Almost half of UK customers (49%) have experienced problems with their internet service provider and broadband in the last year, according to a new study.
According to Which?’s latest survey, problems ranged from slow speeds to frequent outages, some lasting over an hour.
The consumer champion, who surveyed 3,903 broadband customers in Britain in December 2021 and January 2022, said frequent signal interruption was the most common problem, affecting one in six broadband customers (17 %).
However, the problem was reported by one in five Plusnet customers (20%) – more than the average.
The second most frequently reported problem was slowness, which affected one in seven people (15%). The problem was more common for Sky and Virgin Media customers, where it was reported by 18%.
Which? found that the third most common issue was a router issue, reported by 15% of broadband customers overall, and nearly one in five (18%) Virgin Media customers.
Another in seven broadband customers (13%) said which one? their internet connection was slow to upload or download files. However, one in six Sky customers (17%) reported this issue in Which?’s survey.
It comes as the majority of suppliers have an annual inflationary price hike taking effect, adding further pressure on households who are already facing an acute cost of living crisis.
Some broadband bills are expected to climb by as much as 10%.
In addition to reviewing service issues, the Which? survey asked broadband customers about the customer service they had received from their provider.
Overall, nearly four in 10 (37%) said which? they had experienced customer service issues, while one in six broadband customers (17%) said price increases had been a problem for them in the past 12 months.
However, this has risen to a quarter of Sky (24%) and Virgin Media (23%) customers. One in 10 customers | (10%) said they had difficulty getting in touch with their supplier.
“It is simply not enough that broadband customers are still suffering from frequent dropouts, slow speeds and generally poor internet service at a time when daily life is so heavily dependent on a good connection,” Lisa Barber, Which? IT editor, said.
“To add insult to injury, despite the cost of living crisis, many suppliers have not hesitated to impose price increases in excess of inflation. If you’re currently out of contract and your provider isn’t giving you good service or you don’t want your bills to go up, shop around and consider switching.