up and wanted it sorted out immediately, to be told that here was going to speak to his a manager and would call me back. He didn’t. I did try to ring the members helpline again but was cut off either the signal from this end or maybe I was dleiberately cut off. I now appear to be locked out of the AOL my account page. This is the worst service I have ever experienced and. I would not recommend them, it is like talking to a brick wall and I have wasted over thirty pounds in mobile credit and over two hours trying to get it sorted out. The online feedback form is no better, I received a message telling me to phone the members number or to click on a link which was broken. As a long time customer I think. I deserve a better service but quite frankly any and every customer deserves to be listens to properly and dealt with promptly and courteously, instead they’ll repeat the same thing. I am totally fed up and particularly cross with myself for having wasted so much time and money on them. My son is convinced that their connection is better than. BT but having read your review I wonder if that is indeed the case. I am now resorting to old fashioned post to write a letter of complaint although. I am intrigued to see that there appear to be two different London addresses, one on the letter heading. I was sent to say that the service had been cancelled, and another on the website. Really, really frustrated that they couldn’t simply cancel the cancellation as suggested in their letter. Is it a scam after all?

  6. I was with AOL for about 15 years because when we started they were the only/best service in a rural area, They became more and more expensive and unreliable and customer service was awful – as described above, endless hours waiting to get through, passed from one person to another and each giving contradictory advice usually ending with one of them hanging up on me. When I changed providers I phoned to give a months notice as in t&c & to ensure I would not be cut off before a particular date. They off course immediately cut me off, were unable to to reinstate the service & we were with out a connection for 3+ weeks, and of course no refund.
    No-one at any point was the slightest bit interested in why I was leaving. Other companies try and make you stay – AOL try to make your life more miserable! How on earth do they stay in business? The only plus is that I have been able to keep my AOL email, though you have to login to AOL UK first, so don’t let that stop you swapping!

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