Is Your Broadband Provider Lying to You?
- Study shows broadband providers conceal truths about broadband speed
- Customers are paying too much for slow broadband
- Companies aren’t giving all information to consumers
- What are your rights?
Some of the UK’s largest broadband companies have been caught out giving customers in adequate information when they are signing up to a contract, a study has found.
Consumer group Which? tested broadband companies to see if they met guidelines on what information should be provided to customers about broadband speeds.
The guidelines are written by Ofcom, and are optional for companies to sign up to.
Ofcom said, “It’s vital that broadband shoppers know what speeds to expect before they commit to a contract.
“So we want to see providers up their game and we;re taking direct action to make this happen.
“This includes new measures to give customers more realistic broadband speed information, and ensure people can walk away from their contract when companies fail to provide the speeds they promise.”
Providers, who should give customers estimated home speeds as early as possible in the sales process, gave information only 47% of the time.
Providers should also explain that speeds can be influenced by a range of factors, such as network capacity and the number of subscribers to the service.
According to the study, TalkTalk advisers only gave information about estimated speeds five out of twelve times, and general advice about speeds wasn’t given in any of the calls.
A TalkTalk spokesman said, “We are required to provide specific information before a sale is agreed.
“The mystery shopping calls that Which? did were all terminated before this point in the sales journey, and therefore based on the information provided by Which?, we are confident that we fully complied with the code.”
The company was outperformed by four other providers- SSE, Utility Warehouse, Post Office, and John Lewis Broadband.
Vodafone finished second last, with EE broadband one place above.
Neither provider gave advice about the factors that can influence speeds, and only gave information about estimated speeds in half of the calls.
Sky’s pre-prepared statement, in which speed data is outlined to potential customers,, helped to make it the best performing provider by far.
The statement offered estimated speeds and additional advice on almost all occasions.
By March 2019, all providers signed up to Ofcom’s regulatory code for broadband providers will be expected to give minimum guarantee speeds upfront along with details about speeds people can expect at peak times.
Alex Neill, Which? managing director, said, “Having a clear idea of what speeds you can expect from a broadband deal before you sign up is your right, but our research shows that providers have a long way to go to meet their customer’s expectations.
“Providers need to play their part and update their advice as soon as they can so that customers have a clearer picture about what they’re getting.”
What can you do if you’re not getting the right broadband speed?
Check your broadband speed to make sure that it is definitely slower than your contract states.
It’s also important to check your contract, as it might say in small print that the advertised broadband speed is not guaranteed, instead it is the maximum speed you can get.
If your broadband is not achieving the speeds promised, then contact your provider, and explain that you are not getting the speeds you were promised and the statements the company made to you before signing up were misrepresentations.
If you don’t get a satisfactory solution from your provider, then you can go through a formal complaints procedure.
Keep all records of all communication, as this can help your case.