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How to complain about broadband

Tamires Criscio
Tamires Criscio
  | Edited by Tom Church
Updated 3rd March 2021

Complaining is never fun, but some people are better at it than others. If you want to learn how to complain about broadband successfully, Latest Deals has some important tips for you. Use these tips next time you are complaining about broadband for better results!

In this guide
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What is good broadband customer service? 6 points to keep in mind

When you are getting a new broadband package, one thing to keep in mind is how good your broadband provider’s customer service is. This will affect your experience with them, before, during and after your contract. We have listed some of the points to keep in mind if about good customer service for broadband: 

  1. Easy to find contact details: Good customer service will have all their contact details easily accessible.

IMPORTANT NOTE: We have made this easier for you by including broadband provider’s customer service numbers in this guide.

  1. Call wait times: We understand that nowadays the call wait times are much longer, but you still need to take this into account. We always recommend calling customer service even before getting a broadband deal, just to check how your experience with that broadband provider is. 
  1. Getting through to the right team: Is it easy to talk to the correct person or do they just keep transferring you from person to person? Unfortunately, this can be a common nightmare in customer service. 
  1. Complaints handling: Is the customer service member understanding and knowledgeable? Is the member trying to help ease or resolve your issue?
  1. Politeness of customer service staff: Are the customer service staff members friendly and helpful? 
  1. Complaint resolution: Did you get your problem resolved? If they can't help you, did they put you in contact with someone else that could?

4 Common broadband complaints

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What things are people complaining about when it comes to broadband? We have selected some of the most common complaints: 

Broadband Complaint #1 Faulty Connections 

The number one complaint regarding broadband is faulty connections. This issue can be simple or complex to fix depending on where the problem is. If the problem is with the network, you will need to be patient, because the broadband provider will fix it as soon as possible. If the problem is with your household wiring, you might be able to fix it yourself or need an engineer to visit. The broadband provider will try to help you in both cases. In the first case, you don’t need to take action, in the second case, you might have a headache for a few weeks. 

Broadband Complaint #2 Delays 

The second most recurring complaint is delays either on installations or repairs. If you were expecting an engineer to visit to install or repair your broadband, and the person doesn't appear you can get monetary compensation. According to Ofcom, you can ask for compensation for each missed appointment and for each day that you don’t have service after the date you were supposed to. To understand more about this, please access Ofcom’s official page.  

Broadband Complaint #3 Mis-selling broadband deals 

Unfortunately, there is still mis-selling when it comes to broadband deals. Either the broadband provider led the consumer to believe they would get something or left out some key information that could have helped the customer make a decision. That’s why we always recommend reading all the small print before getting a new broadband deal. Read our article on how to choose the best broadband deal for you. 

Broadband Complaint #4 Billing problems 

Customers usually complain about being overcharged during their contract or when they try to early terminate their contract. We have mentioned in other articles the charges you can face if you want to terminate your contract early. You can read more about it on how to switch broadband providers. 

Other broadband complaints

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  • Tariff change: your broadband provider will always notify you of any changes to your tariff or terms and conditions. Usually, if you are not happy with the changes, you can tell your provider up to 30 days after the day you receive the letter. Depending on your contract, you may or may not be able to leave without a penalty fee. When you get a new broadband deal, usually the broadband provider alerts you that they can change prices at any given time. 
  • Problems moving home: sometimes moving home can be more difficult than expected. If your broadband provider serves your new address, they will help you with everything. If your broadband provider does not provide your new address, you might need to terminate your contract earlier.
  • Problem switching providers: we have an article about how to switch providers and how to deal with any problems that might appear. You can read it here. 
  • Email issue: If your email address is not working properly, you can complain to your broadband provider. 
  • Faulty equipment: if you receive a piece of equipment that is not working properly, you have the right to complain. Your provider will send you another one and cover any postage costs. 
  • Billing carried on after switching providers: if you are still being charged after switching providers, you are entitled to a refund. 

How to complain about slow internet connection 

The most common broadband complaint is about slow broadband speed. If you are experiencing a slow internet connection, you can try to fix the problem first by yourself. We have an article with 20 ways to boost your broadband speed. 

If the problem persists, most broadband providers will have pages on their official website to run tests automatically. If they find out that the problem is with their network, they are probably already working on it to fix the problem. If they find out that the problem is with your household wiring, they will try to help you remotely or schedule a home visit. 

8 tips to complain successfully to your broadband provider

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If you are going to complain about your broadband, you must take advantage of these 8 tips to improve your chances of having your issue resolved.

TIP#1 Read about your provider and how they deal with complaints 

The best way for you to complain to your provider is to know how it handles complaints. There are many websites where other customers leave their reviews. Make sure you read some of them to understand the best way to approach your provider. Focus mainly on the negative ones.

TIP#2 Have all your bills in order 

If you are disorganised, now is the time to get your bills in order. It doesn't matter if you receive your bills by mail or online, make sure you have all of them on hand, at least from the previous three months or from the time frame that covers what you are going to complain about. You need to be able to reach them easily when you are complaining. 

TIP#3 Have all your bank statements in order 

 To back up your bills, you must have your bank statements in order as well. So do the same thing here and make sure you have your bank statements on hand if you need to prove the amount you have paid to your provider. 

TIP#4 Write down relevant pieces of information during the phone call

Information is power and transforms you into a well-informed customer who is hard to be played or fooled around. 

Every time you call your broadband provider, write down: the time, the date, the name of the person you spoke too, how long did you wait for the call, how long the call lasted, any protocol number mentioned and any other pieces of information that you might feel could be relevant in the future.

TIP#5 Call when is the best time for you

To master a phone call, you will need to have time. If you need to call your broadband provider, schedule a time when you will have your full attention, at least one hour spare. Calling to complain is never fun, so you need to be patient and get in the right mindset. You will need to stay strong without losing patience, be polite, understanding and kind to the customer service member. If you keep calm, the better chances you have of getting a good result. 

TIP#6 Call the right place to talk to the correct person 

If you are already putting aside at least one hour of your precious time to make this phone call, you want to make sure you are calling the right place to talk to the correct person. This will give you time to communicate your complaint effectively. Customer service has a lot of downsides, but one of the worst ones is being transferred between departments and having to call another time because you couldn’t talk to the correct person. 

TIP#7 Always ask for a written confirmation of any changes in the contract or verbal agreements 

At the end of the phone call, if anything has changed in your contract or if any verbal agreement has been made, get these written down in the form of an email or letter from the broadband provider. A written confirmation is essential for you to keep your mind at ease if you need to complain again in the future (hopefully, not). 

TIP#8 You can ask for help before talking to your broadband provider

If you are struggling to resolve your problem or are not sure of the best way to handle your broadband provider, you might need to ask for help from other resources before making the phone call. In the UK, one of the best places to reach out to first is Ofcom, the governmental organisation that monitors broadband providers and investigates a provider if they receive too many complaints. This organisation regulates all broadband services available in the UK, so they know what a broadband provider can or can’t do. They have a specific page just about how to make a broadband complaint. 

Ofcom Phone Numbers0300 123 3333 or 020 7981 3040

Step by Step Process on how to complain about broadband

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Step #1 - What is the problem you have been facing and how can your broadband provider help you? 

The first thing you need to do is to get some clarity. You need to make sure you are 100% clear about what your problem is and how your broadb§and provider can help you. When you have these two things in mind, you can use the phone number details in this article to reach out to your broadband provider. You can also reach out to Ofcom at this point to get advice. 

Step #2 - Call your broadband provider

Now is the time to call your broadband provider. Please use all the tips we gave you above to make sure this call will be as successful as it can be. The more you get organised and do your research, the better results you can expect. 

Step #3 - If  your broadband provider does not help you within 10 days, you can reach out to the Internet Service Providers Association (ISPA)

The Internet Service Providers Association (ISPA) is a governmental organisation that represents broadband providers in the UK. If your broadband provider does not help you within 10 days, you can reach out to ISPA. You can use this page to file a complaint with ISPA.  

IMPORTANT NOTE: Before making a complaint with ISAP, make sure your broadband provider is a member, and you can see all ISAP members here. 

Step #4 - Asking for a Deadlock letter 

If you have complained to your broadband provider and nothing has been done within the next eight weeks, you can ask for a Deadlock letter. When you get to a “deadlock” with your broadband provider, it means that there is nothing they can do to help you and that you will need to take your complaint to an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) scheme. 

You can email your broadband provider asking for this letter which will contain all the information regarding your complaint from the broadband provider’s side. Your broadband provider has 14 days to send you this letter after your request has been sent. If you don’t receive this letter, you can move on to the next step without it. 

Step #5 Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) scheme: when do you need this? 

An Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) scheme is a type of organisation that will help you deal with your complaint if your broadband provider didn’t deal with it eight weeks after you complained. That’s why it’s so important to write everything down because you will need to mention all the calls you had during this time. At the moment in the UK, there are two schemes: 

  • Communications and Internet Services Adjudication Scheme (CISAS)

The scheme covers Virgin Media, Vodafone, Sky, TalkTalk, NOW Broadband and other smaller providers. Read more about CISAS here. 

  • Ombudsman Services

The scheme covers BT, EE, Plusnet, John Lewis Broadband, Direct Save Telecom, Hyperoptic and other smaller  providers. Read more about Ombudsman Services here. 

These schemes will try the best they can to help you come to a final decision and the next steps to be taken. If you are happy with their decision, you will have your problem finally resolved. If you are not happy with their decision, you can go to court, which will be stressful, time-consuming and expensive. We believe that you won’t get to this point and the 5 steps described here will be enough to get your problem fixed. 

IMPORTANT NOTE: These schemes have the power to request any monetary compensation you are entitled to receive and negotiate any amount you have been asked to pay.  

Broadband Provider Telephone Numbers

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Virgin Media Phone Number 0345 454 1111
BT Phone Number 0800 432 0137
Sky Phone Number 03337 591 239
EE Phone Number 0800 079 0125
Vodafone Phone Number0333 3040 441
Plusnet Phone Number 0800 432 0200
Now TV  Phone Number 03303 323 050
Talk Talk Phone Number 0345 172 0088
John Lewis Broadband Phone Number0800 022 3300

How to complain to Virgin Media Broadband Customer Service 

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Before calling to complain to Virgin Media, we recommend accessing this page. There you will find what services you need to complain about broadband, TV, phone, mobile, email or apps. Depending on the service, you will see some of the issues you might be facing. 

Virgin Media Phone Number 0345 454 1111
150 (If you have a Virgin Media phone or mobile)

IMPORTANT NOTE: You can call Virgin Media from Monday to Friday, 8 AM to 8 PM and on Saturdays, 8 AM to 6 PM. 

How to complain to BT Broadband Customer Service 

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The best way to complain to BT is by calling them. You can also make a complaint online or by post. Use this page to choose how you want to complain to BT.

BT Phone Number 0800 432 0137

IMPORTANT NOTE: You can call BT from Monday to Sunday, 8 AM to 8 PM.

How to complain to Sky Broadband Customer Service 

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You have four ways to complain to Sky. Once you access this page, you can find them all. You can either call them, write, email or message them. We recommend calling as the best way to complain to Sky. 

Sky Phone Number 03337 591 239

IMPORTANT NOTE: You can call Sky from Monday to Sunday, 8 AM to 8 PM.

How to complain to EE Broadband Customer Service 

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EE has an online chat that can be a quicker solution if you need to resolve something immediately.

EE Phone Number 0800 079 0125

IMPORTANT NOTE: You can call EE from Monday to Friday, 8 AM to 8 PM. On Saturdays, you can call from 10 AM to 6 PM and Sundays, from 10 AM to 4 PM. 

How to complain to Vodafone Broadband Customer Service 

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If you need to complain to Vodafone about your broadband connection, you can use this page to select the issue you have been experiencing. If you can’t resolve it with some of the tools Vodafone offers, you can call them after. 

Vodafone Phone Number0333 3040 441

IMPORTANT NOTE: You can call Vodafone from Monday to Friday, 8 AM to 9 PM and on the weekends from 8 AM to 8 PM. 

How to complain to Plusnet Broadband Customer Service 

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Plusnet has an online chat, which you can access here. Please keep in mind that this chat is not always available, but you can also call them. These are the best ways to get a quick response from them.

Plusnet Phone Number 0800 432 0200

IMPORTANT NOTE: You can call Plusnet daily from 7.30 AM to 10 PM. 

How to complain to NOW Broadband Customer Service 

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Now Broadband is one of the hardest broadband providers to get in touch with. They offer live chat, which is sometimes not available. This is their primary communication channel with customers. You can access this chat here. You can also call Now TV to talk about any broadband issues you might be dealing with. 

Now TV  Phone Number 03303 323 050

How to complain to Talk Talk Broadband Customer Service 

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Talk Talk has an online chat, which you can access here. You can also email them or send them a letter. If the online chat doesn't  help you to solve your problem, please call them. 

Talk Talk Phone Number 0345 172 0088

How to complain to John Lewis Broadband Customer Service 

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You can complain to John Lewis Broadband by phone, by letter and by email. Find more information about these options here. 

John Lewis Broadband Phone Number0800 022 3300

IMPORTANT NOTE: You can call John Lewis Broadband any day, any time, they are open 24/7. 

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